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The deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Shehu Sani has lambasted those who see President Buhari’s foreign visits as incessant.
Senator Shehu Sani
For a while now there have been mixed reactions in the country over Buhari’s visits to foreign lands. Quite a number of Nigerians think the situation of the country would be better if the president sits down at home to monitor the affairs of his country. Some are even of the opinion that the president has made too many unimpressive foreign visits in less than six months of his administration.
However, in a new interview with Leadership, Shehu Sani dismissed criticisms of Buhari’s frequent travel abroad. He highlighted how the travel would benefit the country in the end, saying only ignorant people will complain about the president’s foreign visits. He said:
”The travels of President Muhammadu Buhari are necessary. These travels are very necessary for him to work out a programme for the economy. All the countries that he has been to, he has secured a good deal for Nigeria. He was in Iran for the 3rd Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GEFC), because as you already know, Nigeria is a major gas exporter. He traveled to Malta for security and Agricultural development, and as you also know, Nigeria is a major agricultural country.
READ ALSO: OPINION: President Buhari Is More Busy Travelling Than Governing Nigeria
He also traveled to France on the issue of environment and climate change. So you cannot have a president that would simply sit at home and not travel. It doesn’t work that way. The travels are an opportunity for the president to project Nigeria and also bring the attention of the world to Nigeria. So his journeys are not as frivolous as those of President Goodluck Jonathan. We are living in an inter-dependent world, so it’s not possible for a president not to travel, so those who are complaining that he is travelling are ignorant. They don’t know what it takes to run an economy.
READ ALSO: Buhari’s Foreign Trips Yielding Fruits – Minister
And I will want to say in very clear terms that, President Muhammadu Buhari is the most prudent President in terms of travels. His travels have not gulped the kind of resources, his predecessors’ travels gulped. And we should also not forget that the party in power made promises of revamping the economy, creating jobs, protecting our borders and ending corruption, and before you can fulfil all these promises, you must work with other global leaders. For example, our president wants looted funds stashed in some of these countries, to be returned home, and if we don’t cooperate with other nations around the world, these things cannot be achieved. How can we be able to repatriate the stolen funds, how can the president protect our borders without visiting those countries?”
You can read the full interview on Leadership here.
President Muhammadu Buhari took over from Goodluck Jonathan on May 29 and since then, he has made a number of trips outside the country. In his 181 days in office, Buhari has traveled to 10 countries and will still visit more before the year ends.
President Buhari has embarked on more foreign trips than he has trips within the country, despite the myriad challenges facing the country, from fuel scarcity to insurgency in the north east. His frequent travel abroad has come in for criticism as some are of the opinion that he is engaging in wasteful international pleasure trips which are consuming a significant amount of the country’s cash. You can read some reactions of Nigerians to Buhari’s frequent foreign trips here.
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