Staff members at the State House in Abuja have taken an oath of secrecy and warned that disclosing confidential information without authorisation will attract penalties under public service rules.
This comes a few days after SaharaReporters exclusively reported how President Muhammadu Buhari secretly planned to visit the United Kingdom to avoid rampage or any “embarrassing protest” against him.
“President Buhari is leaving for the UK tomorrow or Saturday for a 4-day programme. The secret trip has not been announced yet to avoid rampage against him in London. Recall how his last trip attracted protests in London,” a presidential source had told SaharaReporters last Friday.
Days after the report, the presidency announced the Nigeria’s President would be traveling to London to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
According to Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, the summit will “provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices”.
Adesina said the summit will be co-hosted by Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
He added that the President will also spend some days for an earlier scheduled medical follow-up.
“After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021,” Adesina said.
Embarrassed by the report, Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar on Tuesday warned that disclosing confidential information by Aso Villa staff without authorisation will attract penalties under public service rules.
According to a statement signed by the Assistant Director Information, State House, Patience Tilley-Gyado, Umar disclosed this at the administration of Oath of Secrecy and Declaration of Secrecy to 42 staff of the State House, administered by Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court.
Tilley-Gyadi said the Permanent Secretary explained that the oaths were administered to staff members who handle classified documents.
‘‘We discovered that due to deployment of officers and retirement a number of our staff need to be placed under the radar so that they will be aware that their jobs, the kind of documents or information they are handling from day to day and beyond, are so important and must be safeguarded.
‘‘That’s the reason we decided to do the needful by administering the Oath of Secrecy, highlighting the importance of letting them know what information they are managing and the consequences of the breach of such information,’’ Umar was quoted as saying.
Recall that the late former President, Umar Yar’Adua also forced State House staff members to swear to an oath of secrecy after SaharaReporters reported that the number one citizen was critically ill.