The cliche’ “the more you look, the less you see was exactly what played out at the Presidential Villa, Abuja as Journalists covering President Muhammadu Buhari and his official activities were literary barred from covering his meeting with the released 82 Chibok girls.
With the official statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Saturday that the girls freed on the same day would be formally received by the president on Sunday, State House correspondents set out early for the event.
Time for the reception was originally 4pm but the Journalists arrived 2pm. By 3:30 pm, they walked to the official residence of the president, venue of the reception from the press gallery of the Council Chamber but were told by the security men on duty to wait for clearance.
It turned out to be waiting game as the girls earlier expected by 4pm didn’t arrive until 7:05pm. Upon their arrival in two Maccopolo white buses with an inscription “Nigerian Army”, the girls were driven inside the premises to alight behind a closed steel gate that made it extremely difficult for anyone to behold them.
Only the Reporter and the Cameraman from State owned media house, the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA and the personal photographer to the President were allowed access into the meeting.