DSS boss restores reporter’s accreditation
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Bashiru Abubakar, on Monday withdrew the accreditation of The Punch correspondent, Olalekan Adetayo, and ejected him from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adetayo incurred the wrath of Abubakar over a report published in the Sunday, April 23, 2017 edition of the newspaper, entitled: “Fresh Anxiety over Buhari’s Health.’
The story had stated that since the president returned to Nigeria on March 10, after 49 days of medical vacation in London, he has not always been available in office but goes for Juma’at prayers on Fridays, a situation it said underscored the state of his health.
The story also insinuated that as a result of the president’s health, most of the president’s responsibilities are being pushed to the vice president’s office.
But in a swift reaction to the incident, Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr. Femi Adesina, on his Twitter handle, @femadesina, disowned the CSO’s action, saying the president was committed to freedom of the press.
According to Adesina, the CSO took the decision unilaterally without consulting the media office, pledging that the matter would be amicably resolved.
“We weren’t consulted in the media office by the CSO before he expelled The Punch reporter. President Buhari is committed to press freedom. An amicable solution would be found to the The Punch reporter’s matter. President Buhari does not intend to muzzle the media in any way,” he said.
However, THISDAY gathered last night that the Director-Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mallam Lawal Daura, had restored the reporter’s accreditation.