The Presidency on Friday said President Goodluck Jonathan was never scheduled to visit Chibok, Borno State where over 200 schoolgirls were abducted as widely reported.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, made the clarification in a telephone interview with our correspondent.
Abati said every movement of the President were documented and that in this care, there was no record indicating that Jonathan would visit Chibok.
He added that his office always issue press statements when the President is traveling and the only one he issued on Thursday was that of Jonathan’s trip to Paris, France.
When confronted with the fact that his office only issue statements on President’s foreign trips, Abati said any visit to Chibok was an important one that would have attracted a formal statement from his office.
He insisted that the trip was not on Jonathan’s schedule for the day.
He said, “Every movement of the President is documented and backed by press statement. Chibok is very important, such trip would have been backed up by a press statement from my office.
“We never announce Chibok trip. It was not on the President’s schedule. All the reports about the so-called trips quoted some unnamed government officials. Let the journalists identify the officials.”
Shortly before the interview, Abati had claimed on his Twitter page that the reports of the President’s planned visit to Chibok were mere rumours.
He said it was wrong and maliciousness to allege that a “non-existent trip has been cancelled.”
The presidential spokesman wrote, “Every trip by the President is usually pre-announced. The Presidency did not at any time announce a trip to Chibok today (Friday). Ignore rumours.
“The statement issued by my office yesterday (Thursday) indicated very clearly that the President is scheduled to travel to Paris today (Friday).
“It is therefore wrong and malicious to allege that a non-existent trip has been cancelled.”