This past week, a number of Nigerians have raised questions about presidential photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo. Some speculated he had quit the position while others assumed there really was nothing to be photographed since Bayo’s primary subject, the president himself had gone awol.
Yesterday however, President Muhammadu Buhari showed up at the Friday Jum’at service at the Aso Rock mosque after three long weeks. Within the hour that news of his appearance made rounds, we began to see photos too then a video clip followed. In that moment, we were so immersed in the euphoria of seeing the president again, we didn’t bother to ask who took the photos.
Today, another clip from the Jum’at service emerged. In it, we see the president questioning the people around him about his photographer’s whereabouts. He asked in his local language and also employed a bit of hand movement to drive his point home. He was told that Sunny, who apparently is another Aso Rock photographer was present in Bayo’s stead.
#Pressplay: President #Buhari visibly surprised when he couldn't find his personal photographer – #BayoOmobioro President #Buhari at the Aso Rock Mosque yesterday. He is seen here asking about his personal phographer #BayoOmoboriowo…. "ina Bayo?" he asks Then they respond and say "sunny is here." #Sunny is one of the villa photographers.
We took a few lessons from this short episode. President Buhari may very well be ill and struggling to keep up but he is super aware of his environment. Asking for his own photographer who others may have disregarded as trivial points to the fact that the president has his eyes on his staff. This almost counters the widespread theory that the president is being controlled by a cabal. To cast on an eye on everyone present at that mosque and single out his photographer means the president is so meticulous no single detail will pass without getting noticed.
Or it may just be that plus everything else, President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned about his photo archive and would want that moment where he finally stepped out of a three-week long hiatus to be finely captured and recorded in memories. But we doubt the president has thoughts for this level of vanity.
Also today, to put the matter to rest, two presidential media aides debunked rumours that Bayo Omoboriowo had been sacked. The Head of digital communications in the presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi tweeted, “One day one #fakenews. Ignore all the rumours about @BayoOmoboriowo no longer working for PMB. Not everything you read should be believed,”.
What we’re now worried about is why Bayo Omoboriowo’s job at the presidency is causing this much confusion.