Muhammadu Buhari - BBC News 1

Muhammadu Buhari – BBC News

Muhammadu Buhari - BBC News 2
Nigeria President Muhammadu BuhariGetty Images President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said the government will avenge the attack on a UN helicopter in which two people died.

The president described the attack in the north-eastern state of Borno as “dastardly” that will not go away without “severe consequences”, local media reported.

A five-year-old child is among the two who were killed in the attack on Saturday attributed to insurgents in the restive north-eastern region.

The helicopter was being used to facilitate humanitarian support to civilians in the area that has been affected by violence for more than a decade.

The UN has in the meantime halted humanitarian aid in the region.

The demolished building

Armed men reportedly stormed the compound and destroyed a building under construction.

Aisha and Muhammadu Buhari

The shooting reportedly followed an argument about whether a presidential aide should self-isolate.

Muhammadu Buhari - BBC News 3

Ishaq Khalid

BBC News, Abuja

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari with first lady Aisha BuhariGetty Images Aisha Buhari, pictured with her husband in 2015, called for the release of her aides

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into a shooting incident inside he grounds of his official residence involving security guards.

The incident reportedly happened following an altercation between one of his aides and some aides to his wife Aisha Buhari, and included her security guards.

The guards insisted that the presidential aide must self-isolate for 14 days on returning from a trip outside the capital, Abuja – in accordance with government issued guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The security guards reportedly fired in the air. No casualties were reported.

Some staff attached to the first lady have been taken into custody by the police.

The incident happened last week but the news emerged at the weekend with both President Buhari and his wife making statements.

Mr Buhari says armed guards and other security personnel assigned to the presidency were given the necessary training especially in weapons handling and “where they come short, their relevant agencies have their rules and regulations to immediately address them”.

A government statement says that the president ‘’is not, and was not at anytime in any form of danger arising, either from deadly infections or the reported incident by security personnel which is currently under investigation”.

A statement issued by Mr Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the “minor” incident happened outside the main residence of the president.

Earlier, in a tweet, First Lady Aisha Buhari called on the chief of police to release her staff ‘’in order to avoid putting their lives in danger or exposure to Covid-19 while in their custody”.

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The latest incident is seen as yet another sign of internal wrangling in Nigeria’s government where officials often publicly disagree.

More about Nigeria’s first family:

Muhammadu Buhari - BBC News 4

Chris Ewokor

BBC News, Abuja

Ibrahim Gambari in 2012AFP Ibrahim Gambari held several positions at the UN

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed the retired diplomat Ibrahim Gambari as his new chief of staff.

The former senior UN official also served in Mr Buhari’s military government in the 1980s.

He replaces Abba Kyari, who died last month from coronavirus.

While Mr Gambari is hugely experienced, the fact that he is 75 years old has led to some criticism of the appointment.

Critics of the 77-year-old president say his own frail heath has had a direct impact on the quality of leadership in Nigeria.

President Muhammadu BuhariGetty Images Appointees are usually screened by the government’s secretary before they are named by President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead man into office, naming the late Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru as a board member for a government agency, two months after he died.

Mr Buhari sent a letter to the country’s senate on Tuesday to confirm the list of 37 appointees but was unaware that Mr Okwuru had passed away in February.

The president’s media aide, Lauretta Onochie, said Mr Okwuru was alive when the president appointed him to serve on the board and that “he even came to update his CV, in readiness for the appointment after the Senate screening”.

“When he sadly passed away while waiting for the screening by the Senate, that information was not communicated to the Federal Government,” she said.

This is not the first time Mr Buhari’s presidency has made the grave error of appointing a dead person. In 2017, the president appointed at least five people who were long dead on to several boards of government agencies.

Nduka Orjinmo

BBC News, Lagos

An attempt by aides to Nigeria’s president to reassure Nigerians that Muhammadu Buhari is well and still at work has backfired.

Earlier this week the presidency said Mr Buhari had tested negative for coronavirus. The 77-year-old, who has suffered health problems in the past, was tested after it was revealed that his chief of staff had contracted Covid-19.

To scotch further rumours, his spokesperson Bashir Ahmed then tweeted a photo, saying: “President Buhari still at work!”

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But this just added fuel to the flames spawning the hashtags #whereisbuhari and #buharichallenge – now trending in Nigeria.

The gag sees Twitter users pairing photos of past events with newly dreamt up captions, joking that it’s actually happening right now in the present.

One from 1981 taken in London shows Queen Elizabeth II meeting Nigeria’s then-President Shehu Shagari with the caption: “Shehu Shagari welcoming the Queen at the Lagos airport earlier today despite the state-wide lockdown”.

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Another shows US rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996, pictured as a teenager with a caption suggesting he is listening to a song by current Afrobeats star Naira Marley.

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President Buhari has been heavily criticised for not speaking directly to Nigerians about the coronavirus pandemic, although he has been active on social media.

Overnight in a series of tweets, he said he had recalled disease-control experts from overseas and urged people not to succumb to panic because of the virus.

He said the government was working to ensure that supplies of food and other essentials would be maintained.

He also announced new restrictions, including on shipping, and extra funding for Lagos state, which has registered most of Nigeria’s cases of Covid-19.

Land borders and international airports were closed last week. According to official figures, Nigeria has a total of 65 infections.

Nigerian President Muhammadu BuhariReuters President Muhammadu Buhari will open two projects during the visit

Nigeria’s Ondo state government has declared Tuesday a holiday as it hosts President Muhammadu Buhari.

The state’s communications office announced that all state workers would not have to report to work so they would have the time to welcome the president.

Ondo Governor Arakunrin Akeredolu invited Mr Buhari to open various projects as part of festivities to mark his third year in office.

He tweeted that the industrial hub the president would be opening already had six factories – one of which was a cassava-to-ethanol facility.

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The president is also expected to open a flyover.

The festivities to celebrate Governor Akeredolu’s anniversary started on 21 February and are scheduled to end on 1 March, according to a programme of events shared on social media.

A map of NigeriaBBC

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been booed by some residents of Maiduguri, the main city in the northern state of Borno – a day after 30 people were killed, many of them motorists burnt to death, in an attack nearby by Islamist militants.

Most of the victims were travellers who had been sleeping in their vehicles overnight on Tuesday during a stop in Auno, a town on a major highway in Borno.

The president came to pay his condolences but a video, shared online, shows young people shouting “ba ma so”, which is Hausa for “we don’t want”, at the presidential convoy:

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President Buhari flew straight to Maiduguri on Wednesday from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, where he had been on a state visit.

After reportedly meeting residents and Borno officials, President Buhari tweeted his “assurance” to all Nigerians that security improvements were under way:

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But residents say they are tired of promises and want action to stop the attacks, Nigeria’s media report.

Read the analysis by the BBC’s Chris Ewokor

Buhari and Trump

President Muhammadu Buhari says he wants “productive relations” with the US.

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