EXCLUSIVE: Junketing Nigerian President, Buhari To Visit London To See Doctors, Embark On Another Trip To South Korea
Barring any last-minute change, President Muhammadu Buhari will at the end of October leave Nigeria for Seoul, South Korea and London, United Kingdom, SaharaReporters has gathered.
According to a presidential source, the President will be travelling to Seoul at the end of the month on a five-day official visit.
He is expected to leave the Asian country after the event for London where he will be seeing his doctors at Royal Brompton Hospital situated at Sydney St, London SW3 6NP between 1-2 November, 2022.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to depart Abuja for Seoul, South Korea on a 5-day official visit to the Asian country,” the source told SaharaReporters.
“The President who wanted to visit Doha, Qatar last month but was snubbed by the Qatari leader is poised to go on a merry-go-round around the world between now and his eagerly awaited exit from power in about 7 months.
“From Seoul, Buhari will proceed to London where he is scheduled to undergo a medical procedure at the Royal Brompton Hospital situated at Sydney St, London SW3 6NP, between November 1 and 2, 2022.”
The latest trip by Buhari comes a few months after Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar declined a request by the Nigerian President to visit the country.
Al Thani holds the most powerful position in the country and has a prominent role in foreign relations.
The Nigerian government had proposed September 11 and 12, 2022 for Buhari to visit the country but the Emir in a note verbale exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters said the dates were not suitable for him and asked for other dates in 2023.
“The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) and with reference to the latte’s Note M 403/2022 dated 12/08/2022 informing that H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has accepted to visit Qatar on 11-12 September 2022 on invitation of H.H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar,” a note verbale sent from the Qatar embassy on August 19 had read.
“Has the honour to communicate that the proposed dates for the visit are not suitable and kindly request the Nigerian side to propose other dates for the visit during the first quarter of the year 2023.
“The Embassy of the State of Qatar avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) the assurance of its highest consideration.”
However, a presidential source blamed the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), Amb. Lawal Kazaure and his team for the rejection.
“Actually, it was the Emir that invited President Buhari to come and visit him. Unfortunately, his team didn’t follow the usual diplomatic channel to accept and propose alternative dates,” the source had claimed.
“After over 3 months without a word, the State House wrote directly to Qatar Embassy in Abuja to inform that President Buhari wants to visit from 11-12 September 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not involved. Our Embassy in Doha, capital of Qatar was not also consulted.
“Unfortunately, the President was snubbed and asked to come next year. They know there will be a newly elected president by that time. It’s a way of telling him, he’s not welcome again. The initial plan was to proceed to New York for UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) from Doha.”
Buhari, despite announcing several cost-cutting measures as a way of reducing the cost of governance is known for junketing across the world.
He has embarked on over 12 international trips in 2022 and spent at least 44 days outside Nigeria.
On February 15, 2022, the Nigerian leader embarked on a trip to the Belgian capital, Brussels, where he participated in the 6th Europe-Africa Summit.
About a week before the Belgium trip, Buhari joined his African counterparts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the 35th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads and Government of the African Union.
In March, the President visited Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, where he participated in the 50th anniversary of the UN Environmental Programme before returning to Abuja, and later jetted out to London, the United Kingdom, for a medical trip that lasted for about two weeks.
On May 9, Buhari embarked on a trip to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to attend a United Nations conference on the future of land regarding desertification, drought, degradation, rights, restoration and implications for national and world economies.
Ten days later, he was in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, on a condolence visit to its new President, Sheikh Mohamed Al Nahyan, on the passing of the former president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan.
On May 27, the President departed Abuja for Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to participate in the African Union Extra-ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government with a special focus on security.
On June 4, he visited Accra, Ghana, to attend an extraordinary summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in Mali and other parts of the sub-region.
On June 22, President Buhari departed Abuja for Kigali, Rwanda, to attend the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which was held from June 20 to 26, 2022.
In July, he departed Abuja for Dakar, the Senegalese capital to participate in the International Development Association for Africa Summit.
The trip came barely 24 hours after terrorists attacked his convoy in Katsina, the President’s home state and the Kuje prison facility in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Also, two police officers were killed in the state where the attack on the president’s convoy took place.
Source: Sahara Reporters.