The outgoing Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dalhatu Tafida, is currently on a thank you tour of some cities before his tenure ends on August 15. So far, he has visited Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and Belfast.
Last weekend, he also visited Birmingham where he spoke with the Nigerian community.
One story which Tafida addressed was the alleged refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to ride in a Rolls Royce from the Heathrow Airport when visiting Britain as a president- elect in May 2015.
According to Tafida, the president did not turn the offer because it was not made to him.
“The story is not true. It didn’t happen. I went to the airport to receive him right from the plane.
I took him to where he stayed and we left back to Nigeria together. He rode from the airport with me in my official car, which is a bullet proof Mercedes Benz (marked FGN1). To God who made me, Buhari did not refuse anything we gave him.
That was what I gave him for the six days he spent. Even, when he took over, I called him, I spoke to him. Buhari is my brother,” said Tafida, who has been high commissioner for eight years.
Tafida said that even though the High Commission has a Rolls Royce, “we didn’t send rolls Royce to pick Buhari”.
Another revelation made by Tafida was that more than £5 million of stolen funds recovered from the funds stolen by former Bayelsa State Governor Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha was handed back to the state government in 2012.
He disclosed that the money was received from the British authorities and handed over to two government officials from Bayelsa State, who came to London for the transfer.
He told his audience that the money was lodged a Bayelsa State government account with the London branch of First Bank Plc.
Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached, tried and convicted, got a presidential pardon in March 2013 – courtesy of former President Goodluck Jonathan.