The Presidency has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled his scheduled trip to Niger Republic, yesterday.
The presidency explained that the trip was canceled because Buhari felt satisfied he had had useful discussions with President Mahamadou Issoufou, over a weekend meeting in Abuja, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had announced on Sunday that Buhari would join some world leaders for the 59th Proclamation of Republic of Niger in Tahoua, Niger.
Shehu had said Buhari, alongside Presidents of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger, will participate in the event, held on December 18 of every year, to commemorate the founding of the Republic of Niger and creation of its Presidency.
The presidential aide had also said Buhari was scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with some of his counterparts before returning to Abuja same day.
President Buhari was to have been accompanied on the trip by Governors Aminu Masari, Ibrahim Gaidam and Kashim Shettima of Katsina, Yobe and Borno states, respectively.
Twenty-four hours after, Shehu explained that the president cancelled the trip because of his discussions with his counterpart from Nigeri.
He added that after a telephone discussion with Issoufou on Sunday evening, Buhari decided to send the three governors, as well as the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, to represent him at the ceremony.
“The event to which the president was invited was the celebration of the 59th year of the country’s independence.
“Niger invited the leaders of neighbouring states: the Presidents of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Nigeria.
“President Buhari felt satisfied that he had had useful discussions with his friend and brother, president Issoufou.
“After a phone call on Sunday night, between the leaders, president Buhari decided to send a delegation, made up of governors of Katsina, Yobe and Borno states, along with the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, to represent him.”