The Nigerian presidency has taken aim at presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the 2019 elections, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, who had posited that the G7 had snubbed Nigeria by not inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to partake in its latest summit in France.
Presidency says Kingsley Moghalu is 'fashionably ignorant'
Presidency spokesperson, Garba Shehu, drags Kingsley Moghalu for his take on Nigeria's exclusion from the 2019 G7 summit.
Who makes up the G7?
The G7 or ‘Group of Seven’ convenes annually.
The summit brings together the heads of state and governments of the world’s seven largest advanced economies in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The presidents of the European Commission and European Council are also obliged to attend the exclusive summit.
Every now and again, the G7 invites a couple of African nations to participate in its talks, with invitations extended to Rwanda, South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and Burkina Faso for the 2019 edition.
The snub that never was?
Even though President Buhari was invited for and attended the 2015 and 2017 G7 summits, a section of the partisan punditry has interpreted his non-invitation to the 2019 G7 talks as a snub and an indication that the rest of the developed world no longer considers Nigeria a regional powerhouse.
Moghalu certainly belongs in this school of thought.
"It’s sad that the president of Africa’s supposedly largest economy wasn’t invited to the G7 summit in France but Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa were. Our country should be at the table, not on the menu! Obasanjo, like him or not, was at the table”, the former Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, shared in a tweet.
Moghalu added that the non-invitation of Nigeria was a pointer that the country’s standing and influence in the world has declined considerably.
“South Africa is a member of the G20 world economies. Nigeria is not. Why? That Nigeria’s standing in the world has declined over the past decade is incontestable, with practical implications for us here at home, and is also a reflection of our domestic weakness.
“Now, Ghana is eating our cake in West Africa. It’s getting more foreign investment than Nigeria. Obama visited there but not us. We should face the fact of our decline and what to do about it, instead of puerile not-picking arguments!”, Moghalu wrote in a series of tweets.
A presidency that had been engrossed in the arduous task of convincing Nigerians that Buhari wasn’t overlooked by the superpowers who call the shots at the G7, found Moghalu’s position confounding.
“Kingsley Moghalu is either ignorant or playing petty politics. The non-invitation of President Buhari to witness the G7 meeting this year is not a snub”, said President Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
“Neither does it (G7 absence) diminish the status of Nigeria as the biggest economy on the continent. It seems no one clarified to the one-time presidential candidate how the G7 secretariat works.
"If they invite a country with an economy the size of Niger State, not Kano’s, not even Lagos’ does it call for Dr. Moghalu’s lamentation? Today, as we see it, they call this country, tomorrow they decide to have another. It’s entirely up to them.
“Buhari didn’t go to Europe. Europe came to him in Japan, where the EU had him sign an MOU for 50 Million Euro in support to the country’s devastated North East.
“The joke is not on President Buhari. The joke is on Moghalu for attempting to make ignorance fashionable”, Shehu concluded.
The power of the G7
President Buhari has been in Japan for the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), alongside some 20 African leaders.
He returns on Friday, August 30, 2019
The G7 currently accounts for up to 46 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in nominal terms, 58 percent of the planet's net wealth ($317 trillion) and 10 percent of the world’s population.
When the G7 was created in 1975, it accounted for 70 percent of the global GDP.
Who is invited for the G7 summit?
The thematic focus of a particular G7 summit decides which non-member countries and international organizations are invited.
Rwanda is taking part in the 2019 talks in its capacity as the former chair of the African Union (AU); an invitation was sent Egypt’s way because the North African nation is the current chair of the AU, while South Africa was invited to the G7 as the incoming chair of the AU.
Senegal made the cut because it is the current leader of the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD).
Burkina Faso is at the 2019 G7 summit because it is the chair of G5 Sahel.
The official website of the 2019 G-7 Summit contained the following information: “In addition to South Africa, four countries playing a leading role on the continent and which are players in multilateral cooperation, committed to preserving biodiversity and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, are also invited to the Biarritz Summit and to several preparatory meetings.”
Incumbent G7 presidents usually issue invitations to non-member countries in a manner that reflects the strategic interests of the host country.
Only one African nation (Senegal) has bagged more invitations to the G7 summit than Nigeria. Senegal was at the table in 2019, 2018 and 2015.
Nigeria was at the 2015 and 2017 G7 talks.
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