The London correspondent of Guardian, Tunde Oyedoyin was on Sunday threatened with arrest for making attempts to see President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja House, London.
Oyedoyin had visited the place and demanded to see President Muhammadu Buhari and possibly interview him when he stopped by the security.
Abuja House has been Buhari’s residence since he began his UK vacation.
According to the correspondent, when he told a member of staff that he had come to see the president, his response was: “As far as I’m concerned, he’s not here.”
The journalist said at 2:50pm, a black Mercedes jeep arrived, and the occupant sitting by the driver rolled down the glass and asked him, “Why are you here?”
The reporter said after identifying himself and stating his mission, he was told: “He’s not here, you can’t see anybody here.”
Oyedoyin said when he arrived just a few minutes past 1pm, and asked to speak to the high commissioner, he was directed to Nigerian House at Northumberland Avenue.
He said 20 minutes later, when a man and a teenage-looking girl wearing glasses pressed the buzzer, a security officer opened the gate for the duo.
Oyedoyin said he inquired: “Is that the daughter of the president?” and the staff replied: “I don’t know.”
The reporter said when he pressed the buzzer about five minutes later, the security man sounded angry and threatened to call the police.
“You should realise this is a private place and I will call the police,” he quoted the security guard as saying.
Oyedoyin said when he made it clear that he was standing outside a public place, the guard said:” l won’t speak to you again.”
He said the security operative made good his threat of inviting the police.
According to Oyedoyin, two police officers were called in, and when they arrived, they took his name and date of birth, and subsequently made a check on the national database.
The Nigerian high commission could not be reached to hear its own side of the story, as the response to the text message sent to a telephone line found on its website is still being awaited.
Buhari was scheduled to return to the country on February 5 – at the end of his 10-day vacation – but he extended the time indefinitely, citing advice from his doctor that he should wait to get his test results as the reason for his decision.
Shortly after the president left on January 19, the rumour mill was agog that he had died, but the presidency deployed some strategies like releasing pictures of Buhari receiving guests in London.
High profile politicians have visited the president in UK.
Some of them are Daisy Danjuma, a former senator; Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun state governor; Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun state; Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Senate President Bukola Saraki, and House Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Buhari transferred power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo before he left for the UK.