Muhammadu Buhari in London to the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), noting that it was therefore not behind the omission of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state from the delegation.Two governors elected under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) including Udom Emmanuel and Dave Umahi of Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states, respectively, are members of the governors’ delegation expected to leave Abuja for the United Kingdom.THE Presidency has shifted the responsibility of selecting state governors visiting recuperating President Kingdom on Tuesday night to meet with Buhari on Wednesday afternoon.The others are Zamfara state Governor and Chairman of the NGF, Abdulaziz Yari; governors Kashim Shettima (Borno), Sam Ortom (Benue), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Umar Ganduje (Kano).Fayose who had threatened to release 11 photographs to prove that the president was not healthy, was overlooked in the selection despite being the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and previously expressing his desire to have an opportunity to see Buhari for himself.Briefing State House correspondents on Tuesday on the visit, the Presidential media team led by the Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said the delegation was not picked by government.He had been asked why Fayose was overlooked despite being the most vocal doubter of the president’s physical state.Adesina said: “The selection was not done by government.
It was done by Governors Forum. And then you see that the delegation is headed by Governor Yari (Chairman of the forum).“So, that question should then go to the forum. It’s not government that drew the list but rather the Governors Forum.”Fayose has however given his blessing to the delegation, saying that they were capable of representing the NGF.In his reaction to the composition of the delegation, he told the Tribune Online in a text message that governors on the trip were competent and responsible and wished the president a quick recovery.“I wish the President quick recovery. The PDP governors or governors travelling are competent, responsible enough to represent the forum,” Governor Fayose stated.He explained that unlike the previous visit to the president made by only members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) governors, this delegation was on a broader platform, the NGF, with membership also drawn from the opposition.Adesina however informed that he did not have information on who was sponsoring the trip.On why the visits were coming at this time, he posited that it was the best time for the president to receive visitors as he was recovering.He said: “Instead of being curious, it should be the right time for the visit. When somebody has recovered or something has happened, it’s in our culture to visit such a person. So, this is the right time to visit the president because the news is that he is recovering and recovering well.”The presidential aide was unable to confirm the date of two weeks’ time for the return of the president as announced by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state.Okorocha, who led APC governors and party leaders to see Buhari last Wednesday, had assured that the president could return to Nigeria within two weeks.However, Adesina insisted that only the president’s doctors could determine his exact date of return.The spokesman noted that if anybody had put a date on Buhari’s return, the person could have information that is not available to the media team.Asked when the president would return, Adesina stated: “That already is in public domain. He will come back when the doctors certify.“It is in the letter he wrote to the AU chairman which was made public this afternoon (Tuesday). It also contains that one. He said he was just waiting for his doctors to tell him all is well and then he will return home.“But the information at our disposal is that the president will return as soon as his doctors give him the go ahead.”Speaking on the governors’ mission to the president, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, explained that it is a goodwill visit.According to him, “The visit is a goodwill visit and there is nothing more than that. I believe Nigerians in various position have yearned to go meet the president and at some point this obviously has not been permitted.“But given the change in circumstances, you can see that coming from London itself and from the president is welcoming. Is a goodwill visit.“As a cultural people, we visit people leaving hospital and I’m sure the president himself will be delighted to see people coming from six geo-political zones, coming to convey the goodwill of Nigerians.”Shehu also explained the absence of presidential media aide on the London trip, saying it may be a way for government to save money.He said: “Well, how about you thinking about it this way? Probably, we will be saving money.“Let me tell you, you know I have respects for photographers, we all do and the cameramen. Bayo Omoboriwo (Personal Photographer to the President), is on the flight which is more important than me being there, which he is.“They say a picture conveys more than a thousand words. Bayo will be there and I think it will be more beneficial to Nigerians than if the Special Adviser was on that trip without a cameraman.”
..Credit-Tribune On Line.