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Buhari ‘tricked’; misses Atiku’s son’s wedding

| June 11, 2013 More

buhariOfficials of the Bauchi State government ‘tricked’ Gen. Muhammadu Buhari into missing the wedding ceremony of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s son, Mohammed and the daughter of former Bauchi State governor Ahmed Mu’azu, Badariyya, on Saturday, Daily Trust learnt yesterday.

Buhari was not seen at the height of the event which brought together dignitaries such as former head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar, Bauchi State governor Malam Isa Yuguda, PDP national chairman Bamanga Tukur, business mogul Aliko Dangote, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change in Bauchi State, Alhaji Aliyu Saidu and another source close to Buhari told our reporters yesterday that Buhari had arrived at the Bauchi airport on board a chartered flight at about 10:20 am on Saturday for the wedding which was slated for 11.00am.
The former head of state was, however, misled by protocol officers sent by the Bauchi State government to receive, the duo claimed.

“He was accosted by protocol officers from the Bauchi Government House and informed that the event had been shifted to 12noon and that he should proceed to the presidential lodge to wait until the rescheduled time,” the source close to the CPC leader said.

But Buhari who had intended to proceed to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi where the exchange of marital vows would be conducted, turned down the offer and chose instead to go to the house of a friend.

The officers who led him to Abubakar’s house were said to have called Buhari’s entourage at about 11: 15am and asked that the former head of state should come down as the event was about to take place.
Daily Trust learnt that Buhari arrived with his entourage at the Emir’s palace only to be greeted with few dignitaries left behind –the wedding had been conducted. He then proceeded to the airport and returned to Kaduna.

Giving his account, the CPC state chairman said: “a day to the wedding we received a phone call from General Buhari that he will visit Bauchi because he was invited to the wedding at the Emir’s Palace in Bauchi.

“General Buhari said he wanted a low profile visit since it was private. He arrived Bauchi airport in a chartered flight from Kaduna at about 10:15am and we received him together with government protocol officials.

“But the government officials that received him told him that the wedding was shifted to 12:00 o’clock from 11 o’clock, so he proceeded to the house of his friend. We also phoned several government officials to confirm and they said that it was rescheduled for 12:00 o’clock.

“While we waited, we did not suspect any foul play. Then about quarter after eleven a top government official asked us to come to the emirs palace, that the wedding was about to take place. So we arrived at the emirs palace around 12 noon and by then all important guests had departed.

“We don’t know who was responsible for this false information, but we believe it was a political ploy to stop Buhari from attending the wedding.”

Alhaji Aliyu said on arrival at the emir’s palace a mammoth crowd cheered the CPC leader who met with the emir and left.

But Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Danlami Baban Takko denied that government officials tricked the former head of state and led him to missing the event he travelled into Bauchi to attend.

He confirmed, however, that Buhari was received on arrival at the airport by government protocol officers ‘as directed by Governor Isa Yuguda’ with full respect and honour as a former Nigerian leader and very important guest for the wedding.

Baban Takko said the protocol officers had requested to take Buahri to the government lodge ‘where very important dignitaries like former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Aliko Dangote, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and some state governors were kept’ but that CPC officials prevented him from going there.

The deputy chief press secretary said government had prepared three executive buses that took all important dignitaries to the venue of the wedding and nobody prevented Buhari from joining them.
On allegation that government officials misled Buhari on the timing, he said: “I am not aware that somebody told General Buhari that the wedding was shifted to another time. But as far as Bauchi State government is concerned he was received with honour and nobody prevented him from attending the wedding.”

Source: Daily Trust

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on Jun 10 2013. Filed under AFRICA, ANNOUNCEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, FOR THE RECORDS, From The Press, Front Page Story, NEWS, News Across Nigeria.
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