The Presidency on Tuesday released a statement to clarify some of the reports concerning the trip of President Muhammadu Buhari to Tokyo.
Some of the reports claimed that President Buhari was not in Tokyo, while some said he was going to be molested by some people.
A staunch critic of President Buhari, Reno Omokri also condemned the trip saying it lacks seriousness.
Omokri wrote: “Only a jobless leader leaves his country to visit another leader when that leader is not in his country. Don’t you have work at home? Are you so shameless to you stay in Japan waiting for PM AbeShinzo to return from G-7? FAMILIARITY breeds CONTEMPT!
He continued: “A serious leader, knowing that his host didn’t consider him important enough to be around when he visited, would have sent a minister to represent him. But General Muhammadu Buhari is shameless! Maybe he even thought the JUNIOR MINISTER was PM.”
However, The Presidency through a statement released by Femi Adesina clarified some of the questions raised.
Day two in Japan, and it was mainly for exhaling, catching our breath, receiving briefings and preparing for the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), which holds from August 28-31.
The program outline is rich and holds much for Africa in different spheres like deepening sustainable and resilient society, building peace and stability, agriculture, climate change and disaster risk reduction, human resource development, education, blue economy, and many others.
From concerns and comments on social media, one is compelled to make some clarifications. No, not in response to futile efforts by some shadowy group to convince Nigerians that their President was not in Japan, or that they were going to molest him. That does not really deserve any answer.
To those who believe, no explanation is necessary, while to the cynics and septics, no explanation is possible. We leave them in their follies.
Apart from Japan, other co-organizers of TICAD 7 are the UN, World Bank, UNDP, and African Union Commission.
Participants include African countries, international organizations, development partners, private companies, civil society, and others. For instance, Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Tony Elumelu, is billed to give a keynote address.
Somebody else wailed online: it’s just a talk-shop. Africa and Nigeria gain nothing at the end of the day. Japan just wants to milk the continent, and improve her own economy.
Since 1993, when TICAD started, Africa has received numerous grants and technical assistance. In the first five years, Japan built 1,321 elementary and middle schools, improved 4,778 healthcare and medical facilities, and provided safe water to additional 10.79 million people.
For Nigeria specifically, Japan has provided counterterrorism measures and humanitarian assistance, particularly for internally displaced persons. The help is worth its weight in gold.