IMO, Nigeria—The Presidency on Sunday cleared the air on the varying interpretations drawn from the concluding remarks of President Muhammadu Buhari during his visit to Imo State.
Symbolic gestures are particularly evident in Africa. Igbo or the South-Easterners, more than any other group, attach importance to symbolic gestures. It is ingrained in their culture.
However, for ounce, Igbos are divided over the significance and symbolism of last week’s visit of President Buhari to the Eastern heartland. The visit of Buhari to Imo State has triggered many reactions.
Special Advisor to the President on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, explained this in a statement titled Presidency ‘What President Buhari said (didn’t say) in Imo State.
Interestingly, much focus has been on the president’s attire. In a picture that circulated on social media, Buhari wore ill-fitting oversized trousers and the traditional Igbo ‘Ishi agu’ clothes, which were complemented by non-matching shoes.
There have been arguments and counterarguments over whether the picture was accurate or photo-shopped. Though that has been considered an unnecessary diversion. The focus is on the essence, impact, and import of his visit.
Femi Adesina the president’s advisor said, “Purveyors of misinformation have deliberately contorted the president’s speech out of context.”
The statement read, “We have observed that President Buhari’s concluding remarks at the meeting with southeast leaders during his one-day visit to the Imo States is being deliberately contorted and twisted out of context.
“The purveyors of disinformation want Nigerians to believe that the president bluntly told governor Uzodinma, he’ll be careful with his future invitations.
“They have adduced different meanings to the phrase, contrary to the context wherein the president spoke during his successful dialogue with leaders of thought from Igbo land.
“When he arrived at the banquet hall of Imo State Government House for his last assignment in Owerri, the president was welcomed by over 50 leaders from South East who had waited patiently for him for a town hall engagement.”