I didn’t attend Enugu summit because of Christmas – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has faulted claims that he backed out of a proposed visit to the southeast because of IPOB’s threat.

The president said he couldn’t attend the event because the date was not convenient for him.

A statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, narrated the story behind the president’s absence.

According to the statement, the President desired from the organizers to give him a new date in January 2017.

Because of the Christmas, he decided to stay back if the people could carry on without him.

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The statement reads in part:

“I cordially request that you ignore media reports alleging that President Buhari snubbed the recent South-East Economic and Security Summit in Enugu.

“Here is the accurate account of what really happened:

“The President was presented with a request to attend the Economic and Security Summit.

It was the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, that made the request.

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“The President happily accepted.

“The visit to Enugu was scheduled for Thursday 22nd as can be found on the weekly program.

“After this was done, some other stakeholders from the South East came and advised him.

“The President was told not to go in view of the closeness of the date to Christmas.

“The group said the period is a very sensitive one to the People of Sout-East.

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“A presidential visit may come with over exertion and possibly, be disruptive of Christmas.

“In view of this, President Buhari requested that the event is 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 could go on without him.

“That is what the organizers chose to do.”