The man alleged to have attacked President Muhammadu Buhari at the Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival on Thursday denied doing so.
Mohammed Jamilu Gunddare said he merely wanted to shake the president whose “outstanding virtues” he claimed to adore.
“I was emotionally attached to his outstanding virtues of honesty and craved to shake him,” Gunddare, a bachelor’s degree holder in Public Administration, told reporters in Birnin Kebbi.
A newspaper had reported that he was shot in the leg after ‘attacking’ the president and thereafter whisked away by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) and tortured.
But Gunddare, who was flanked my Information Minister Lai Mohammed and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State apologized for breaking protocols and shed light on his action.
He said: “I had to summon up courage to attempt to get to Mr. President despite the fact that the security was tight within the venue.
”I am sorry for the disturbance I caused. It was caused by my love for Mr. President, a person of integrity. He is incorruptible.
“He had worked as military administrator, minister and military head of state before becoming a civilian president. From all accounts, no case of corruption has been attributed to him.”
Gundarre said what he wanted to do on Thursday was to have a handshake with the president during the photo session at the agriculture show, one of the events of the fishing festival.
He added: “You know that emotional love can divert and taint your total faculty of reasoning and that was what really happened yesterday.
“I was told about the misinterpretation of my action in the media”.
Also speaking, Mohammed said: “All the stories about him trying to attack Mr. President are false. Even the story that he has been shot by the Police or DSS is false.”
The Presidency had earlier dismissed the video of the ‘attack’ as “a work of mischief makers.”
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said in a statement that Gunddare was “indeed an enthusiastic youth who was too excited to hold himself back, seeing his president in the flesh.”
He said:”President Muhammadu Buhari was in Kebbi State Thursday to declare open the Argungu Fishing and Cultural Festival. It was the first time the international tourism event would hold in eleven years, as security considerations had rendered it impracticable.
”As the president went round the arena to inspect rice pyramids on display, and take photographs with farmers, a young man was so very excited to see his president so close. He made an attempt to get to him.
“World over, such would not be allowed by security details. The young man was prevented, and he protested that he should be allowed to greet his president. Now, professional contortionists are making mischief of the event. They are passing the video clip off on social media as an attempt to attack the president.”