Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye; Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari landed in Abuja, yesterday, two days after he left Washington DC, after a bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump of the United States of America.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, when contacted, said the president “had technical stopover in London.”
He explained what the technical stopover was about.
“The big jet is under repairs. It has been taken for major repairs. So, the president is using a small plane and there is a limit to the distance the small plane can cover.
“So the technical stopover I talked about is that the journey from US to Abuja was broken into two.
“Technical stopover is that the plane stops at a point, refuel, do some checks and then, proceeds on the journey.
“This is very normal. There is nothing unusual about it. In any case, they are already on their way back home. It is a routine thing.
“The plane can do Abuja-Washington, that’s about 12 hours and the maximum the plane can fly is 12 hours, 40 minutes. But, you don’t need to push it to the edge.”
The president was initially expected in Nigeri,a on Wednesday; is to leave Abuja today for his hometown, Daura, to rest.
The rece and advance team that had left for Daura, ahead of Buhari’s visit, were asked to return to Abuja. But, as at the time of filing this report, they were asked to return to Daura.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the Presidency to explain reasons for Buhari’s alleged ‘technical stopover’ in London.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, claimed Buhari left the US 48 hours ago and embarked on an unofficial visit to the United Kingdom for undisclosed reasons, without transmitting a letter to the National Assembly.
The opposition party said “the presidency must understand that president Buhari is not a private citizen and, as long as his upkeep and itinerary is sourced from our hard-earned resources, there must be full disclosure, as citizens deserve to know the purpose of the visit and the cost to our nation.
“This is especially as president Buhari’s foreign trips, which comes at great costs, have not brought any gains to our country. Instead, the president has continued to de-market our nation in the international arena.
“The just concluded the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, where he cast aspersion on our enterprising youths and failed to return with any dividends readily comes to mind.”
The party added that Buhari’s admission, at the Voice of America (VOA) “that he was unable to reach any agreement with Trump, on any matter of interest to Nigeria, during his visit and that he has no future development agenda to validate his 2019 re-election bid, confirms our position that the Buhari administration has nothing to offer Nigerians.”