August 23, 2018

Global community backs Buhari’s 2nd term bid – Foreign minister



He should name them — AFENIFERE; It’s delusion — PDP
•Global community knows Onyeama is lying — Junaid Mohammed

By Clifford Ndujihe, Dapo Akinrefon, Charles Kumolu & Dennis Agbo
  Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, has deflated the story making the rounds that the international community was strongly against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.

He also said that it was not true that Nigeria went into recession because international investors frightfully withdrew their funds because of President Buhari’s utterances and hardline posture against corruption.

His statement, however, drew the ire of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Second Republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who agreed that the poor performance of the present government would not elicit the support of the international community.

Onyeama stated that to the contrary, Nigeria under President Buhari had been enjoying the goodwill of the international community, to the extent of being supportive of his second term bid.

He made the remarks yesterday at Awgu, Enugu State, when Enugu West Peoples Assembly donated vehicles in support of President Buhari’s 2019 presidential election campaign.

Onyeama said: “The international community is very supportive of President Buhari. As you can see President Buhari has transformed our relationship with foreign countries and also the perception of Nigeria by foreign leaders. An evidence of that is the rate and number of high level foreign leaders that are coming to Nigeria.

“Next week, for instance, which is very unusual for any country, we are having the UK Prime Minister and two days later will be the visit of the German Chancellor.

‘’This shows what they feel about President Buhari; that Nigeria is now a country they want to do business with.”

Buhari not scaring investors away

On the allegation that President Buhari’s posture and speeches were scaring away international investors, Onyeama said:   “It’s on the contrary. Mr. President has taken the initiative to establish the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, chaired by the Vice President and the World Bank ranks countries according to ease of doing business.

“Within one year of Mr. President establishing this council, and taking measures to make doing business easier, Nigeria has jumped about 25 places in the World Bank ranking and has been promoting the most impressive jobs in Nigeria in the last one year. So the whole world is seeing that Nigeria under President Buhari is more and more a place of doing business.”

Minister blasts Enugu govt

The minister, while commending the gesture of  Enugu Peoples Assembly for donating towards the President’s re-election bid, indicted the Enugu State Government for non-performance in the past three years.

“The state government spends so much money on advertisement but pensioners are not being paid. We want a serious government because Enugu is matured to have a serious government. It is not winning the election that is the matter but plans for governance.

“It is not about building houses everywhere; I am looking for better governance in Enugu State. The people who elected leaders should be the ones dictating the pace of governance and not the other way round.”

Name the countries — Afenifere

Reacting to the minister’s claim yesterday, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, challenged him to name the countries supporting Buhari’s second term bid.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said: “Well, he should be specific and name the countries in the international community that support him. The last time, we heard the United Kingdom talking about the killings in Nigeria. Also, the Americans talked about the killings in Nigeria. So, we want to know which of the international community is supporting Buhari’s second term.

‘’Is it Afghanistan, Iraq or Turkey? He should name the world powers so that we can ask those countries if they think what is going on in Nigeria now should continue, except those international community are the ones I mentioned now like Iraq, Afghanistan or Turkey.”

He’s lying, says Junaid Mohammed

Reacting in a similar vein, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said: “If I were a member of the media, I would dismiss the claim by Onyeama. He is lying, he knows he is lying. The international community he is purporting to be speaking for knows he is lying.

‘’The kind of characters, who have been brought into office speak volumes about the incompetence and irresponsibility of the Buhari administration.

‘’Because of his friend  he was made the foreign minister when he knows nothing about this country. That is why he has nothing to offer to this country.

“That is why they will be claiming to speak on behalf of the international community. That is why nothing in this country moves and nothing is going to move.  We have the wrong people in sensitive positions.

‘’It is not in the nature of international diplomacy and international community to say so. I don’t think they are going to dignify the claims by the Buhari administration. But those, who have a connection with the international community, know that it has nothing but contempt for the Buhari administration because of poor performance.

‘’I was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and I have contacts in the international community. I know what I am talking about. If they are relying on that and nothing more on performance and competence, Buhari is going to be disappointed. ‘’

It’s delusion — PDP

In its reaction, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which spoke through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the minister and APC leaders were deluding themselves.

‘’It is delusion. They are just deluding themselves. How can they say the international community is supporting President Buhari’s second term bid, in spite of his poor performance and failure? Why are you bothered about what they are saying? They are just deluding themselves,’’ the party said.