Former Presidential spokesperson apologises over Villa security incident

Segun Adeniyi
Olusegun Adeniyi [Photo: FridayPosts.Com]

Former Presidential spokesperson, Segun Adeniyi, has apologised for his Twitter comment after security operatives denied him entry into the Villa for an official event for failing to provide an invitation card.

“Given the fact that a story has been generated out of the issue, I want to apologise to the security man who turned me back since the consensus is that he was simply doing his job,” Mr. Adeniyi said in a tweet on his handle.

Mr. Adeniyi said he had received an invitation on Monday from the senior special adviser to the President on Media, Garba Shehu, to attend the presentation of a book documenting the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. 

The event was scheduled for 11 o’clock in the morning at the banquet hall of the presidential villa on Thursday.

He said in the morning of Thursday, he received a text message from Mr. Shehu notifying him of a shift  in the time for the event to noon.

However, Mr. Adeniyi said when he was ready to go for the event, he discovered he had misplaced the invitation card, and searched everywhere and could not find it.

By 12.02 p.m, he said he sent Mr.

Shehu a text message to inform him he could not find his card, requesting him to leave his name with the security at the villa gate.

Unfortunately, he said, he did not get any reply from the presidential aide as his telephone line did not connect.
 
“By the time I got to the Banquet Hall gate, before the security men could ask me any question, I explained that I was invited by Mallam Garba Shehu, and that I misplaced my card, while efforts to reach him failed. 

“I also identified myself as a journalist and former presidential spokesman. After consulting with his colleagues, the security man said I could drive into the premises, and I did.
  
“Inside, as I moved to enter the hall, I did the same to the security man in charge. I explained the challenge I had, and identified myself. The guy greeted me warmly saying, “I knew your face is familiar” and he was actually very friendly. But, when I asked whether I could go in, he told me: “Sir, without a card, I cannot allow you to enter,” Mr. Adeniyi explained in a write-up published on his Twitter page.
 
With the security man’s refusal of his entry into the Hall Mr. Adeniyi said he turned back and was about leaving when two other security men who were not privy to the earlier discussion wanted to know what the issue was. 

Despite their intervention, he  said the first security man still refused to allow him go into the  hall.

Having turned back and left the Villa, Mr. Adeniyi tweeted about the incident on his Twitter handle, @olusegunverdict: “Garba Shehu invited me for book launch at Villa.

Misplaced IV. Got to villa, recognised by security men but one insisted I couldn’t go on. Real shame! Going back…”

The tweet has sparked off serious controversy among some Nigerians who expressed diverse views about the incident.

While some criticised the security operatives for their conduct, most of the opinions blamed Mr. Adeniyi for disregarding official protocol and expecting to be allowed entry to the Villa without an invitation card.

In his subsequent reaction, Mr. Adeniyi issued a clarification on his Twitter handle to explain what really happened at the Villa.

In the clarification, he apologised  to all parties concerned in the incident, including the security men at the Villa.

“In view of the controversy that my tweet earlier today has generated on social media, I want to make the following clarifications.

“However, I have read all the comments that followed my tweet on the issue, and while I have responded to some, I want to make it clear that the intention behind it was not to embarrass anybody, or to show ‘bigmanism’, but rather that when people are in sensitive positions, they also make judgment calls. And the way they do that matters. 

“Perhaps, if the whole incident had ended between me and the security guy without any third party attempting to mediate, I would not have queried his professionalism, because he was doing his job. 

“The whole issue, for me, boiled down to his blunt refusal to allow others mediate by offering a solution that would not, in any way, have compromised him or his job.

“Even at that, given the fact that a story has been generated out of the issue, I want to apologise to the security man who turned me back since the consensus is that he was simply doing his job (even when he could have done it differently without compromising the rationale for it). 

“I also want to apologise to Mallam Garba Shehu, because it is not my intention to embarrass him.

Ordinarily, I am very deliberative in what I post and my intention was not to draw any unnecessary attention to myself or say an exception should be made for me at the expense of security or established process,” Mr. Adeniyi said.


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  • Maitama Tambari

    “Perhaps, if the whole incident had ended between me and the security guy without any third party attempting to mediate, I would not have queried his professionalism, because he was doing his job.”
    Then why did you tweet out to social media? This is typical attitude of Nigerians elites. Create crisis ‘tweets’ to generate on deserve sympathy from public and portrait the government in bad light ‘negative reaction towards government.’

    Third party intervention has nothing to do with the tweet but personal impromptu intentions. Some of us who had worked in the Villa for many years would not dare approach the gate without confirmation that the name is properly presented and accepted at all the entrances through the initial Office of invitation.

    This is a learning curve but knowing Nigerians, it is going to repeat itself.

    • abodes_124

      I expressed my appreciation to a policeman who recently stopped by ‘official car’ at a check point.[I am usually waved through], had the boot opened and looked at the vehicles papers and then politely let me through. In my opinion security assessment should encompass many elements not just an official car or an official invitation. Someone meaning to do harm can easily get a real or fake invitation or you may a kidnap victim in your official car. That is another point that needs stressing in this conversation

  • persona

    This man is a recalcitrant in every form.
    1- You were notified of a change in time to noon but it was after the event had started that you reverted to the person who invited you
    2- He was told to not compromise another man’s job, morality dictates that you should have asked/ told those mediating to back off and let the right thing be done at all times
    3- You chose to go against your “position” by tweeting about a personal incident while a man charged with his duty never informed anyone and as such didn’t embarrass you.
    4- You still are not remorseful in anyway because your position is based on the backlash rather than a proper apology.
    5- recently, NASS members were screened and you think you deserve a pass at the gate because…its your father’s enclave ?
    6- You don’t even understand the purpose of an invitation. Its an exclusive access to which several journalists never got and above all, you treated it with disdain even as your guest kept you in the loop.
    It is sad that the average Nigerian display all forms of corruption daily. Trying to bribe your way through by stating your former position as against the much needed IV is wrong and the person who allowed you in based on familiarity is about to lose his job now because anyone with a face mask could have been allowed in also.
    A security guard who is fooled by ” your face looks “similiar” is worse than an iPhone x that can distinguish twins.
    Your apology is not one, its a cover up rant after you have been shamed. Impunity would not be tolerated from the yeye elites anymore, too much privilege is what led you here in the first instance.

    • duwdu

      Couldn’t have put it any better, persona, and nothing to add. Well done with your well articulated, solid points!

      ……..
      P34c3
      …..

      • persona

        Thanks sir for the comment.
        I detest an entitled mindset and a useless attempt to veil a complaint as an apology.
        They all seem to forget that the internet never forgets and his feeble attempt further exposed his disdain by finding an IV after an even had already started.

        • duwdu

          BTW, please tweet your original points on Mr. Adeniyi’s timeline, if not already; from all I’ve read by/about him, I’m sure Mr. Adeniyi will in fact appreciate the wisdom and brilliance in the series of tweets your points will transform into.

          ……..
          P34c3
          …..

    • Eluba Inas

      Very well analyzed. I wanted to add my contribution, but after reading yours, you have said it all. It is time for Nigerians to realize change starts with me (us), if we want to free ourselves from the shackles of impunity.

    • abodes_124

      so this is another example of ‘corruption’ or corruption fighting back’. Abeg!

    • Emmanuel Ufondu

      Well said, apologies should be unqualified and you then wait to know if it is accepted!

  • tundemash

    When would the e-rats on this forum who, as usual, blamed and abused the President on this story apologise ? Some don’t even bother to reason now before they blame Buhari for everything that happens to them; from the sun not shining on their side of the town, to them not being able to get their willy up with their wife or girlfriend.

    • Julius

      Yes, and when you respond to them in kind, they call you tribalist…forgetting the blame other syndrome they carry with them daily. They will blame Buhari if it rains too much too much too.

    • abodes_124

      here is one

  • Afo

    Very insincere and camouflaging. Worsening the issue for yourself and family: this is not apology but usual grandstanding associated with PDP and corrupt Nigerians. There is order now in the Villa.

    • abodes_124

      aha politics has come into it. i expect lai and onochies boys to weigh in now with daft comments.

  • Julius

    Well done sir. Hope all the other ‘big men’ will learn from this. God bless !!

  • JasV

    As far as we know you will serve any government in power. Who knows after Obasanjo, Jonathan etc you might have gotten money from Boko haram to serve them also. Please stay home next time if you have drank akamu with your invitation card.

    • abodes_124

      Do try and make serious comment. You will be more respected for that.

  • wode

    It’s really a sign of maturity and gentlemanliness to realize making a mistake and apologizing for the mistake made.

    Meanwhile, I don’t see the reason for sending that type of tweet in the first place. What exactly did Mr Segun wanted to achieve broadcasting in social media the information about the consequence of his own mistake – misplacing the card. I expected him to be more circumspect. More so, his position for the apology doesn’t really seem to be out of conviction but only for the fact that it’s the “consensus” that the security man was doing his job, Although, it isn’t entirely a bad idea to premise his apology on that, he would have done well to just tender an unqualified apologies.

    We are all human and are prone to making mistakes. He only earns more of my respect for this.

    • persona

      His “apology” is not from a position of conviction but from a public tutoring of someone who ordinarily should know.
      The game of ethics and privileges should never be taught to someone who should know…its like telling a prince how to dine or palace etiquettes.
      Adeniyi is feeling entitled, his guest updated the details of the event and yet, past the event scheduled time to begin, you begin to find invite and have the temerity to cast a public aspersion for a private event that he was privileged to have been invited.
      He has lost every regard before me and i now begin to take his several accounts as one which is tainted and an attempt to do a job as against do the right thing.
      A section of the country has been asking for more attention, you have one and then treat it with disdain….
      A consensus should never be the basis for an apology and when that is the case, you should gracefully accept it than try to explain that a man who is hired to do his job should have stood down because a “consensus” tried to lobby him into the event without proper authorization.
      As the saying goes, sometimes, less is more…he should have taken it as a consequence of him not doing the right thing than an attempt to embarrass his guest and FG.

      • wode

        Life is a teacher… he would have learnt a great deal from this singular misdeed.

      • abodes_124

        All points taken. the security man was doing his job and cannot be blamed. it was beyond his pay grade to make a decision based on common sense. It needed the intervention of a superior supervising officer who would analyse and weigh the situation taking into account that an invitation card should be but one element of a security assessment as anyone could quite easily borrow, steal or forge one. I would prefer a security man who applies his common sense to the rules that guide his operations but if in doubt about their cognitive abilities I would prefer one that stuck to the rules laid out. There is often no black and white to every situation in life.

    • Frank

      Wode, you have simply spoke my mind. Segun had no reason for the first tweet at all. In a civilised and secure clime, he could have been sort out and arrested immediately he sent out the tweet. Who knows who had custody of the tweet at the missing tweet?? It could be in the wrong hands. Some may even suggest that he traded it and the consequences could be anything. For someone that should know I am really ashamed for him that he came out broadcasting his school boy carelessness

      Fodia

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    That’s what happens to twitter-happy folks who can’t wait to show off their status. Since you didn’t connect with Garba Shehu about the missing IV there is no reason for you to still proceed to the event. And as was clearly demonstrated by the security person at the entrance to the hall, PROTOCOL MATTERS!

  • Onye Obosi

    Who is he?

  • Mamman Bako

    Self-Entitlement Syndrome caused you this embarrassment, sadly you chose to blame someone else. This further buttress the fact that you are a man with a bloated ego. ‘Hope you’ve learnt a lesson or two by this.

    • Michael

      Where was the blame from Mr Adeniyi? The first twit he posted was simply stating what happened. He did not criticise anyone but just stated the facts. It’s ridiculous that there was no system in place for someone like him. People can misplace Invitations. The security officer who refused him entry was being high handed.

      • Adeyi

        The system for people like him was if he could have reached Mallam Garba Shehu to bail him out. Unfortunately his message went to ‘Voicemail.’ Invitation card is invitation card, and if you misplaced yours, not even a text message from Garba Shehu could grant you entry.

      • pambegua

        He only want to make pmb look bad. The story he left his card is a lie. He intentionally do it to make the ruling party look bad but it backfired

    • Emmanuel Ufondu

      Gbam!

  • thusspokez

    Despite their intervention, he said the first security man still refused to allow him go into the hall.
    Having turned back and left the Villa, Mr. Adeniyi tweeted about the incident on his Twitter handle, @olusegunverdict: “Garba Shehu invited me for book launch at Villa.

    I seriously don’t get the noise this Segun Adeniyi is making on twitter. BTW the Mr “first security man” deserves a promotion for doing his job very well in a non-emotional manner.

    Why would Garba Shehu be inviting someone to an event which he was not the organiser but more seriously, which was attended by the president and his VP.

    All attendants issued an invitation would usually go through background checks by the president’s security team. If Segun Adeniyi was a former presidential spokesperson, he might well be a disaffected former employee and therefore potentially a high security risk to his former employer. Even with an invitation card, he ought to have been padded down by the security at the entrance, to make sure that he was not carrying a weapon.

  • grand maze

    This is good and what is lacking in our populace. Being humble enough to accept a mistake and offering apology because no one is beyond mistakes.

  • grand maze

    I think Mr Adeniyi acted out of initial anger. It is always good to allow our anger simmer down and we evaluate our actions

  • KBE

    Apology accepted. Let this case rest please folks. He misplaced his IV and thought that self recognition would pave way for him but that did not happen. That means he is afterall human. Lessons learnt and we can now move on. Thank you.

  • pambegua

    All these PDP people always looking for any slight opportunity to blame PMB. You left your card at home and you came and discredit a security man doing his job

  • shola

    Mr. Adeniyi, in future, keep your invitation card(s) with your wife. Women have more brain than men – they are highly multitasking.

  • Emmanuel Ufondu

    I don’t know this man very well but reading just this I don’t think he meant to apologize to anyone. The attention he seeks is bewildering!