The Presidency on Wednesday disowned a widely-circulated statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that he had no reason to travel abroad for medicals if the Federal Government could not fix the nation’s hospitals.
The statement that had been trending online was said to have been made by Buhari who was then the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress at a February 2015 lecture at Chatham House, London.
“What is the difference between me and those who elected us to represent them, absolutely nothing! Why should the Nigerian President not fly with other Nigerian public? Why do I need to embark on a foreign trip as a President with a huge crowd with public funds? Why do I need to go for a medical trip abroad if we cannot make our hospital (sic) functional? Why do we need to send our children to school abroad if we cannot developed (sic) our university (sic) to compete with the foreign ones?” the statement had read.
But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement on Wednesday said the “concoction by haters and agents of disunity” was not part of the text of the lecture.
Adesina said those who created the falsehood simply wanted to de-market and demean the President, having realised that defeating him in a free and fair electoral contest was a tall order.
The presidential spokesman described the development as a new dimension in the orchestrated plot to diminish the President before millions of Nigerians who love and adore him.
He said the “mischievous elements” behind the move had earlier been twisting and misinterpreting Buhari’s words with a view to earning him opprobrium and infamy.
Adesina said when they discovered that the gambit was not achieving the desired results, they decided to go into the “utter fabrication of apocryphal statements, which they purvey through the social media.”
He said, “Fortunately, the Chatham House lecture of 2015 is in the public domain. The full text was published by many Nigerian newspapers, and is still available in their libraries and various websites.”