Hours before President Muhammadu Buhari delivered his address to the nation on Monday night, a version — full of errors — was already circulating on social media.
Although the version he eventually read was different in some ways from the draft, presidency officials are livid over the leak.
The president’s address is usually released to the media while the broadcast is on, but the leaked draft was in circulation long before the broadcast.
In the draft, the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT) was to be lifted on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
But in the broadcast, the president moved the date to Monday, May 4.
Significantly, while the president announced a total lockdown for two weeks in Kano state, the draft only said “the total lockdown recently announced by the State Government shall remain enforced… for the full duration”.
It appears the leaked version was copied from a Microsoft Word document with the original text and edits included, leading to the repetition of many words and phrases.
All these had been cleaned up in the final version read by the president.
TheCable reports that the draft was prepared by a member of the presidential task force on COVID-19 and sent to the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).
Boss Mustapha is both the SGF and chairman of the task force.
All fingers are now pointing at the SGF office for the leak, although there is also suspicion that the email of the writer might have been hacked.
A few days ago, a memo to Mustapha by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) was also scanned and leaked on social media.
In the letter, the forum made recommendations on the easing of lockdowns nationwide.
Some of the recommendations — including use of face mask in public, restriction of interstate movement and imposition of dusk to dawn curfew — were adopted by the president.
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