President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday failed to resume work at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
That would have been their first day in their respective offices having taken their oaths of office on Friday, a day declared as public holiday by the Federal Government.
As early as 7am, workers of the Presidential Villa reported for duties in readiness to formally receive Buhari and Osinbajo.
There were fears that with his disciplined posture, Buhari might want to take workers unawares by reporting to work early.
State House correspondents had also gathered very early at the briefing room with the aim of capturing the resumption of the duo.
The waiting game however continued until about noon with the President and Vice President not in sight.
News later filtered in that rather than resuming at the Presidential Villa, Buhari had gone to the Defence House where he granted audience to some groups and individuals.
Defence House is the official residence of the nation’s President-elect.
Buhari had been utilising the facility located in the Maitama District of the Federal Capital Territory shortly after he was declared winner of the March 28 presidential election.
The villa workers became relaxed immediately it became clear that the President and the Vice President would not come to the villa.
Both the President and the Vice President have yet to relocate to their official residences in the villa.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had told The PUNCH on Sunday that Buhari would not relocate to the villa until the ongoing cleaning and refurbishing work in his official residence was completed.
He said, “As far as the President is concerned, the place (his official residence) is not ready yet.
“Workers are cleaning and refurbishing the place.
“Once the exercise is completed, the President will move in.”
When asked to be specific on how soon Buhari would move in, Shehu said he believed it would not take time.
Speaking on the same issue in an interview with reporters at Defence House, Abuja on Monday, Shehu said the President could not move to the Villa because unnamed workers at the official residence of the President “claim some renovation was going on and the place is being cleaned up for his occupation.”
Shehu said, “The contractors are working probably at their own pace, if I need to know or if you need to know this, probably we have to talk to someone.
“I’m not saying he’s comfortable where he is at his rented house but he is operating from there, at the moment. When the villa is ready, he will move.”
Responding to a question as to when the President will make public the names of additional appointees especially ministers, the Presidential aide said, “I have no idea of it.
“It is not something anybody will rush because you know that the National Assembly must have to approve. When are you going to have the National Assembly in place? That is the question.”