The Presidency has said the reactions by some sections of the public to the remarks made by President Muhammadu Buhari regarding future invitations to Imo State during his recent visit to the state are out of context.
The clarification was made known in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Sunday.
President Buhari had during his meeting with South-East leaders in Imo State last Thursday told Hope Uzodimma, Governor of Imo State, that he would be careful about future invitations to the state.
“He (Uzodinma) didn’t tell me he was going to get the whole Igbo leadership here. So, in the future, when he invites me, I’ll know what to do.”
“Governor of Imo state, I cannot thank you enough, but I will be careful with your future invitations,” Buhari had said during his concluding remarks.
However, there have been varying interpretations drawn from the president’s comment and posited on social media.
Clarifying Buhari’s closing comment in his statement, Adesina said the president’s comment was “deliberately” taken out of context.
According to the presidential spokesperson, his principal made the comment in elation as he was surprised by the warm welcome and the calibre of people that came out to see him during the visit.
The statement read: “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.
“An elated President Buhari made it clear that he was expressly 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, the Imo State capital.
“The President’s historic visit to Imo State was very successful and the Igbo leaders who met him shared the same enthusiasm that his coming to the Eastern heartland would bring peace, foster unity, encourage good and better understanding among the citizenry.”