Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday spoke with his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, on the telephone for the first time since he embarked on his extended medical vacation on January 19.
Adesina who felt elated about the development confirmed the conversation on his Facebook page and Twitter handle.
He had during previous interviews said he was only speaking with those around the President.
Giving details of his discussion with the President, Adesina said the Personal Assistant to the President, Tunde Sabiu, called him at exactly 2.43pm and asked that he hold on for the President.
On recognition of the President’s voice, Adesina said he screamed and said, “Mr President, I have missed you. How are you, sir?”
He continued, “He (the President) first laughed. That familiar laugh. Then he said ‘I am still resting. Thank you for holding out against mischief makers.’
“I said it was my duty, the very least I could do, adding how happy I was to speak with him. He asked ‘How is your family?’
“I said we were fine, and he asked me to extend his greetings to them. ‘I hope to call you again,’ Mr President said, and I bade him farewell, adding ‘Best wishes, sir.’”
Adesina described the telephone conversation as a defining moment for him.
He said, “It was a defining moment for me. For more than a month, I had always spoken with aides who are with the President in London.
“Not once did I ask them to take the phone to him, deliberately so, because I didn’t need to speak with him to validate the fact that he was alive. And since he was on vacation, he had a right to his privacy.
“Of his own volition, President Buhari spoke with me. It made my day. Even if he hadn’t done so, he would have remained my President, my leader, and my man. Any day.”