President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday, September 24, 2015 leave Nigeria for New York, USA for the 70th United Nations (UN) General Assembly where he is to address the World Leaders Summit on Violent Extremism.
According to a State House press release signed by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari is heading to the US with a delegation made up of the Governors of Sokoto (Aminu Tambuwal), Kaduna (Nasir El Rufai) and Niger (Abubakar Sani Bello).
Also on the delegation are the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, the Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (Ambassador Danjuma Nanpon Sheni), Defence (Aliyu Isma’ila), Finance (Anastasia Mabi Daniel-Nwaobia), Health (Linus Awute), Industry, Trade and Investment.
Criticism has greeted the news of Buhari’s UN delegation with Nigerians expressing concern over the President’s decision to attend the UN General Assembly with a delegation with only Northern governors, especially in the wake of the recent outcry that greeted the announcement of several key appointments in his 4-month old administration.
According to reports, one of such commentators, Uche Ezechukwu questioned if the president was ever going to change the impression that he is pursuing a Northern agenda.
The journalist who spoke with elombah.com said: “Is it possible that Buhari is incapable of change? When will he start seeing Nigeria beyond a narrow regional vista? He goes off to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, on Thursday, accompanied by three Northern governors, from Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states. I know some of his most fanatical supporters who are getting very frustrated with the current state of affairs.”
Another observer, Law Mefor who also spoke to the online news medium said: “Some say the President is free to govern with those he is comfortable with. There should be nothing wrong in moving the capital of Nigeria to Daura, going by the warped logic which stands the nation’s laws on their head.
“But seriously, in a federal, pluralistic environment such as Nigeria, a President must necessarily spread out his wings. He would have lost nothing taking even one Governor from southern Nigeria. That is what federalism is all about – inclusiveness. If those Governors are going because of development, there are States in the South as poor as many States in the North and they are traveling at federal expense.”