Saturday, 16 September 2017

FG says no worries about Buhari’s London stopover


Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that there is no cause for alarm over the president’s planned stopover in London after the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).



Minister Onyeama also said the president’s agenda, particularly on the economy, would remain on focus and avoid distractions.

Onyeama spoke in New York while briefing journalists on Nigeria’s participation at the ongoing UNGA.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had in a statement on Friday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari will return to London after attending the UNGA.

However, Adesina did not disclose the purpose of Buhari’s visit to London or when he will return.

The development had raised concerns concerning the president’s health.

But Onyeama said the Buhari would be leading the delegation to the General Assembly and he is in very good health.

“He is really back to what he was doing before. He had a very long cabinet meeting Wednesday and he was in excellent form in every way possible.

“So, he is back. In fact, I think I had said when he came back that we were delighted with his return. He has fired up and ready to lead and he is really leading. He is very, very strong.”

Onyeama further said the president was back to his very punishing schedule, adding that the president was just fantastic.

He dismissed fears that the president would not be able to make the UNGA trip, as he was already scheduled to be there in person.

“Mr. President would be here, he is in excellent health and he is going to  lead a very strong high-level Nigerian delegation,” Onyeama stated.

On the declaration of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Defence Headquarters as a militant terrorist organisation, Onyeama said he believed that the military must have acted based on experience.

“I think this would obviously come from their experiences. They are fully on the frontline.

“So, if that is what they announced, then there must have been incidences that they have had to deal with directly,” Onyeama noted.

On possible answers the government has for the international community regarding Biafra, Onyeama answered that the implementation of the president’s agenda for the country was more important than distractions.

“Mr President came with an agenda for the country. And we really just don’t want to be distracted from that.

“On the economy which was in a terrible state when this government came in: we went into recession and for the first time in decades and we are just coming out of that recession. And we want to keep on that path.

“We believe that a lot of these issues and challenges in the country have their basis in economics. If we can provide a good standard of living and quality of life for our people, all these issues will fall by the way side.

“That is why we must not be distracted from transforming the economy of our country.”

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