The Presidency on Wednesday asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to explain why he was absent from the maiden Democracy Day on June 12.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the Presidency insisted Obasanjo was invited for the event in Abuja.
The statement said, “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo owes an answer to Nigerians on his absence from the 2019 Presidential inauguration and Democracy Day celebration because the claim that he was not invited or he did not receive an invitation cannot be sustained.
“Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country towards polarisation have cashed in on it, throwing all manner of rubbish at the Buhari Presidency.
“The fact remains that the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha, wrote on May 16, 2019 to: ‘His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Agbe L’Oba House, Quarry Road, Ibara, P.O.Box 2286, Abeokuta, Ogun State.’
“The invitation was sent to Chief 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.
“If Chief Obasanjo did not see or receive the letter and invitation cards, then the former President needs to find out what is happening with his own secretariat.
“The government office did its job diligently and should not be blemished for no reason.”
During his tenure Obasanjo recognised May 29 as Democracy Day.
Buhari, who last week named the National Stadium in Abuja after Chief MKO Abiola, had earlier declared June 12 as the country’s Democracy Day in recognition of the sacrifices Abiola made for democracy to thrive in the country.