The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment on Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State at the meeting with South East leaders was quoted out of context.
Buhari was quoted as saying: “I’ll be careful with your future invitations” at end of his speech at the occasion.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, accused “purveyors of disinformation” of being the “brains behind the fake news.”
According to him, Buhari at the event made it clear that he was overwhelmed by the reception and galaxy of personalities that travelled from the five South-Eastern states to have a heart-to-heart discussion with him in Owerri.
Adesina explained that the president had assumed that he was in the State to commission projects alone, but the governor pulled a surprise on him with the calibre of over 50 elders that came to receive him.
The statement read in part: “We have observed that President Buhari’s concluding remarks at the meeting with South East leaders during his one day visit to Imo State is being deliberately contorted and twisted out of context.
“The purveyors of disinformation want Nigerians to believe that the President bluntly told Governor Uzodinma, ‘I’ll be careful with your future invitations.’
“They have adduced different meanings to the phrase, contrary to the context wherein the President spoke during his successful dialogue with leaders of thought from Igbo land.
“When he arrived at the banquet hall of Imo State Government House for his last assignment in Owerri, the President was welcomed by over 50 leaders from the South East who had waited patiently for him for a Town Hall engagement, after commissioning strategic projects in the State.
“The President began his extempore speech by acknowledging the calibre of personalities present at the dialogue including the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor; former Chief of General Staff, retired Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
“Former Military Governor in old Imo State; Sen. Ike Nwachukwu; the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe; Chairman of the South East Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi; Deputy Governors of Abia, Anambra and the SSG of Enugu State, who represented the governor.