UK ‘private visit’: Presidency attacks media as Buhari returns

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday made his return to the country.

He had gone on a ‘private visit’ to the United Kingdom on April 25, spending 10 days before returning to Abuja on Sunday.

His aircraft touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, about 6.25pm before he proceeded to the Presidential Villa.

The Presidency, in announcing his return, seized the opportunity to lampoon some online media outfits and opposition groups it said were “irresponsible” by insinuating that Buhari went for a medical check-up.

It noted that some of the groups even said Buhari had already been hospitalised in London.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, attacked the media outfits and the opposition for allegedly spreading “falsehood.”

Adesina wrote, “Some reckless online media, irresponsible political opposition, and other bilious groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the President left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalisation, and would not return after 10 days as stated. In their vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care.

“Now that the President has returned, can these apostles of evil imagining swallow their words? Can they retract their tendentious stories as well as press statements, and apologise to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that they have fed with hogwash?

“Few days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, we daresay that this valuable freedom does not tantamount to liberty to mislead and hoodwink the populace through concocted and jejune publications.

“The Buhari administration will always respect and uphold press freedom, but the onus lies on those prone to passing off fiction as facts, to remember that freedom demands concomitant responsibility. Those who further share and disseminate falsehood are also encouraged to embrace responsible conduct.”

However, the statement still did not address the nature of the President’s ‘private visit.’

The privacy of the visit had opened the doors of speculation.

Last week, Adesina had insisted that Buhari was entitled to his privacy as a human being, saying that a private visit was a private visit, which needed no further questioning.
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