The International Conference Centre in Abuja, where the book presentation on the “Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria” took place on Monday, was packed with scores of high-ranking politicians and offcials, excluding Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
But how come that Mr Abubakar ignored the event? A statement issued by Abubakar’s Media Adviser Paul Ibe reads in part: “For inexplicable reason, the former Vice President only received his invitation today (Monday) after the event had started.
It is on record that the invitation for the Turakin Adamawa was delivered to the Atiku Centre on October 1, 40 hours before the event of today, and only after the former vice president had travelled to Gombe to honour the invitation for the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the creation of creation of the state.
The former vice-president returned to Abuja on Sunday night, October 2. The invitation letter signed September 30, 2016, the last working day of the week was handed over to Atiku Abubakar today (Monday), after the programme had commenced.
As a former Vice-President well-schooled in the demands of protocol, it would have been inappropriate of the Turakin Adamawa to storm into the event while Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-chief was already seated with other dignitaries including visiting Heads of Government to the occasion.”
Mr Abubakar has, however, met former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Dame Patience at Nnamdi Azikwe airport in Abuja.
Atiku Abubakaris served as the second elected Vice-President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also contested for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against President Buhari in Lagos in 2015 but came third behind the incumbent president and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano state.