Buhari Apologises to Lawmakers over Row at Aso Rock Gate


Damilola Oyedele in Abuja with agency report

President Muhammadu Buhari has tendered an apology to members of the National Assembly over a row with security personnel earlier thursday.

Led by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, the legislators went to the Presidential Villa for a meeting with Buhari.
TheCable gathered that the meeting was about the 2018 budget.

Also on the trip were the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, and the principal officers of both chambers.

The lawmakers, it was gathered, arrived the villa gate at about 8.30a.m. together in a bus, only to be told that they had no security clearance to enter the villa, and therefore only Saraki and Dogara would be driven in.

The other lawmakers would have to be screened and then trek into the premises, they were told by the security men, who also allegedly said they were acting on the directives of the CSO.

An aide to one of the lawmakers who narrated the incident to THISDAY, said the CSO himself came to the gate and said only Saraki and Dogara be allowed in, while the others have to walk.

However, they reportedly left the villa in anger after security operatives insisted on screening them.
Buhari later reached out to them but majority of the lawmakers had left the residence of Saraki where they converged after the embarrassing encounter.

Saraki and Dogara returned to Aso Rock and were hosted to a dinner. Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, alongside Ita Enang and Sulaiman Kawu, presidential aides, attended the dinner.

Buhari, it was gathered, instructed his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to collect the names of all the principal officers of both chambers of the National Assembly and ensure tags are issued to them ahead of the meeting rescheduled to Tuesday.

Saraki confirmed to state house correspondents that the issue had been resolved.