The Presidency on Friday confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the United Arab Emirates, UAE, was just to condole with the government and people of the country over the passing of their ruler.
This is despite the high level of insecurity threatening the foundation of his own country, which has led to incessant killings and destruction of property across the nation.
Some Nigerians have even expressed their anger over the president’s trip to the UAE while he has not visited some places that have experienced unrest here in Nigeria lately.
One of such places the president has failed to visit is neighbouring Kaduna State, which has been under the siege of bandits.
Buhari had on Thursday jetted out of Nigeria to meet the new President of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
But apart from conveying his condolences on the death of former president and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, many would have thought that the Nigerian leader would use the opportunity to discuss Nigeria and its relationship with UAE with the new President since he (Buhari) had already in an earlier message condoled and congratulated the country.
However, speaking with Channels Television from Abu Dhabi on Friday, Spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu, made it clear that the Nigerian leader traveled all the way just to pay a condolence visit and to congratulate a new leader.
“The focus of Mr. President’s visit to Abu Dhabi and his engagement is essentially to condole with the government and people of United Arab Emirates over the demise of the former ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of UAE and to congratulate his friend and close associate who was crowned Prince and now confirmed elected as President of UAE.
“They’ve had a meeting and the President has done the duty of condoling the UAE on behalf of himself and the government and people of Nigeria for the loss and also welcoming the new ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of UAE. ”
Buhari on Friday in Abu Dhabi, joined the Muslim faithful to observe Jummah prayers, at which prayers were said for the repose of the soul of the late President of UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Buhari was accompanied by Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami; the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
The President is expected back in the country on Saturday.