Why I Did Not Attend South East Summit – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has explained his absence from the south-east economic and security summit in Enugu.
Speaking through ?Garba Shehu, his spokesman, Buhari said he aborted the trip because he did not want to disrupt Christmas celebrations in the region.
Buhari was expected to declare open the summit, which held in Enugu, on Thursday, but his absence fuelled speculations that he was deliberately snubbing Ndigbo.
But Shehu said Buhari had asked for a postponement of the event, and the organisers insisted it would go on, forcing him to cancel his visit.
Shehu said: “Contrary to media reports alleging that President Muhammadu Buhari snubbed the recent South-East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu, below is the accurate account:
“The president was presented with a request to attend the Economic and Security Summit by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
“The president happily accepted. The visit to Enugu was scheduled for Thursday 22nd as can be found on the weekly programme. After this was done, some other stakeholders from the southeast came and advised him to not go in view of the closeness of the date to Christmas; that given the sensitivity of the period to the people, a presidential visit may come with overexertion and possibly, be disruptive of Christmas.
“In view of this, President Buhari requested that the event be pushed forward to January, 2017. Given his nature, he did not insist. He said if the change of date is not possible, then the event can go on without him. That is what the organizers chose to do.
“The president did not, and he absolutely has no reason to snub anyone one?.”