Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has responded to former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, that he was not invited to 2019 presidential inauguration and Democracy Day, insisting a formal invitation was extended to him.
Former heads of state and presidents were absent at the venue of the 2019 Democracy Day celebrations on Wednesday.
The former leaders including Yakubu Gowon, Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, as well as former military leaders Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalam Abubakar were absent at the event which held at the Eagles’ Square in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier declared June 12 Nigeria’s Democracy Day. The inaugural celebration, had in attendance numerous pro-June 12 supporters.
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, “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.
“Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country toward polarisation 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, 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.”