The Presidency has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari suddenly shelved his planned visit to Enugu for the South-East Economic and Security Summit.
A statement by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Friday debunked reports that the president snubbed the summit held in Enugu on Thursday.
He explained that the president cancelled the visit at the last minute after he was advised that the date was “close to Christmas”.
“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 to not 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 can go on without him. That is what the organizers chose to do,” said the statement.