About two in three Nigerians who participated in a PREMIUM TIMES poll have declared support for the frequent foreign trips by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Many Nigerians have complained of the president’s frequent trips, but he has insisted that the trips are for the good of the country and he needed to be physically present to talk to his colleagues across the world.
Since his inauguration on May 29 last year, Mr. Buhari has so far visited 22 countries across the globe. He is currently in China to further discussions on bilateral issues including obtaining loan to continue with ongoing infrastructural projects in Nigeria.
Some of the other countries the Nigerian leader has visited since his inauguration include USA, India, Niger Republic, Chad, Cameroun, UK, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE among others.
The Poll results
In the poll, the respondents had three options: Yes (support for the foreign trips), No (oppose the foreign trips) and the trips “might benefit Nigeria in the future.”
Out of the total of 3,920 respondents, 2,634, representing 67 per cent, declared support for the foreign trips.
In contrast, only a quarter of the respondents, 1,007, opposed the foreign trips by the Nigerian leader.
Another 279 respondents, representing 7.1 per cent, indicated that Mr. Buhari’s trips may benefit Nigeria in the future.
The results of the poll also reflects the divisions among Nigerians on the performance of the current administration. While his supporters have pointed to the various successes announced by the military against the Boko Haram militants in the North Eastern part of the country and the ongoing trial of several politically exposed persons for corruption, his opponents have criticised his frequent foreign trips amidst the worsening economic situation and the recurrent fuel scarcity since he assumed office as failures.
One of Mr. Buhari’s most vociferous critics, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, recently stated that, “Mr President should stay at home and bring this fuel scarcity that has paralysed almost all activities in the country to an end.
“Nigerians are saying their president should stay at home and bring to an end the killings, raping of women and destruction of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.”
Mr. Buhari has, however, said he needed to gain the confidence of world leaders and extract commitments from them in his quest to restore Nigeria’s lost glory and repatriate some of the looted funds stashed in their banks.