Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, has distanced himself from the book presentation and campaign flag-off of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
In an announcement published in ThisDay newspaper on Monday, Anyaoku was listed as the special guest of honour at the event that is currently ongoing in Abuja.
While flagging off his presidential campaign, Atiku will present three books on his “leadership style, contributions to democratic and constitutional growth in Nigeria.”
According to the announcement, former Vice President Namadi Sambo will chair the occasion, the chief host will be Philip Aduda, Prof Maxwell Gidado (SAN) will review the books while the royal father of the day will be Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha.
However, in a statement on Tuesday, Anyaoku denied being contacted and giving his consent to be part of the event.
“My attention has been drawn to the announcement in ThisDay newspaper of 26/9/22 that I would be a Special Guest of Honour at Atiku Abubakar’s book presentation scheduled for 28th September at Chida Hotels Events Centre in Abuja,” the former diplomat said in the statement.
“Given the understandable propensity to read political meanings in public associations at this time of competition by political parties in the context of 2023 national elections, I wish to unequivocally state that nobody sought and obtained my agreement to be present at this particular book presentation.”
Anyaoku noted that he had accepted apologies from the organisers of the event, maintaining his stance to be non-partisan.
“I have accepted the unreserved apologies rendered to me by the organisers of the event, and wish to reiterate that I remain non-partisan in praying that my country Nigeria will in 2023 elect people of proven competence and character whose sole mission will be to serve the national interests,” the 89-year-old said.