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Fani-Kayode’s tweet about Buhari’s inauguration is misleading

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President Muhammadu Buhari (left) and his wife, Aisha during the presidential inauguration at the Eagle Square, Abuja on May 29, 2019. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

The claims of Nigeria’s Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, that diplomatic community were absent at President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration on Wednesday contains misleading information.

Fani-Kayode also claimed that because only one former head of state, Yakubu Gowon, was present at the induction signals a “message”.

“Obasanjo- absent, Jonathan – absent, Babangida- absent, Shonekan – absent, Abdulsalam- absent, Representative of U.S. – absent, Representative of U.K. – absent, Gowon was the ONLY former Head of State that attended, Message delivered loud and clear,” Fani-Kayode shortly after the end of the inauguration.

Buhari was sworn in on Wednesday amid tight security in the Nigerian capital Abuja. He did not make a speech during the low-profile event attended by members of the diplomatic community.

After a series of checks, The Guardian can report that Fani-Kayode assertions are misleading.

Even though the federal government has said the inauguration will be a low-profile event, findings by The Guardian showed that the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing and other diplomats were present at both inauguration and state banquet.

In fact, UK’s high commissioner to Nigeria ran a mini commentary on her Twitter handle. She tweeted 7 times about the inauguration. Those seven tweets had 8 pictures in all.

Although The Guardian cannot at the moment confirm if American diplomats were at the inauguration, the US Embassy in Abuja and Consulate General in Lagos declared an unusual holiday to “observe” the day and also tweeted a congratulatory message to Buhari

Moreover, The UK and the US – the two countries Fani-Kayode claimed sent ‘loud messages’ to Buhari – congratulated Buhari after he was declared the winner of the election.

Also,  it is unclear if the presidency invited former Nigerian leaders as the activities formerly performed on May 29 as Democracy Day have been moved to June 12 and that the events slated for May 29, was low key.

Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohamed, disclosed in a media chat on May 20 that “world leaders will only attend the June 12 events.”


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