On Monday, April 27, President Buhari had a nationwide broadcast at 8 pm. However, just before it started, the full text of his speech leaked and was shared on all social media platforms.
Nigerians did video recordings showing how they were reading the speech alongside President Buhari.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has now come out to explain what had happened.
In a chat with TVC today, Adesina said someone got a hold of the draft speech which he had signed off and released it to the press. He pointed out that the one he signed on for the President to read was more detailed than the one that was circulated.
Adesina during the interview 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.
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 copy,” he said.