The Presidency has broken the silence on why the outspoken Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, ‘is not among the 7 State Executives that travelled to London to visit the ailing President Mugammadu Buhari.’
Speaking with State House Correspondents on Tuesday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the presidency had no hand in the selection of the delegates to London.
“The selection was by the governors forum and you will see that the delegation is headed by governor Yari who is chairman of that forum. So that question should go to the forum,” he said.
On when the president would return, Adesina said:
“That already is in public domain. He will come back when the doctors certify.
“It is in the letter he wrote to the AU chairman which was made public this afternoon (Tuesday). It also contains that one. He said he was just waiting for his doctors to tell him all is well and then he will return home.
“If anybody is giving a timeline, that person might have information that we don’t have yet. “But the information at our disposal is that the president will return as soon as his doctors give him the go ahead.”
The delegation led by the Chairman of Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari has Governors of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, Umar Gandoje of Kano State, Kassim Shettima of Borno State, the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom who has been out of the country for about two weeks, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Abiola Ajumobi of Oyo state as members.
The presidency also said that the non-inclusion of the media team especially television or newspapers could be to save money.
Clarifying that, while giving details on the governors’ mission to the president, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said:
“The visit is a goodwill visit and there is nothing more than that. I believe Nigerians in various position have yearned to go meet the president and at some point this obviously has not been permitted. “But given the change in circumstances, you can see that coming from London itself and from the president is welcoming. Is a goodwill visit.
“As a cultural people, we visit people leaving hospital and I’m sure the president himself will be delighted to see people coming from six geo-political zones, coming to convey the goodwill of Nigerians.”
On the absence of presidential media aide on the London trip, he said it may be a way for government to save money.
He said: “Well, how about you thinking about it this way? Probably, we will be saving money. “Let me tell you, you know I have respects for photographers, we all do and the cameramen. Bayo Omoboriwo (Personal Photographer to the President), is on the flight which is more important than me being there, which he is.
“They say a picture conveys more than a thousand words. Bayo will be there and I think it will be more beneficial to Nigerians than if the Special Adviser was on that trip without a cameraman.”