Why Ministers Can’t Represent Buhari At Foreign Trips- Momoh | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why Ministers Can’t Represent Buhari At Foreign Trips- Momoh

Posted: Feb 24, 2016 at 11:43 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi, Lagos

Chief  Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information,  has faulted critics of President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips saying the president is embarking on such trips to find a solution to the myriads of problems confronting Nigeria.
President Buhari is currently on a one- week visit to Qatar and Saudi  Arabia on talks about stability of oil prices. Some Nigerians have described the president’s trips as incessant asking him to stay at home and face governance.
 Leading the criticism, Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose alleged that the huge amount of the nation’s resources is being spent on the trips. He added that the situation the country has found itself is unpalatable and not conducive for the President to be junketing from one country to the other.
Fayose,  who said most of the trips embarked on by the President were unnecessary, added that ministers or at best the Vice President could have been made to attend most of the functions being attended abroad by the President.
Faulting such claim, Momoh, who spoke in a chat with Independent, said it is wrong for the president to be represented by a minister where other heads of state are gathered.
“ I see no reason why the foreign trips of the president cannot be justified. If the president goes to a forum where you have over 150 Heads of state, do you want a Minister to go and represent him there ?  Is there any single trip the president made outside the country that he did not go to meet other Heads of state because of what Nigeria can gain?”.
“He went to the United Nations, he went to the United States and United Kingdom. He went to neighbouring states here because of the issue of Boko Haram so that they can join forces together and find a lasting solution to it.  He went to the meeting of the G-7, African Union and ECOWAS conferences. Is there any conference he went to and there is no Head of State he can relate to?”  
“Now he is in the Middle East to see leaders of those places over issues relating to Nigeria’s economy and oil price? Is there any meeting he attended that he went to sit down with ministers or directors? That is the question we should ask.  Those who just want to talk should continue talking. Do you know the terrible depressed state Nigeria is in presently?”
 Rather than criticising, the chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC)  urged  Nigerians  to be thankful to the president  and join hands with him in moving the nation to the rightful place it belongs in the comity of nations
  We should be thankful that the president is going about to find solutions to these problems.  He has restored the name of Nigeria on the world map. And also, Nigeria is no longer a pariah state.  We want answers. Those who are criticizing should tell us what the president should be doing. They want him to sit at home, to do what?” he asked.