Academy faults politicians’ London, Paris meetings

A group of professionals, under the aegis of the Nigerian Academy of International Affairs, have faulted Nigerian politicians for travelling to London, Paris and other foreign countries to hold meetings.

The group described as “unfortunate and heartbreaking” the voyage of politicians to foreign countries “in search of delusion-solutions to Nigeria’s problems.”

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘The London Show of Shame’, signed by the group’s president, Professsor A. Bolaji Akinyemi, on behalf of 17 other intellectuals.

Dated August 28, 2022, the statement, made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, partly read, “The Academy is scandalised by the clownish gathering of some members of our political elite in London recently following similar meetings in Paris and Dubai.

“It is most unfortunate and heartbreaking that some Nigerian leaders had to abandon the shores of this country for the ex-colonialists’ capitals of London and Paris in search of delusion-solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

“The ill-advised and unwitting jamboree of shame displayed by these leading Nigerian politicians in London/Paris has demonstrated once more that the Nigerian environment created and polluted by them is not conducive to their vainglorious self-importance and unearned esteem.

“Consequently, and because of their Neo-colonial mentality which blinded them from seeing and appreciating the goodwill and resilience of Nigerians, they preferred a savoury Western atmosphere.

“The implication of this is the exposure of Nigeria directly or indirectly to unwarranted Western influence, particularly as they were perceived to be washing our dirty linens in the full glare of the world.”

The PUNCH reported that a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, had met with the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; and other top politicians in London last Thursday.

On the same day, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, also stormed London with his delegates to meet with Wike to resolve the crisis bedevilling the party.

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, had on 27 June 2022 travelled to France to hold “important meetings”.

In the statement, the group of intellectuals explained that the “unnecessary and inexcusable” trips to London and France showed that the leaders were insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.

The statement added, “Indeed, the unnecessary and inexcusable trips to London/Paris/Dubai demonstrated the insensitivity and reckless disregard for the plights of Nigerian workers and pensioners whose salaries and pensions have not been paid for a long time.

“It is really revolting and unacceptable that Nigerian leaders should always fly out of the country in search of the magic wand to solve the country’s problems.

“It would be more cost-effective and appropriate to brainstorm here in Nigeria in order to get wise counsel from the rich pool of very capable and patriotic Nigerians.

“The solution to Nigeria’s problems lies within Nigeria and among Nigerians.”

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