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Presidency explains why Buhari answered questions from prepared speech at UNGA after backlash

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Following the backlash that ensued after a video which captured President Buhari’s outing at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 went viral on social media, the Presidency has explained why the Nigerian President read from a prepared speech while serving as a discussant at the event which took place in New York on September 23 as part of the ongoing 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

At the Climate Action Summit with the topic “Towards a Resilient Future: Announcement of Plans to Mainstream Climate Risk in Decision Making” which had leaders from Nigeria, Fiji and England as its panelist, President Buhari was asked “Nigeria has a very young population; perhaps you might highlight what a pathway for a resilient future looks like?”

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However answering the question, President Buhari read from a prepared speech. The act generated a frenzy of comments on social media which insinuated that the Nigerian President couldn’t answer questions on his own.


Lashing out at critics, the Presidency stated that Buhari’s response to the question centered on Nigeria’s plan for the future as the session was to elicit responses from the panelists on behalf of their respective countries.

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“The goal of the panel was to elicit ‘announcements’ from the panelists on behalf of their respective countries: Fiji, Nigeria, Netherlands, the Bank of England, etc. In other words, panelists were billed to deliver remarks announcing their country/organisation plans to build a resilient, climate-sensitive future.

“To address the theme of the event, President Buhari chose to deliver prepared remarks And most importantly, he touched on the issues re: mainstreaming climate action for the future and for the young people of Nigeria” the Presidency said.

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