SaharaReporters has joined the bandwagon mischievously truncating towards manipulating president Muhammadu Buhari’s statements at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) last Thursday.
Whereas the full statement initially presented what Buhari termed a “political reality” of voters support endearing elected officials appreciation (e.g. “Political reality” of APC accusing the PDP governments of Jonathan and Obasanjo of disenfranchising Lagos), the President immediately and without pause went on to clearly state that the constitution prevents such favoritism and his inauguration oath to Nigeria likewise guarantees equality to supporters and the opposition alike.
SaharaReporters first posted the video and purposefully truncated the message at the halfway line in their accompanying article here.
And later in a later publication insinuating ethnic favoritism of the first selection of officials, claimed that President Buhari only made a “belated” adjustment to his statement when it was uttered. This was however untrue as the president made only one statement which included the premise and the equality guarantee.
Quoting SaharaReporters: “Last week, speaking at the United Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, Mr. Buhari had stated that he should not be expected to treat areas that gave him 97% of their votes the same way as those that gave him only five percent. After realizing the political implications of his reckless statement, the Nigerian president made a belated attempt to correct the faux pas.”
Whereas the video as recorded by SaharaReporters the agency published shows no pause and no belated assurance of the president’s guarantee of equality and fairness across board.
The full video and president comments are below:
Text in bold is what SaharaReporters left out
“I hope you have a copy of the election results. Literally constituencies, for example, that gave me 97 per cent, cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, [the same way as] some constituencies that gave me five per cent. I think these are political realities. While certainly there will be justice for everybody; everybody will enjoy their constitutional rights, where the party in constituencies that by either sheer hard work made sure they got their people [to vote] and ensure their votes count, they must feel that the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government in place. I think this is really fair. [But] By the constitution, no state can be excluded from government, so there is no way even if I were to show gratitude to those constituencies that voted heavily for me against those that didn’t even vote for me, they have the protection of the government. And I have made an undertaking that I belong to everybody, I belong to no body. If I come clearly and marginalize a certain group because they didn’t vote for me then I have already contradicted myself and I am sure people will be quick to pick that against me.”
- Related: NewsRescue-A Word For The 5% States Who ‘Didn’t Vote Buhari’
SaharaReporters had commented after a Town Hall organised by the new government at the US embassy, Washington DC of having been denied entry in spite of having invitations. Some have suggested the media engaging in the bully pulpit method of redress.