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Buhari clears the air on his frequent trips abroad

07 February 2016, 08:44

Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari has defended his numerous foreign trips.

He said every one of his trips were absolutely necessary, whether politically or economically.

The President had been recently criticised by Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, who urged him to stay at home and govern, rather than embark on incessant foreign trips.

If you missed Fayose's criticism, click here

While answering questions from some Nigerian journalists in London on Friday, the President said: “Every one of my trips can be politically or economically assessed. I recall that the first trip I had was to go to Chad and Niger. The trip was mainly because of Nigeria’s security.

“We campaigned based on three issues -security, economy (employment) and corruption. And then the G-7 invited me to Germany. After that, I went to Cameroon. I then went to the United Nations General Assembly.

“I have not seen any frivolous journey that I undertook. I understand that the governor of Ekiti State said that every trip I make costs Nigeria at least $1m. I do not know how he worked that out but every trip that I have made, there must be economic and political reasons that justified them.

“Those who do not see it the way the government sees it have the right not to agree and say whatever they like. But we will try and give them the appropriate reply.”

On his war against corruption, the President denied that he was selective.
“We have to go the whole hog into other sectors because unlike what some people believe that the fight against corruption is selective, although they have failed to define the selectivity in their own understanding, there is no way we can get a public officer on record that has misappropriated public fund and we will leave him alone.”

“It is one of the undertakings that the Federal Government made and we are going to see it through. The challenge mainly is to affirm evidence. If you just hear our story that somebody built 12 houses in Abuja, houses do not move. Do they?”

“It is for us to do verification. We need to verify and quantify before the man is invited to justify how he acquired those properties while he is a public officer.”
Speaking on the menace of Boko Haram, President Buhari maintained that the government is winning the war against insurgency.

“We are winning the war. I have said that Boko Haram used to effectively control 14 local governments, they hoisted their flag and declared a caliphate of some sort. But now, Boko Haram is not holding any local government. They have been dispersed. They have reverted to technology.”

“They use Improvised Explosive Devices. They use cooking gas, some wires and metals, put them together and get girls from the age of 15 downwards and explode them in churches, mosques, markets or motor parks and kill people en masse.”

- News 24


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