DSS DG tells PUNCH Correspondent to return to State House
Lawal Daura, Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) has asked Olalekan Adetayo, state house correspondent of The Punch, to return to the presidential villa in Abuja.
But in a letter to the chairman of Aso Villa correspondents’ chapel on Monday night, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, promised that the issue will be fully resolved in due course.
“We just got a clearance from Malam Lawal Daura, the DG SSS to recall Lekan to the Villa,” he said.
“Please come along with him tomorrow. The special adviser on media, Femi Adesina and I will resolve the issues.
“Please advise the correspondents and the rest of your members to handle this with maturity. It will not help anyone to start daring the security. Lekan should be assured that he is safe. We will straighten out everything.”
It would be recalled that Olalekan Adetayo, the Punch Newspaper correspondent assigned to Aso Rock has been expelled and barred from covering the Presidential Villa after his newspaper published a report on Sunday, April 23, 2017 titled, Fresh Anxiety At Aso Rock Presidential Villa Over Buhari’s Health.
Mr. Adetayo’s press tag was seized before he was driven out of the precinct of the State House and ordered “never to return”, a source disclosed.
The journalist was summoned to the office of the president’s chief security officer early afternoon of Monday and interrogated by Abubakar for some hours.
Two weeks ago, the CSO to the president held a meeting with State House correspondents where he handed them a set of new guidelines on how to report on the activities in Aso Rock.
In January 2017, the same security officer had summoned two news reporters covering Aso Rock over a factual report on an accidental discharge that injured a female worker at the presidency.
President Buhari has been suffering from a protracted illness and just recently returned from an extended medical leave in England. For the past two weeks, his public appearances have been limited fueling speculations that his health has taken a turn for the worse.
This is not the first time a correspondent has been expelled from the villa on similar circumstances.
Today”s Challenge has reliably gathered that the chief security officer (CSO) of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, now late ,Gordon Obua, had also expelled Musa Ubale, a correspondent of German Radio, Deutsche Welle, from the villa back in 2015.