The presidency, yesterday, said world leaders long to have audience with President Muhammadu Buhari to enable them share from his approach to leadership and acumen in initiatives to effect positive change in Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu stated this in Beijing, the Chinese capital, shortly after the arrival of President Buhari, who is in the country to participate at the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Garba’s remarks came few days after a report by Financial Times quoted President Donald Trump of the U.S. as allegedly describing President Buhari as ‘lifeless.’The presidential media aide urged Nigerians to take note of world leaders’ interest in investments and support for the country, since President Buhari assumed office in 2015.
He said: “As a policy, we said we were not going to respond to the American President. However, the fact that world leaders are queuing up to meet President Buhari is an indication that there is something about President Buhari. There is something about the Nigeria he now leads, that the world likes. Nigerians should look at things from this perspective, as it is a major development. In the past, we had situations in the country, where key world leaders didn’t want to meet our leaders. All of that has changed in the last three years.”
The spokesman explained that more projects involving partnership between the Chinese and Nigerian governments would be quickly completed, after the summit. Shehu said some of the projects expected to be accelerated after the summit include, the Kaduna-Kano rail project, the coastal rail scheme, Mambilla power project, the second phase of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport expansion project, and rail projects in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano.
President Buhari arrived Capital International airport, Beijing at about 9:00am Nigerian time, and was received by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjing and other top government officials.