Democracy Day: Errors in Buhari’s Press Statement provoke attack on Presidency
The Press Statement personally signed by President Muhammadu Buhari conveying the decision of his administration to make June 12 the new Democracy Day in Nigeria as against May 29 has again reinforced popular belief that the Presidency needs to be more thorough in its documentation.
The statement dated Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 came with two fundamental errors both of which have provoked reactions from some Nigerians on social media. The last sentence in the first paragraph erroneously referred to October 21st, 1979 instead of October 1st, 1979 as the first time that a democratically elected government took over from a military government in Nigeria.
It read: “The first time this happened was on October 21st, 1979”. This is a fundamental error that has the capacity to distort history.
“For a document personally signed by the President himself, this error is unpardonable”, wrote Bunmi Oloyode on social media.
Another commentator, Alice Uwakwe, said the error should be officially corrected by the same Presidency “because it came on a letterhead of the Presidency and it bears our President’s signature. If this is not corrected researchers may in future begin to quote the wrong date for one of the great moments in our national life”.
Another error was the incorrect use of the word ‘distract’ in place of ‘detract’ in paragraph 3 of the Presidential statement thus: “The fact that the outcome of that election was not upheld by the then military Government does not distract (sic, read detract) from the democratic credentials of that process.
The wrong use of the word ‘distract’ heavily detracted the essence and kernel of the landmark gesture of President Buhari.
Meanwhile, many Nigerians have continued to commend Mr President for the gesture to honour the late Chief MKO Abiola, his running mate Babagana Kingibe and the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi with national honours.