By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s outing at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in United Kingdom as a wasteful trip which came at huge cost to the country, but failed to record tangible dividend.
The main opposition party which had criticised the presidentâ€™s early departure for the meeting, said yesterday that it was not surprised that the President returned Saturday night empty-handed and with no tangible dividend.
It attributed the alleged poor outing by the president to â€œhis negative comments about Nigerians and his presentation of false performance indices to his hosts.â€
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, PDP noted that while other Commonwealth heads of state used the occasion to negotiate businesses and showcased the potential and opportunities in their countries,Â President Buhari only succeeded in de-marketing his country and painting her citizens, particularly the youths in the negative.
The party said: â€œNigerians may recall that during his meeting with British Prime Minister, Theresa May, President Buhari, in the quest to hide the failures of his administration and push his 2019 re-election bid, downplayed the worsened economic and security situation in the country under his watch, but opted for self praise and brandishing unsubstantiated record of performance.
â€œThis self-serving stance ultimately blocked all beneficial bilateral engagements that could have helped secure the much needed international interventions in those critical areas.
â€œTwo days after, President Buhari again took the stage at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London and announced to international investors that Nigerian youths, a demography that forms the bulk of our workforce, are uneducated and lovers of freebies.
â€œWe were therefore not surprised that no serious investor sealed any meaningful investment deal with Nigeria as dividend from the CHOGM,â€ the party said.
According to PDP, â€œIt is also instructive to note that despite the public outrage that trailed Â his denigration of our youths, the Buhari Presidency has not offered any apology to the country, particularly our youths, thus further confirming the disdain in which this administration holds our young men and woman.
â€œHaving returned from CHOGM with nothing but wasted opportunities, the next move by the Buhari presidency would be to hugely mobilise their spin-doctors with public resources and direct them to inundate the media with claims of imaginary gains in an effort to befool Nigerians.
â€œNevertheless, while we request the presidency to immediately make public the cost of this trip on the national coffers, we note that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its federal government have irredeemably failed and can no longer represent our interest and aspiration as a nation.Â
â€œNigerians must therefore unite to save our nation from imminent collapse by rallying with the repositioned platform of the PDP to enthrone a purposeful and peoples oriented government, come 2019,â€ it said.