• US did not snub president, says presidency •PDP urges president-elect to check dictatorship in Africa
Tobi Soniyi, Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has described the non-extension of invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States as a clear signal that the country under him (Buhari) does not enjoy international relevance any more.
In a swift reaction, the presidency refuted claims that Trump snubbed Buhari.
The governor said the signal was ominous that Buhari’s government might not enjoy tangible support from the new US government.
A statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Lere Olayinka, yesterday said there was no doubt that Buhari is not in the good books of the incoming US government, arguing that
Buhari’s frequent visit to US during President Barack Obama’s administration and the romance was due to the tacit support given to Buhari by Obama to win the 2015 election with deception.
“With Obama’s role in the emergence of President Buhari, it can be said that he (Obama) is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Diaspora. In an important event like this in US, our president will be missing in action,” Fayse noted.
The governor wondered why the same Buhari, who was a regular visitor to the US under Obama, is today not part of the historic inauguration of a new administration.
“Obviously, Buhari’s junketing to US that gulped $1 million per trip, has come to an inglorious end,” he said.
The governor who congratulated Trump for winning against all odds, like he (Fayose) won his own election in Ekiti State in 2014, appealed to the new American president to do everything humanly possible to save Nigeria from the wanton killings and horrid human rights abuses of the Buhari administration.
He enjoined Trump to use his good offices to look into the daily killings in Nigeria particularly in Southern Kaduna where over 1,000 people were slaughtered like goats and buried in mass graves.
Fayose reiterated: “The Southern Kaduna killings are a clear case of genocide that must be thoroughly investigated and unraveled.
“To make matters worse was the bombing of the (IDPs)Internally Displaced Persons camp by the military in desperation to cover up the corruption and mismanagement of affairs in the camp.
“We appeal to Trump to ensure that the voice of the opposition is not silenced in this country.”
Describing the emergence of Trump as the will of God despite human gang up, Fayose said the opposition in Nigeria will work with the new American government.
Fayose also cited the reckless disobedience to court orders; the deliberate efforts to kill opposition and turn Nigeria into a one-party state; the intolerance of this administration which he said “is second to none, victimisation and hacking of opposition leaders telephone conversations under the guise of anti-corruption war; the bastardisation of institutions of state such as the armed forces, INEC, police, Department of State Services (DSS), compromising of a section of the judiciary, and turning them all into jellies doing the bidding of the ruling party at the snap of fingers are other possible reasons why Buhari was not invited to Trump’s inauguration.”
But the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, refuted reports that Trump snubbed Buhari and invited former President Goodluck Jonathan to his inauguration.
Reacting to the report through his twitter handle, he said the US does not invite world leaders to the inauguration of its presidents hence Nigeria’s president could not have been snubbed.
He wrote: “Gentlemen, I think we should respond to refute this falsehood. The US does not invite Heads of State or President to the inauguration of its Presidents. Our President could therefore not have been snubbed.”
Meanwhile, ahead of Trumps inauguration today, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called him to help rescue Africa from the hands of dictatorial leaders.
In a congratulatory message sent by PDP National Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, on behalf of the party to Trump, the party described him as a great leader.
The party also urged him to show enormous interest in the development of democracy in Nigeria and Africa.
According to the statement issued by the PDP spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, the opposition party said Trump ‘s victory at the election and subsequent inauguration as the President of America has demonstrated that courage, dedication and doggedness pay in the end. We salute the American people for making the right choice; and believe that he will take America to greater heights given his success in business.
“We, the PDP family admires President Trump as a great leader and hope he will show enormous interest in the development of democracy in Nigeria and Africa in general as well as Nigeria’s economic development.
“The PDP nurtured democracy in Nigeria from 1999-2015, the longest in the democratic dispensation since her Independence in 1960. However, the current situation in Nigeria is a complete reversal of all the achievements of the PDP.
“To this end, we are looking forward to quality relationship with you, Mr. President, your party, the Rebublican and the American people in general. We believe that you can contribute immensely in rescuing Africa from leaders with dictatorial tendencies.”