President Muhammadu Buhari, contrary to claims by his Spokesman, Garba Shehu, was immediately briefed on Friday evening when attackers abducted over 300 schoolboys from Kankara town in Katsina State, a top presidency source has revealed.
The source added that the President's dementia affected him once again, and made him visit his livestock farm on Saturday morning instead of visiting the grieving school.
Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language and thinking abilities – a condition which may be caused by the President's old age and frequent treatment over an undisclosed medical condition.
"The moment it happened on Friday night, President Buhari was told. But due to dementia, he had forgotten," a source told SaharaReporters.
It was also gathered that it was the level of dementia and incoherence that made his handlers prevent him from visiting the National Assembly last week after he had promised to do so.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had invited Buhari over growing concerns on insecurity and the killing of over 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.
An aide to the President, Lauretta Onochie, had revealed that Buhari would appear before a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday. However, reports began to filter in on Tuesday that the President had decided not to attend the meeting any longer.
Defending the President's decision not to address the lawmakers, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the National Assembly lacked the power to invite the President to speak on security matters.
President @MBuhari Appears In New Video Visiting His Cows In Katsina After Refusing To Visit Families And School Of Kidnapped Katsina Students | Sahara Reporters https://t.co/kot4yis9Nh pic.twitter.com/PVveM3OF52— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 14, 2020
When the video of the President visiting his farm surfaced on Monday, the President's spokesperson, Shehu, had argued vehemently that the President was not aware as of Saturday morning when he went to his farm.
"We arrived on Friday evening in Daura. The President went to his farm at 6 am or thereabouts when the report had not broken out. So, for anyone to now say he has chosen to visit his cows, instead of the parents of the students, is mischief.
"Let me tell you; we are careful about one thing. We don't want politics to divert attention from rescuing these boys. So all this 'touts', we will ignore them because the focus is on rescuing these boys. By God's grace, they will be freed, and when they are back with their families, we will engage in politics," Shehu had argued.
He did not, however, disclose whether Buhari had plans to visit Kankara or not.
On Sunday, he also claimed that only ten students were with the bandits.
While speaking with the BBC Hausa Service, he had claimed that only ten children were in the captivity of the gunmen, according to their colleagues who escaped from the gunmen.
The number is below figures released by the school authority at the beginning.
Shehu had said his figure was based on the information he got from the school children who escaped from their abductors.