The planned trip of President Muhammadu Buhari to Rivers State to launch the cleanup of Ogoni land, polluted by years of oil exploration and production, has been cancelled.
Multiple sources at the president on Thursday was told that the president had not left the State House for the trip.
“Femi Adesina will issue a statement shortly,” a source who declined to be identified because he was not permitted to talk to the media, said, referring to one of the president’s spokespersons.
The clean up of the heavily polluted Ogoni land was recommended by the United Nation Environmental Programme, UNEP, in its report in 2011.
Another Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said he could not comment on the development.
The president’s special adviser on media and publicity, Mr. Adesina, could not be immediately reached. His telephone was switched off the multiple times our reporters called.
Two insiders at the State House suggested Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will represent Mr. Buhari at the event. But even that could not immediately be confirmed.
Laolu Akande, the spokesperson to Mr. Osinbajo could not be reached for comments. His known telephone line failed to connect the several times our reporter called.
The president’s cancelled the event even when his advanced team had already arrived Ogoni.
It is the second time in less than two weeks that Mr. Buhari would cancel a scheduled event outside Abuja.
On the night of May 22, the President suspended his scheduled official visit to Lagos State fixed for the morning of Monday, May 23, citing “scheduling difficulties” as reason.
Mr. Osinbajo was then detailed to proceed to the nation’s commercial capital to represent Mr. Buhari at the planned presidential working visit.