The Presidency has finally explained how Buhari’s Covid-19 speech was leaked hours before Monday’s national broadcast, saying that someone obtained and leaked the draft of President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech hours before the national broadcast on Monday.
This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, when he appeared on TVC News.
Adesina was asked to clear the confusion on the lockdown where some newspapers reported different dates, and he 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.
“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.”
But, Reuben Abati, a former spokesman to erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan, dismissed the argument that the president’s speech could be hacked into. “How can somebody hack the president’s speech? I don’t want to hear that!” he said.