- It’s a jamboree- Balarabe Musa
- War against corruption now meaningless- VP’s associate
Some eminent Nigerians from various parts of the country have lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari over reports that the federal government spent over N2.2 billion on the recent visit to the United States of America.
In swift reaction to the so-called gains of the visit, a frontline Northern politician, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, described the trip as a jamboree stressing that amount invested in the trip far outweighed the projected gains.
Also, the fury of Nigerians was ignited by earlier claims by the Buhari administration that it inherited an empty treasury from the Goodluck Jonathan administration and yet expended so much for a failed trip that will not likely yield any dividend.
President was last week in the US on a four-day visit, where he met with the American president, Barrack Obama, and a few other stakeholders in the country to rally support for the war against Boko Haram and other issues.
However, the United States has already given indication that they will not honour Buhari’s request for sale of arms and other military hardware to Nigeria to tackle Boko Haram insurgents as “US Leahy Law prohibits assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity.”
A United States of America senator, Patrick Leahy, a co-sponsor of the Leahy Law, who said he agrees with Buhari that Boko Haram must be defeated, was, however, very blunt on U.S rejection of Buhari’s request for military assistance and advised the Nigerian leader to “face up to his own responsibility to effectively counter Boko Haram.
Senator Leahy added that Buhari “should direct his attention to the Nigerian military, and the Nigerian courts, and clean up the units implicated in such atrocities.”
Reacting to the huge amount spent on the four-day visit,
Second Republic governor of old Kaduna state, Alhaji Balarabe Musa expressed fears that nothing positive will come out of the visit as he described Buhari’s trip to the United State as a mere jamboree saying the visit will not make any difference from that embarked upon by previous administrations.
He said Nigerians should not expect anything from the trip particularly on terrorism if the U.S cannot assist the Iraqi, Libya, Sieria and Yemen which are it puppets to end terrorism.
Balarabe Musa, in an exclusive interview he granted to Nigerian Pilot Sunday said Nigerians should know that the pursuit for assistance to end terrorism, repatriation of stolen monies and trade relationship, which were key issues talked about by President Buhari and the American President, Barack Obama, have existed for a very long time and yet nothing has been achieved. He said instead Nigeria should get it house in order first before approaching foreigners for support.
“President Muhammadu Buhari went to America for three purposes. First,to secure assistance against Boko Haram. Secondly, to secure assistance from in particular Western countries in collecting and getting back Nigeria’s stolen money which has been banked in foreign countries. The third, of course, is to get trade agreement or whatever it is for Nigerians.
“For instance, take the case of Boko Haram, the President went to G7 and now the U.S in efforts to get assistance against terrorism but the Britain knows very well that the same country, America from which he is now seeking assistance against terrorism, has been unable to do anything sufficient for other countries that are closer to them that they are even sponsoring than Nigeria and yet nothing has been achieved.
“For instance, America has not been able to help the Iraqi people against terrorism. And the Iraqi regime is a regime they sponsor and brought about yet they have not been able to help them in their effort towards terrorism. The same thing with Libya, Syria and Yemen.
“So in all this countries that have been turned into even puppets of America, it has not been able to help them very much against terrorism. So, what hope does Nigeria have in relying on America for the combat of terrorism in Nigeria? Not much hope.
“So, the real thing is put your house sufficiently enough in other in all this respect, Terrorism, repatriation of stolen money, trade relationship and every other thing to convince the Western countries. And these are not just Western countries but former colonial country, former imperialist countries with known economy interest in our countries. Convince them first that you can control the situation in your country before going to them to seek any favour otherwise they will just be nice to you while some may just be laughing at you,” Balarabe Musa said.
Legal expert and Human Right Activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa said the N2.2 billion naira spent by Buhari on the US trip has made nonsense of the administration’s war against corruption.
Adegboruwa, who is a close confidant of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, made this disclosure in a statement made available to journalists, where he lambasted the President, saying “I advise the Gen Buhari administration to settle down to the business of serious governance, name his cabinet and give Nigeria a true sense of direction, as contained in his campaign promises, rather than chasing shadows and running a government of excuses and propaganda.
“The war against corruption is becoming meaningless, in a regime that is spending a whooping N2.3bn just on a single trip to the United States of America.”
A popular columnist, Emmah Adah, said it is worrisome that the federal government has kept sealed lips over the alleged spending of the sum of NGN2.2 billion by a delegation of about 50 persons who visited the U.S. for four days and expressed concern that some Nigerians have risen to defend the huge amount.
“That is an average NGN40 million per person for 96 hours, minus cost of transportation but including subsidized feeding as guests of America. This figure is yet to be controverted by the federal government; but some Nigerians have risen to defend and justify it.”