Many Nigerians have questioned the rationale behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to Washington for a nuclear security summit.
The summit was meant to address the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists such as ISIS. Nigeria neither has a nuclear capacity nor is having to deal with ISIS.
The country faces a multitude of local problems like severe power and petrol shortages, terror from Fulani herdsmen, and the economy seems to have ground to a halt.
Ayo Fayose, the governor of Ekiti State, who belongs to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described Buhari’s trips as “needless”. In a statement he said: “It is shameful that while President Buhari was far away in the United States of America, attending a summit that does not have any bearing on Nigeria and its people, an unprecedented happened – power generation stopped completely for over three hours!” Fayose went on to call Buhari’s trip the “joke of the year”.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the president’s Senior Special Assistant for Foreign and Diaspora affairs, struggle yesterday to explain why her boss had to be at this summit.
The line up of world leaders at the summit indicates that most African Heads of State gave it a miss. Buhari would do well to emulate them and heed Fayose’s advice to stay at home and confront Nigeria’s domestic problems, instead of dashing off abroad at the flimsiest excuse.