By Ed Malik, A | September 19, 2022
President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja to the United States, for 10 days to attend the annual meeting of global leaders, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) meeting of global leaders; while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also, on Saturday left Abuja for London to represent Nigeria at the funeral of the late British monarch, Queen Elizabeth ll, leaving Nigeria without a titular head.
The combine absence from Nigeria of the President and his Vice is what Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) the prominent civil rights has described as disconcerting and expressive of a nation on autopilot since the current government came to power in 2015.
On the entourage of the President are the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, some governors, ministers and top government officials.
In a media statement HURIWA, the decision of the President and the Vice President to both depart the shores of the Country, which consequentially will lead to frittering away resources at a time of hyperinflation, insecurity and general worrying state of affairs of the State vividly shows that the current administration does not care about the wellbeing and welfare of the populace. Instead the duo are simply after satisfying their insatiable tastes for globetrotting and epicurean tendencies.
HURIWA referenced the statement issued on Saturday by the Media Adviser to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, that the theme for the 77th UN session, which opened on Tuesday, September 13, is: “A watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges” which identified key topics of discussion at this year’s UNGA including the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, climate action, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and a special Transforming Education Summit.
HURIWA recalled that the statement disclosed that President Buhari will take his turn to deliver an address on the second day of the General Debates on Wednesday, September 21. Aside from his address, the President will also participate in high-level meetings and side events including the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum (NIEPF), convened by Nigeria in partnership with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU); Strengthening Coordination through National Humanitarian Development Peace (NHDP) Framework: A practical approach to sustainable durable solutions to ensure no one is left behind, organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; and the EFCC-NEPAD Programme on combating Illicit Financial Flows.The president will also hold strategic bilateral meetings with world leaders, renowned investors and heads of multinational organisations while in New York.
HURIWA recalled that the vice president, according to a statement issued by his media assistant, Mr. Laolu Akande, would join members of the British Royal family and world leaders including members of the Commonwealth Heads of State, Governors-General, Prime Ministers, and foreign royal families – at the ceremonies, including the funeral service scheduled to hold at Westminster Abbey. Ahead of the service, Osinbajo would be among guests and dignitaries to be received by King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, at a reception in Buckingham Palace on Sunday even as the vice president would hold a bilateral meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.
HURIWA carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari for jetting out of the shores of the nation about the same time with his deputy to attend to ceremonial events that won’t positively or constructively contribute any solution to the economic and security challenges facing Nigeria which were compounded by the lack of visionary leadership by the current administration, saying, that the Nigerian Constitution did not envisage a situation such as this when both leaders will abdicate their duties for some days to attend to ceremonial events.
The Rights group emphasized that the Supreme law expected that either the President or his Vice must be on ground in Nigeria which explained why in Chapter 6. Part 1. Section 145 specifies the need for Acting President During Temporary Absence of President thus: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President”.
HURIWA stated that if the President loves his nation so much more than pursuing his passion for globetrotting, he could have asked the Vice President to stay back in Nigeria whilst the President attends the funeral ceremonial event for the departed Queen of England and then fly to the United States of America to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations., noting that would have been economic wisdom.
HURIWA said: “We are beginning to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is scared of joining other invitees to the Queen’s funeral in a bus ride to the venue except the President of the USA who is allowed to ride in his Presidential SUV Cars but all other World leaders are restricted to the use of buses. There is no reason why both the President and his Vice will disappear from Nigeria at the same time if not that ab initio, they had not determined to provide quality leadership but have all these while governed Nigeria in an autopilot way which is part of the reason for the unprecedented commotion and insecurity challenges all across the Country, in addition to the free fall of the economy due to inflation that has ballooned out of control at over 20 percent”.