Gift Samuel , The Sight News
ABUJA- Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s UK trip as a farce, and another potential waste of time and public funds with no meaningful outcomes to be expected.
The Presidency had on Sunday 9 April announced that the President was on an open-ended trip to the UK (without a return date specified) beginning next the day. On the trip he was to hold talks with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, ahead or the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 18-20 April; Royal Dutch Plc CEO, Ben van Beurden regarding Shell and others’ plan to invest $15 billion in Nigeria’s oil industry; and His Grace, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, among others.
The ANRP National Spokesman, Sesugh Akume who made these known in a statement on Friday, said also that the standard procedure is for teams to go ahead of a President to hold talks, then brief and guide him on arrival. The President holds meetings along with a delegation of high- and mid-level officials who take notes and hold followup meetings to implement what is agreed upon.
“Usually the Presidency makes public the members of the President’s delegation, this time none was announced, and there is no evidence to the contrary, meaning that he travelled alone. ANRP checks also confirmed that Ministers of the Federal Government relevant to the trip as announced, like that of Foreign Affairs, Petroleum (State), and others were left behind in Abuja.
“ANRP does not expect that President Buhari would hold meetings, take notes, and implement outcomes of the meetings by himself. His memory alone cannot be relied on to to recollect what transpired in meetings, to design strategies and to follow through with them. The lack of seriousness, and poor handling accorded the UK trip in itself proves it as a waste of time and public funds. Perhaps it was planned so, as an excuse for President Muhammadu Buhari to seek foreign travel for other reasons or to keep away from Nigeria.
“The Party also monitored the President’s meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Unfortunately, virtually everything he discussed with His Grace the Archbishop is misleading, or patently false. The Party shall be releasing a fact check of their discussions in due course” he ended.