Buhari ‘President not travelling for fun,’ Garba Shehu says

Shehu said further that Buhari’s trips are for the good of the country adding that world leaders now take Nigeria seriously.

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu has said that the president’s recent trips abroad are not for his personal enjoyment.

Shehu said further that Buhari’s trips are for the good of the country adding that world leaders now take Nigeria seriously.

The presidential aide made the comments via a Facebook post published on Monday, November 30, 2015.

It reads in part:

“I have been amused, reading a number of jokes concerning the frequency of the President, Muhammadu Buhari's foreign trips. Questions have been raised about why so many visits, and what are the benefits Nigeria is getting.”

“I will make it clear from the beginning that the critic is entitled to his and her opinion and nothing said here is intended to silence him or her. Criticism goes with the territory and as it is often said in a wisecrack, if you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

“President Muhammadu Buhari came into office under the mantra of change. While Nigerians are yearning for change, you need someone who will set up the infrastructure, both at home and abroad for it. President Buhari is busy doing that. The change is manifest in where he visits and what he does.”

“What would Nigerians say of their leader when see the array of world leaders assemble, as they would shortly be doing discussing climate change in Paris on Monday and their own President is missing from the table?”

“Those of us who were around under Abacha read all the taunts about him being a sit-at-home leader. Abacha was despised for not representing his country abroad. President Buhari's foreign visits have been marked by punishing schedules. They are always business-like and results-oriented. All trips have been marked by tight schedules. Meeting after meeting, happening back-to-back morning, afternoon and evening.”

“The President has had to travel overnight for some of these meetings. The visit by any president to another country is the highest act in international relations. It sends out a message that that county is important to the visitor. It is not like your usual vacation abroad. Official discussions involving political leaders, the military, the diplomats and at times, business people are held at multi- track levels. In foreign policy you stand on a quick sand of events and you slip up if take a rest or lose focus. Governments also know that their achievements at home will be meaningless if they cannot project them abroad.”

“There is no reason to be angry with anyone criticizing President Buhari for traveling abroad. In politics, even if President Buhari were to bring with him a suitcase full of cash and a pot of gold each time he returned from a trip, someone will criticize him, saying that the journey is wasteful.”

“The PDP will kick, knowing that they got 16 years and did nothing with it. Those who didn't do much during their term of governance will find it instructive to fault whatever the President is doing. If President Buhari is successful as a leader, the PDP will be history. My own point here is that he is doing a great job and the fruits are here, and many more will soon come. He is working to strengthen diplomatic relations, trade and the security of our nation.”

“He holds serious meetings with serious investors and has fetched us investments in the range of billions of US Dollars. Now, countries such as France, UK, The U.S are supporting Nigeria with intelligence, weapons and training for our military against Boko Haram and the economic saboteurs in the Delta region. President Buhari will definitely make Nigeria great, what the PDP fooled us for 16 years. All heads of countries around the world now take Nigeria seriously.”

“His foreign trips are for business, security of the country and bilateral contacts- contacts that get actualized by follow-ups and the love and support a leader enjoys at home and abroad. Today the world is in a warm embrace of President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigerians should be proud of the attention, love and admiration, importance, respect and investment he is bringing to Nigeria. These trips are not for enjoyment.”

“The President is doing a great job for the nation. He needs to be supported.”

Buhari is in Paris to attend the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) on climate change along with 150 other world leaders.

He had earlier also visited Malta to attend the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.


See Pulse Photo-News gallery below:

Is Buhari travelling too much?»

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