“What is the difference between me and those who elected us to represent them, absolutely nothing. Why should the Nigerian president not fly with other Nigerian public? Why do I need to embark on a foreign trip as a president with a huge crowd with public funds? Why do I need to go for a medical trip abroad if we cannot make our hospital functional?”- Muhammadu Buhari.
This was a statement delivered on February 21, 2015, in London by President Muhammadu Buhari while campaigning as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections.
Three years down the line, he has failed to keep to this promise.
Buhari is yet to fly with any local airline, instead, he has confined himself to his numerous presidential planes. The president has also embarked on countless foreign trips with a needless large entourage that has cost a lot in taxpayers’ funds. However, none of his misdeeds could compare to his current trip to China.
According to his senior special assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president is visiting China to participate in the 7th summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation scheduled to hold from September 3 to 4 in Beijing. Apart from departing Nigeria three days to the event, Buhari was accompanied by some politicians who have little or no business at the summit.
Apart from his wife and daughter which could be permissible due to his status as President, he left with an entourage of four governors, three senators and nine ministers. These number does not include the personal aides of the President and the aides of the members of the entourage. In fact, some Governors that were not part of the trip initially as contained in the press release have joined him in China. The entourage looks more like an APC diaspora meeting than an important international summit.
The action of the president is a clear violation of his electoral promise and a reincarnation of the incompetence of the previous administration. Buhari and his entourage have wasted taxpayers’ funds which shows he doesn’t keep to his promise. This show of shame is a clear indication that governance is on suspension for politics.