The Presidency through the Media Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, has reacted to the twist of President Muhammadu Buhari’ s speech during his one- day visit to Imo State.
Mr. Adesina said the President was misquoted when he told the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma that ” I’ ll be careful with your future invitations, ” stressing that Nigerians have adduced different meanings to the phrase.
The President’ s aide disclosed this in a statement titled: ” What President Buhari said (didn’ t say) in Imo State. ”
The statement reads in part, ” We have observed that President Buhari’ s concluding remarks at the meeting with southeast 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 Igboland.
” 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.
” His words were clear: ‘ I am overwhelmed by this reception, overwhelmed in the sense that when I accepted the invitation by the Imo State Governor, who wants to justify investments the government has done to the people of Imo State, I thought I would see the bridges, the roads, and a few renovations.
” He 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. But I think he has done what the military didn’ t like. He has achieved surprise. He has surprised me beyond description.
” Later, in his concluding statement at the same event, the President made reference to his earlier remarks on the ‘ surprise’ action pulled by the Governor. On a lighter note, he quipped: ‘ Governor of Imo State, I cannot thank you enough, but I will be careful with your future invitations. ‘
” 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, ” the statement stated.