ALL Progressives Congress (APC) National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has hit back at those criticizing the current trip of President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage to the US, labeling them disgruntled elements whose target is only aimed at misinforming the generality of Nigerian citizenry on the mission of the president to Uncle Sam’s country.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Sunday, July 19, 2015, from his Oro, Kwara home, the astute politician lampooned all those throwing up negative comments on the trip. He, therefore, urged the public to ignore any misinformation about the mission of Buhari to the US at the moment. He stressed further that the visit is going to be of immense benefit to all both now and in future.
“Anybody criticizing Buhari on his trip to the United States of America is disgruntled. The argument of such a person lacks common sense.
“Anyway, people are free to criticize whatever they don’t understand. That’s the beauty of democracy. But all I know is that the trip is going to fetch Nigeria, as a nation, a lot of good.
“It’s just for five days during which they will discuss a lot of issues concerning the two countries, which I think is the best way to enhance our nascent democracy. There is nothing wrong in Buhari’s visit to President Obama at the moment.
Asked to comment on the number of delegates which some said is too large for the trip and alleged N2.2b it will set Nigeria back with, he reacted, “First, the team accompanying President Muhammadu Buhari to the US is not large. It’s a 33-man delegation which, to me is normal. Mind you, there are series of meetings that will be held during their five-day stay in the US. Such meetings will border on economy, insecurity, corruption, good governance and other issues. So, tell me what’s large in that number?
“The team comprises six governors and other prominent Nigerians from different sectors. So, there will be meetings at various levels that informed travelling there with the team. So, the argument of those criticizing that, also lack common sense.”
On the alleged cost of the trip, he said, “We all know it’s not true. The President can never embark on the trip with that kind of money. Or maybe you don’t know how much you’re talking about. A whole of N2.2b! That means they’re saying one person will be spending a whooping N75m for just four or five days they will spend in the US. That’s absolute false. I think you can now understand why I said some people’s argument lack common sense.
“It’s untrue and highly exaggerated. Those saying that should explain to the public how they arrived at that amount. It’s misleading, false and absolute rubbish. I am sure all these are handiworks of people from the opposition camp.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and his entourage, including six governors, his son and other prominent Nigerians left Nigeria on Sunday, July 19, 2015, for the United States of America where they’re expected to visit President Barack Obama on issues that will strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. They’re expected back in Nigeria on Saturday, July 25, 2015.
– TADE ASIFAT