By Danjuma Aliyu
The family of the late Martin Luther King and the King Center say the 1st Black History Month National Black Excellence and Exceptional African Leadership Award 2018 presented to President Muhammadu Buhari was not by them.
The Presidency said in a tweet that “@MBuhari received Martin Luther King Jnr’s family,” at the State House.
The post published on on March 26 stated that Nigeria’s commander in chief was “conferred with the 1st Black History Month National Black Excellence and Exceptional African Leadership Award 2018. #AsoVillaToday.”
However, in a tweet on Wednesday 28 March, The King Center (@TheKingCenter) distanced itself from the award.
“The award given to President Buhari of Nigeria was not given by The King Center, at the request of The King Center or by the children of #MLK and #CorettaScottKing. @MrFixNigeria.”
A media report published this morning states that the award was bought for the President at a whopping $3 million.
A Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign And Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) tried to diffuse the situation by claiming a squabble had occurred between a board member of the MLK center and the family.
“This may have led to some arguments among them, which they have said they will resolve when they get back to the US, which apparently led to the tweet being circulated.”
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa’s counter claim has been rejected by Nigerians on social media and is seen as a method to divert attention from the harsh criticism of Bill Gates to Nigerian Executive members who he says failed to provide the needs of Nigerians, despite his investment of $1.6 billion in the country.
A twitter user @Jani4Tijani said: “The LIES were concocted and released by @AsoRock @NGRPresident @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo and DENIED by @TheKingCenter.”
He explained that @MBuhari is obsessed with quasi-global recognitions, who can be prevailed upon to trot out some “global awards” ??
@abikedabiri as @NGRPresident @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo @AsoRock Special Assistant on Diaspora, decided to rescue Buhari-Osinbajo from @BillGates loud condemnation of @HMKemiAdeosun @FinMinNigeria catastrophic economic recovery plan- designed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
“Hence, Barbara Whatever “King” was given a printed sheet of paper “certificate” and flown with her co-freeloaders to @AsoRock to gush effusively.
“That in itself would have just been moderately embarrassing to those in the know, while ignorant dullardeens would have been happy
“The blame stands squarely at Buhari’s door, nobody else.”