Foreign Trips: Buhari Not Usurping Foreign Affairs Minister’s Job – Adesina | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Foreign Trips: Buhari Not Usurping Foreign Affairs Minister’s Job – Adesina

Posted: Mar 6, 2016 at 5:09 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos
Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, on Friday said the president has not taken over the role and function of the Minister of Foreign Affairs through his foreign trips.
Adesina, who spoke in an exclusive interview with Independent, also condemned those describing the president’s trips as incessant saying that some Nigerians would still criticise him even if he had chosen to stay at home.
He said: “If there is a role designated for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, how then can the president take it over?  The minister of foreign affairs has his role which is quite different from that of the president.
“Do you think if the president is travelling to a foreign country, he just gets into the plane and goes? Will there not be engagements already scheduled for him? Is that not the responsibility of the foreign minister?  I think we should just dismiss such kind of uninformed speculations.”
“Those who are criticising the president, do they think his staying at home will solve the problems in the country? Or do they think he needs external help in solving these problems?
“If we agree he needs external help in solving these problems, then why stay at home?  No matter what you do, one thing is certain – Nigerians will always complain. Even if the president stays too much at home, they will say ‘oh, what is he always doing at home? Look at other heads of state from different countries and he is not going? Is he planning to turn Nigeria into a pariah nation?’ So, Nigerians will always complain.”
While highlighting some of the benefits of the president’s trips, he said that such trips has greatly helped the country in addressing the security challenges in the country, reviving the economy, fighting corruption and recovery of  Nigeria’s wealth illegally stashed abroad by looters.
“The question we need to ask is ‘When the president travels, what does he goes to do? One , he talks about security with different governments and world powers that can help Nigeria in terms  of intelligence gathering, equipment and help us to secure ourselves.  The president keeps repeating that ‘you can’t manage a country that you have not secured’.
“Again, when he travels, he talks about the economy. Nigeria’s economy is in problem. So, if those who can help us in reviving our economy are there, and we are not meeting with them, it is our problem.  Whenever he goes out, he also talks about anti-corruption”.
“Most of the monies looted from this country are stashed abroad. If the president stays at home and doesn’t engage with those who are in custody of that money, how does he get them back?  Some people will always talk, no matter what the president does,” he said.