I Don’t Need Your ‘Blood Money’ — Garba Shehu Rejects Birthday Gift From Ex-Presidential Aide

President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior media assistant, Garba Shehu, has rejected the sum of $50,000 offered to him as “birthday present” by a former presidential aide.

Shehu, who clocked 62 years on November 27, said he doesn’t partake of money made from people’s “sad ordeal”.

Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, had offered to give Shehu $50,000 as birthday gift on the condition that he spends “a weekend alone, without security” in Bama — a Boko Haram ravaged Local Government Area in Borno State.

Omokri said since Shehu claimed that his principal “deserves credit for tackling insecurity” in the country, he should have no worries spending a weekend in the local government.

Reno Omokri challenges Garba Shehu to spend a weekend in Boko Haram ravaged Bama LGA in Borno State.

THE WHISTLER recalls that a state of emergency was declared in Bama in 2011 after Boko Haram insurgents seized control of the LGA. The emergency rule persisted for years before the Nigerian military reclaimed it in 2015.

In a presentation he made at the 10th anniversary of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma (FUDMA), Katsina State, on Friday, Shehu was quoted as saying President Buhari deserves credit for tackling insecurity in the country.

But reacting on Saturday, Omokri took to the comments section of a Facebook post by Shehu to challenge him to spend a weekend in Bama LGA in exchange for the sum of $50,000 that would be paid “into an escrow account TODAY” or deposited “with any objective and neutral Third Party of Garba Shehu’s choice.”

Responding in a subsequent Facebook post on Sunday, Shehu said: “My message to anyone who made money using Leah Sharibu’s sad ordeal, and they are flaunting it remains unchanged: This is blood money. I don’t need any of it. Period.”

Omokri, however, commented directly under Shehu’s post, saying “If you have evidence that I have made money from Leah Sharibu’s ordeal, please expose it. You have access to the media. Alternatively, if any individual, church, foundation, government or country has given me even one kobo for Leah, please speak now, or forever remain silent.”

Sharibu was the only Christian girl held hostage by Boko Haram for allegedly refusing the terrorists’ demands to convert to Islam when the terrorists released 109 girls kidnapped from the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State, on February 19, 2020.

THE WHISTLER had reported how Omokri made a similar offer to Shehu in 2020 when the president’s aide claimed in an opinion piece that President Buhari’s administration had “demonstrated unquestionable capacity to protect Nigerians,” contrary to the general perception that insecurity had worsened under the president’s watch.

Omokri had tweeted on December 23, 2020: “Garba Shehu said General @MBuhari has made Nigeria safer. I vow to pay @GarShehu $20000 if he will spend a night without security in Koshobe, or Kware, verified by an independent journalist. I will give the funds to @DeleMomodu when Garba accepts to go.”

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