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‘It’s unfair to say Buhari ignores Nigerian victims’ — Garba Shehu defends UAE trip

  Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, says it is “unfair” to say President Muhammadu Buhari is not responsive to victims of violent atta...


Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, says it is “unfair” to say President Muhammadu Buhari is not responsive to victims of violent attacks in the country.


Shehu spoke on Friday during an interview with Channels Television.


Buhari is currently in Dubai for a condolence visit over the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


The president’s visit to UAE had elicited varied reactions, with some Nigerians saying Buhari should focus on victims of violent attacks in his country, rather than pay condolence visits abroad.


Asked about the concerns raised, Shehu said he had accompanied the president on condolence visits to some states in Nigeria.


The presidential spokesperson added that condolence visits by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo are also on behalf of the presidency.


“Those Nigerians should be told that they should look at all of the facts. I have accompanied the president to Sokoto on a condolence visit after a major incident,” he said.


“I accompanied him to Zamfara. He spoke to the governor, parliamentarians, religious and traditional leaders.


“I accompanied the president to Benue state. He addressed the governor in government house, Makurdi, after a major incident. I accompanied him to Jos after a crisis.


“So, did the president go to all the places where there have been incidents of violence or killings? No, he did not go.


“However, it is unfair also to make the conclusion wrongly that he had not paid attention or had not visited. He had been to Maiduguri quite a number of times.


 “It depends on what Nigerians choose to look at. The president has been responsive and he has been discharging the obligations that rest upon him as the president and commander-in-chief, in dealing with all of these matters. He has not cut short in any way.


“The point I want to make is that the administration has been very responsive. You just mentioned the railway incident in Kaduna, and this last week, the incident in Kano of an explosion.


“The vice-president of Nigeria was in both places. This country has one presidency. If the president is not there on account of engagements and the vice-president is there, let us take it that the presidency of Nigeria has attended to those matters.”

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