The Presidency has responded to claims that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo was not invited to the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations in Abuja.
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu, in a statement, said that Obasanjo “owes an answer to Nigerians on his absence from the 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day celebration because the claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained.”
Speaking to Vanguard earlier this week, Obasanjo’s media aide Kehinde Akinyemi said the former president did not get the invitation.
“The former President did not get the invitation. I did not say that he was not invited but he did not get the invitation to attend the event,” Mr Akinyemi said in a June 16 report by the Vanguard Newspaper. The invitation might have been lost in transit. What I can say is that Baba did not get the invitation,” Akinyemi was quoted as saying.
In his statement, Garba Shehu said:
The fact remains that the Sec. to the Government, Boss Mustapha wrote on May 16th, 2019 to: “His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road, Ibara, http://P.O.Box 2286, Abeokuta, Ogun State.”
The invitation was sent to Chief Obasanjo’s known forwarding address, detailing out all the major events, and the invitation cards were delivered by a reputable courier company as confirmed.
The receipt of the letter and invitation cards as delivered by the courier company was confirmed by Mr. Taiwo Ojo, the long standing Personal Secretary to the former President.
If, in the circumstance, Chief Obasanjo did not see or receive the letter and invitation cards as published by Vanguard newspaper (Page 16, June 16, 2019) and several other news platforms, then the former President needs to find out what is happening with his own secretariat.
The government office did its job diligently and should not be blemished for no reason.
Obasanjo, as well as all other living heads of state of Nigeria, were absent at the first Democracy Day to be celebrated on June 12th.