Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, dosed off while President Muhammadu Buhari was delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.
Pictures of the governor sleeping at the conference have gone viral on the internet.
But Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki’s media aide, attributed the incident to “chaotic itinerary” of the governor.
In a statement on Wednesday, Osagie said Obaseki is human and can experience fatigue and exhaustion which all humans are susceptible to.
He said despite Obaseki’s rare work culture, he has never been portrayed as a machine.
“Our attention has been drawn to a mischievous campaign designed to smear the image of the Edo state governor, Mr. Governor Obaseki,” the statement read.
“The disparagers have populated the internet with photographs of the governor when he momentarily succumbed to fatigue after a long flight, preceded by a chaotic itinerary in Edo state before heading to New York for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, in the United States of America.
“The idle hands and mischievous minds behind the smear campaign against governor Obaseki are clearly not people to be taken seriously.”
Buhari was the 14th speaker at the conference