The Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, on Wednesday, responded to the criticism trailing a report that the Aso Rock Villa Chapel has been relocated.
Akande described the report as false, saying a “procedural adjustment” does not amount to relocation.
Akande’s response came on the heels of social media backlash occasioned by an online report that President Muhammadu Buhari had relocated the chapel.
The media aide said it was not fair to accuse the President of relocating the church when what happened was “the sorting out of procedural issues.” He insisted that it was baseless to assume that Buhari was hostile to Christians in the Presidential Villa.
“The claims that Buhari moved against Christian activities in Aso Rock Chapel have since been shown to be false.
“The sorting out of procedural issues cannot be a fair basis to accuse the President of moving against the chapel,” he tweeted.
This is the second time Akande would go to twitter to defend the Presidency over the same issue in the last-two weeks.
Earlier when an online media reported the closure of the children arm of the church, the VP’s aide told Nigerians to disregard the information. In fact, he described it as false.
In his tweets, he said, “Speculations that Buhari moved against Christian activities at the Aso Villa Chapel is a blatant lie. I personally worshipped there on Sunday.
“Also, claims that the children service at the Aso Villa closed down is equally false. Please disregard the wild claims being reported.”
The fresh social media controversy followed a report that some hired Senegalese spiritualists had advised Buhari to close the chapel.
The report claimed that the spiritualists objected to the continued existence of the religious centre, as it was said to be affecting their rites in the villa.
For several hours on Wednesday, bloggers and Buahri’s critics feasted on what many described as fresh facts on the status of the chapel.
In fact, some social media users faulted the essence of the religious temples in the villa in the first place. According to them, there is no need for a mosque or a church in the villa.
Kayode Ogundamisi, Omo Jesu and several other social media activists commented on the issue. Many of them, who kicked against the claim that the chapel was causing noise pollution, sought a re-examination of the facts with a view to taking a fair decision on it.
Meanwhile, the reported inconsistency in the declaration of assets of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also featured prominently in the social media circles on Wednesday.
As many people urged the Senate President to show a good example, the lawmaker retweeted, alleging that the Code of Conduct Bureau might be after him because of his anti-corruption stance.
Reacting on both Twitter and Facebook, Saraki’s media aides said, “It should be noted that at the time of writing this statement, Saraki has not been served the court process. However, we recognise that, as a public officer, he owes members of the public an explanation on the allegations.
“Saraki has consistently declared his assets as required by the law at every point before assuming any political office and that of 2015 is not an exception. It is surprising that the agency is now referring to his asset declaration made in 2003 while in office as governor of Kwara State to formulate its charges.”