British PM, May, arrives in Nigeria, meets with Buhari for bilateral discussions

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – The British Prime Minister, Ms Theresa May, on Wednesday, met with with President Muhammadu Buhari, who cancelled the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) to welcome his visitor.

May, who arrived exactly at 1pm (12 noon GMT), was ushered in by the military pipers of the Nigerian Army Guards Brigade Band at the foyer of the President’s office.

After reception formalities, May stepped into a closed-door meeting with the Nigerian president, a bilateral discussion that is expected to lead to the signing of vital defence and economic agreements involving Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

This is Prime Minister May’s first official visit to Nigeria. It is part of her trip to select sub-Saharan African countries, her first as British PM.

Both British and Nigerian leaders are expected to address the media after the meeting.

Prime Minister May will thereafter leave Abuja for Lagos for other engagements, including being hosted by the Territorial Leaders of the Salvation Army in Lagos.

Already, the whole road leading to the Salvation Army headquarters in Surulere, Lagos, has been taken over by operatives of military, special and paramilitary forces.

The visit is being overshadowed by Prime Minister May’s statement on Tuesday that Nigeria is home to more poor people than any other nation in the world with 87 million Nigerians living on less than US$1.90 a day.

Ms May made her latest statement in South Africa, according to the UK government, stating that “much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy. Yet 87 million Nigerians live on less than US$1.90 a day – making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.”

As expected, the statement by the British leader provided fodder for opposition politicians critical of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and his policies in Nigeria, with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urging the Prime Minister to use her State visit to Nigeria to uncover the dismal state of our nation by resisting a choreographed plan by the Buhari Presidency to hoodwink her for an endorsement stunt.

According to the party’s spokesperson, Mr Kola Ologbodion, “the PDP also calls on the British leader not to allow the Buhari Presidency to confine her to the palours of the Presidential Villa, but to insist on visiting other parts of the nation to enable her directly appreciate the level of lies and false performance indices the Federal Government has been dishing out to the world.

"This is particularly as we have been made aware of plans by the Federal Government to use the visit to dish out more lies to the international community in an effort to cover its failures in governance in the last three years, for which Nigerians are clamouring for a new president under the PDP.

“The PDP further charges the British Prime Minister, as a parliamentarian, to take the Buhari Presidency to task on its unabated interferences and violent attacks on the institution of the National Assembly, including threats to forcefully remove the elected presiding officers of the Senate, as well as the recent invasion and blockade of the National Assembly by
Presidency-controlled security forces.

“The PDP also wants the British leader to task President Buhari on his widely-condemned stand against the supremacy of the rule of law in addition to records of violation of human rights in Nigeria, including government’s disobedience to court orders, reported extra-judicial killings, torture, unlawful political arrests and detention, restriction of free speech and media freedom and lack of government’s accountability as detailed in reports by various international bodies, including Transparency International (TI), Amnesty International (AI) and US Department of States.

“The British leader should also elicit discussions with the President on the recent report by Price Waterhouse Cooper showing humongous corruption in his administration, including the circumstances surrounding the N4 trillion unremitted oil money in agencies under his direct supervision as minister.”

“Finally, the PDP urges Prime Minister May to engage President Buhari on the violent rigging of elections under his watch, and extract commitment from him on his administration’s preparedness for a free, fair and credible general elections in 2019, especially as there are apprehensions across Nigeria, that his actions, utterances and body language suggest otherwise.”
-0- PANA MON/VAO 29Aug2018

29 august 2018 14:33:00

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