- Garba Shehu has offered an explanation on behalf of the presidency over an embarrassing situation on Tuesday, November 17
- A hall packed full of south-south leaders in Port Harcourt waiting for a federal government delegation were ignored without notice
- Shehu said the decision not to show up was due to an emergency meeting summoned by the president
The presidency has explained why a federal government delegation failed to show up in Port Harcourt, Rivers state on Tuesday, November 17.
The federal government team had cancelled a meeting with South-South stakeholders abruptly without prior notice to the attendees.
The attendees included the six governors in the region, traditional rulers, youth and women leaders, as well other opinion leaders.
Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, on Wednesday, November 18, said in a statement that the meeting was not cancelled out of disrespect.
He said the cancellation was necessitated by an emergency security meeting summoned by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The delegation to the meeting, under the chief of staff to the president, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, ministers and heads of security and intelligence agencies were in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting.
“This information and regret for the inconvenience caused were conveyed to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.”
Nigerians have been reacting to the explanation given by the presidency.
Valentine Itenebe wrote on Facebook:
“Our leaders from the south-south are not kids. When the meeting was no longer sure to hold again then you communicate immediately not keeping our leaders waiting from 11 am till 3 pm. You all should do and go away. Every day is from one excuse to the other in this government of the north, for the north and by the north.
“And again this message you dropped here is not an apology our leaders demanded. You must type the apology message on the presidency letterhead paper and publish it to all the media before we will listen to you.”
Excellency Arthur Ugochukwu asked:
“Does this suffix for a simple apology?”
Comrade Prince A Okporua wrote:
“What you have done is a play on words, a series of security meetings with the same failed and unproductive service chiefs. Shame.”
Recall that leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone demanded a public apology from the federal government over the botched meeting.
They said that the action of the federal government amounted to treating the South-South and its people with disdain, and warned on the consequences of undermining the zone.
2023 election: Why a northerner should be President again - Shettima | Legit TV