IgbereTV reports that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and
Publicity, Femi Adesina while speaking on This Morning programme on TVC
News, revealed that the person who leaked President Mohammadu Buhari’s
draft speech hours before he delivered his address to the nation on
Monday night, has been traced.
According to Adesina, the version
released was full of errors and was already circulating on social media
before the actual broadcast to the nation.
Asked to clear the
confusion on the lockdown where some newspapers carried out different
date, the Presidential Spokesman said: “There is just one authentic copy
of the broadcast which is the one released from the media office. But
then, I recognise that a couple of hours before the broadcast itself, a
copy of the purported speech had been circulating particularly on
WhatsApp. If you compare the two, yes there are some similarities but
then there are also wide differences.
“You have just mentioned
the effective day particularly of the gradual easing of the lockdown.
What happened was that somebody got hold of the initial draft of the
broadcast and played hanky panky with it by releasing it through the
social media. If you know the processes that a broadcast goes through
before it gets recorded – the script will originate from the relevant
government agency, department, parastatal of ministry, whoever heads
that agency, ministry or parastatal sign up on it and then they sent it
to the presidential office.
“When it gets to the presidential
office, it gets through a number of hands again, because the President’s
thoughts must be infused and injected into that draft. There are some
things that may be in it that the President may completely not agree
with. “Finally, it comes to the media office, and I sign on it which I
also did yesterday before the broadcast was recorded – I signed on the
final copy before the broadcast was recorded.
“So some hours
before the recording was played back, I saw something circulating on
social media, I knew that that was not the copy that I signed off on.
Then we began to investigate. It has been found out that the original
script from inception was what somebody laid hands-on and released to
the social media.”
Speaking on some mainstream media reporting
from the leaked speech, Adesina said: “Well, mainstream media knows how
we release our statements – whatever documents that we are releasing.
They should know how to authenticate it. It comes from the media office.
So if any mainstream media is now taking its information from the
social media, that mainstream media is to be blamed because we duly
released the authentic copy of that broadcast by 8:06 PM. So the
mainstream media should not have depended on a leaked copy which turns
out to have many discrepancies compared with the original and final
On the reopening of worship centres and schools and
whether it is a bit hasty considering the lives of the children, the
Presidential spokesman said, “what Mr. President said yesterday was
that, from Monday, May 4, there will be a gradual opening up and what
that means is that the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 will give a
guideline on what can be done and what can’t be done under that gradual
“Remember that the President stressed yesterday that
some other things will continue like social distancing, not congregating
for religious events – it’s on the broadcast yesterday. But the
Presidential Taskforce will continue to advise on how we can open up and
return to normal life gradually.”
Asked if the same rule applied
to schools and school children, Adesina said, “yes but if you look at
what the Army did about a week ago, it opened up its schools but not at
every level. Those who are in senior secondary schools preparing for
WAEC are supposed to return to school to write their exams and he said
gradually it will go down to different grades. I don’t want to preempt
what the guidelines of the Presidential Taskforce will be like but
definitely, there will be a guideline on how schools can begin to
reopen. It may not be the whole school because if a school has a
population of one thousand it may have an effect. But those who are
going to write WAEC are the ones to resume.”