A statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu stated that the president had earlier accepted a request by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu to attend at the said date only for some stakeholders to tell him later that the date was close to Christmas and as such may clash with the peoples activities. According to the statement, the President craved for a new date in January, 2017 but was not obliged the date. To that end, he decided to stay back if the people could carry on without him. The statement read in full: “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 South East came and advised him not to 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 over exertion 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 could go on without him. That is what the organizers chose to do.”
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