Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, says various world leaders “queuing” to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari shows the president is on the right course. Shehu said this on Saturday while reacting to a derogatory comment about Buhari credited to US President Donald Trump.
According to a report by Financial Times, the US president reportedly told his aides that he never wanted to meet someone as lifeless as Buhari again.
Speaking when the president arrived in China for the 7th summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Shehu reiterated that the presidency is not worried about the said comment.
He said visits of British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Nigeria show there is something about the president that world leaders admire. “As a policy, we said that we are not going to answer the American President,” he said.
“However, the fact that the entire world and world leaders are queuing up to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, is an indication that there is something about president Buhari, there is something about the Nigeria he now leads, that the world likes.”
Shehu said some world leaders “did not want to meet” with Nigerian leaders in the past. “I think that Nigerians themselves should better look at this from this positive point of view, as a major development,” he said. “We had situations in the country in the past where key world leaders didn’t want to meet our own leaders, all of that has changed in the last three years.”
On what is expected of the president’s trip to China, he said: “You know that from the last summit in South Africa, the Chinese financing of projects in Nigeria has more than doubled under President Muhammadu Buhari and so therefore, we expect that if the same momentum is maintained, we hope that going forward, all of the projects that are outstanding like the Kaduna-Kano rail project, the coastal rail scheme, Mambilla power project, the second phase of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport expansion project, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja/ Kano and all of these projects, they will move more steadily and thankfully, we have virtually everyone who matters on our own side.
“So, we hope that whatever is left, the dotted lines will be signed, and we are hoping that we will take back with us, quite a number of schemes that will take Nigeria forward.”