The King Centre has distanced itself from an award given to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari allegedly on its behalf on Wednesday.
The Centre, founded by Corretta Scott King and the only recognised official memorial of Martin Luther king Jr., said neither its founders nor other children of the late American civil rights activist knew anything about it.
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) March 28, 2018
“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,” the King Centre said on Twitter on Thursday.
President @MBuhari today at the State House received Martin Luther King Jnr’s family. He was also conferred with the 1st Black History Month National Black Excellence and Exceptional African Leadership Award 2018. #AsoVillaToday pic.twitter.com/vijPkeZPZ4
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) March 26, 2018
On Tuesday, the Presidency had disclosed that President Buhari received the family of the late African American civil rights activist, Martin Luther King (Jr), at the State House, Abuja and was also conferred with the 1st Black History Month National Black Excellence and Exceptional African Leadership Award 2018.
However, On Thursday, a presidential aide said the award was given to President by members of the King family, and not the MLK Centre, as part of celebrations marking the Black History Month in Nigeria.
“The members, led by the Matriarch of MLK, Naomi Barbara King, were in Nigeria as part of the activities initiated to celebrate a low- key Black History Month in Nigeria as part of deepening partnership between Africa and its Diaspora,” said senior special adviser Buhari on foreign relations and diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa in a statement signed by her press aide.
She adds that: “As part of the activities, they visited President Muhammadu Buhari and gave him a commemorative plaque for his fight against corruption and what they termed from the “ Africania Diaspora” a term for Africans in Diaspora for which the oldest of them all Naomi Barbara King was selected to present on behalf of the family (NOT MLK CENTER) as a sign of appreciation to the Nigerian President.”