Following media reports that former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, did not attend the last Democracy Day celebrations because he was not duly invited, the Presidency has said either the former leader or those running his secretariat were economical with the truth.
In a statement by a presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, the Presidency said 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.
Said Garba’s statement, “Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country toward polarization have cashed in on it, throwing all manner of rubbish at the Buhari Presidency.
“The fact remains that the Secretary 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, 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”.
A media aide to Obasanjo, Kehinde Akinyemi, was quoted as saying his boss was not invited to the June 12 event.
“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 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.”
Other than Obasanjo, former living leaders like Goodluck Jonathan, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ernest Shonekan were absent at the event.