The presidency has said former president Olusegun Obasanjo must explain to Nigerians why he was absent at the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term on May 29.
The presidency expressed its position in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in reaction to claims by Obasanjo that he was not invited for either the inauguration or the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations.
According to the presidency, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, personally wrote a letter to the former president and was delivered to his mailing address.
The statement read: “The former President, Chief Olusegun 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,” Shehu said.
“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.
“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 presidency said the letter was duly received and acknowledged by the Personal Secretary to the former president.
The statement added that the presidency should not be blamed for any mix-up that might have occurred in the secretariat of Obasanjo, insisting that it sent the letter as at when due.
“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,” he said.
“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,” the statement read.