The Presidency on Wednesday said claims by former president Olusegun Obasanjo that he was not invited for the country’s Democracy Day celebrations were blatant lies, saying Obasanjo owes Nigerians an explanation for his unexplained absence.
“The claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained,” Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said in a statement.
Shehu added that the former president “owes an answer to Nigerians on his absence from the 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day celebration.”
Obasanjo, who led the country from 1999 and 2007, was absent at the event with claims he was not invited for the celebrations.
Although all Nigeria’s living former heads of state and presidents including Obasanjo failed to attend the inaugural June 12 Democracy Day celebration which held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, it is still unclear why all were absent.
Shehu, however, confirmed that an invitation was sent to Obasanjo’s known forwarding address, “detailing out all the major events, and the invitation cards were delivered by a reputable courier company as confirmed.”
“The receipt of the letter and invitation cards as delivered by the courier company was confirmed by Mr. Taiwo Ojo, the long-standing Personal Secretary to the former President,” he added.
The former president fell apart with President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections and endorsed the president’s closest rival and his estranged vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
Abubakar, who served as vice president to Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, was the flagbearer of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election