Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of squandering Nigerian taxpayers’ resources on meaningless foreign trips that have yielded next to nothing for the country.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who made the accusation in a statement on Thursday, said Buhari’s international trips since coming to power in 2015 has become worrisome, with the conclusion that the results of the President “globetrotting for minor engagements, abandoning Nigeria and its citizens to wriggle in deep crisis” has not brought much positive outcomes.
Onwubiko who was reacting to Buhari’s two-day state visit to Spain on Tuesday, said the “numerous foreign trips of President Muhammadu Buhari have no economic benefits on the country”, describing them as disturbing.
“The meaningless foreign trips of President Muhammadu Buhari which have no economic benefits is disturbing.
“These trips must stop as they are not exigent and are aimed at squandering taxpayers’ resources and for the President to find a phantom alibi for his monumental incompetence and rudderless political leadership style,” the statement reads.
Recalling an history of the foreign trips, the HURIWA chief said:
“By the end of 2021, Buhari had spent over 200 days on medical leave in the United Kingdom since 2015, despite the fact that the Federal Ministry of Health has been allocated over N2.3 trillion from 2016 to date, while the State House Medical Centre has received over N6.2 billion, as stated on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation.
“Also, Buhari and his deputy have spent over N10 billion on foreign trips in the last seven years while the Academic Staff Union of Universities has perpetually been on strike, demanding their rightful entitlement.
“It is perplexing that the All Progressives Congress government prefers that tertiary students remain at home while billions are spent on frivolous foreign trips by the President and his Vice.
“It is more reprehensible that the President can be junketing to many countries of the world while Nigeria faces educational, economic, energy and severe security crises of all times.
“Nigeria’s currency is bleeding, manufacturers are bleeding due to increasing fuel price and those of raw materials. Epileptic power supply does not help matters.
“From the North to the South, innocent Nigerians are killed and kidnapped by terrorists and bandits while the President goes abroad at every given opportunity.
“Buhari should show leadership and not desert the people when his attention and presence are needed the most. Ukraine President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has not left the country since the invasion by Russia in February 2022. The 44-year-old comedian-turned politician has gallantly been leading the troops from the front against Russian forces. That is leadership.
“What we have in Nigeria is however a contrast. Buhari must know that Nigeria is in a crisis and he should stay at home and fix the country.
“We thought the information that filtered in from one of the European Universities of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration being adopted as a model of how not to lead a nation will make President Muhammadu Buhari to turn a new leaf, but the President’s performance has become increasingly worrisome and burdensome.”
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