AS President Muhammadu Buhari departs Abuja for New York, United States, for ten days to attend the annual meeting of global leaders, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) and the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday left Abuja for London to represent Nigeria at some events during the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth ll of the United Kingdom, their combined absence from Nigeria has been described as disconcerting and shows a nation on autopilot since 2015.
Making the observation in a media statement is the leading civil Rights body-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) which also stated that the decision of the President and the Vice President to both depart the shores of the Country to fritter away resources at a time of hyperinflation and worrying state of insecurity shows that the current administration does not care about the wellbeing and welfare of the populace but the duo are simply after satisfying their insatiable tastes for globetrotting and epicurean tendencies.
HURIWA recalled that a statement issued on Saturday by the Media Adviser to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, the theme for the 77th session, which opened on Tuesday, September 13, is: “A watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.”The statement identified key topics of discussion at this year’s UNGA including the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, climate action, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, and a special Transforming Education Summit.
HURIWA recalled that the statement disclosed that President Buhari will take his turn to deliver an address on the second day of the General Debates on Wednesday, September 21. Aside from his address, the President will also participate in high-level meetings and side events including the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum (NIEPF), convened by Nigeria in partnership with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU); Strengthening Coordination through National Humanitarian Development Peace (NHDP) Framework: A practical approach to sustainable durable solutions to ensure no one is left behind, organised by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; and the EFCC-NEPAD Programme on combating Illicit Financial Flows.The president will also hold strategic bilateral meetings with world leaders, renowned investors and heads of multinational organisations while in New York.On the entourage of the President are the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, some governors, ministers and top government officials.
HURIWA recalled that the vice president, according to a statement issued by his media assistant, Mr. Laolu Akande, would join members of the Royal Family, world leaders – including members of the Commonwealth Heads of State, Governors-General, Prime Ministers, and foreign royal families – at the ceremonies, including the funeral service scheduled to hold at Westminster Abbey. Ahead of the service, Osinbajo would be among guests and dignitaries to be received by King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, at a reception in Buckingham Palace on Sunday even as the vice president would hold a bilateral meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.
HURIWA which carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari for jetting out of the shores of the nation about the same time with his deputy to attend to ceremonial events that won’t positively or constructively contribute any solution to the economic and security challenges facing Nigeria which were compounded by the crass incompetence of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari also stated that the Nigerian Constitution did not envisage a situation such as this when both leaders will abdicate their duties for some days to attend to ceremonial events.
The Rights group emphasized that the Supreme law expected that either the President or his Vice must be on ground in Nigeria which explained why in Chapter 6. Part 1. Section 145 specifies the need for Acting President During Temporary Absence Of President thus: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President”.
HURIWA stated that if the President loves his nation so much more than pursuing his passion for globetrotting, he could have asked the Vice President to stay back in Nigeria whilst the President attends the funeral ceremonial event for the departed Queen of England and then fly to the United States of America to attend the General Assembly of the United Nations.
HURIWA said: “We are beginning to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is scared of joining other invitees to the Queen’s funeral in a bus ride to the venue except the President of the USA who is allowed to ride in his Presidential SUV Cars but all other World leaders are restructed to the use of buses. There is no reason why both the President and his Vice will disappear from Nigeria at the same time if not that from the word go, they haven’t been in the right frame of minds to provide quality leadership but have all these while governed Nigeria in an autopilot way which is why armed non state actors are causing unprecedented commotion and bloody insecurity all across the Country and inflation has balloned out of control at over 20 percent”.