Nigeria’s presidency has denied a newspaper report alleging that President Goodluck Jonathan sought to visit former President Ibrahim Babangida in Minna to show him “the spirit of comradeship” during Ramadan.
The presidency in a statement by Reuben Abati slammed the report as ‘mischievous’ and ‘completely untrue’. It said that on the contrary, the President, invites Nigerians from all walks of life to break fast with him at the State House in Abuja, rather than the president going to the home of any Nigerian.
“Although President Jonathan participates in the Ramadan fast every year in solidarity with Nigerians of the Islamic faith, he has never as Vice President or President of the country visited the residence of any individual to break his fast.
“Rather, it has been the President’s custom to regularly invite Moslems from all strata of society to break their fast with him at the Presidential Villa during the month of Ramadan.
“In keeping with that established practice, President Jonathan has been busy hosting Moslems, most evenings of the current Ramadan season.
“As much as he respects and holds former President Babangida in high regard, President Jonathan has never indicated any interest in visiting him at Minna during the current Ramadan.
“Therefore, there could not have been any “turning down” of a visit by President Jonathan by the former president.
The statement demanded a full retraction of the report and an apology by its publishers.