Shehu Garba, a presidential spokesman, has said former President Olusegun Obasanjo owes Nigerians an explanation over his absence at the inauguration ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obasanjo neither attended the May 29 event where Buhari took oath of office nor the Democracy Day held on June 12, an event well attended by African leaders at Eagle Square, Abuja.

While Yakubu Gowon attended the May 29 event, all former heads of state and presidents were absent at the June 12 Democracy Day celebrations.

In a statement on Wednesday, Shehu said Obasanjo was invited to both programmes but attended none.


He said the government played its part and would not take blames for Obasanjo’s absence.

“The former President, 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,” Shehu said.

“Since the claim was first made, elements in the polity that have deliberately and consistently been trying to lead the country toward polarization 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 16th, 2019.

“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.”

He said the personal secretary of the ex-president acknowledge receipt of the invitation.

“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 said.

“If, in the circumstance, Chief Obasanjo did not see or receive the letter and invitation cards as published by Vanguard newspaper (Page 16, June 16, 2019) and several other news platforms, 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.”

Shehu, however, did not provide evidence that the invitations were sent to and received by Obasanjo.