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Buhari’s Paris comments an insult to Nigeria, says Fani-Kayode


President Muhammadu Buhari delivers an address on “Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”, at the opening ceremony of the Paris Peace Forum held at the Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris on Sunday, November 11, 2018. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY

A former Nigerian aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, Monday called the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari ‘unpatriotic’ over his comments at the Paris Peace Forum in France.

Buhari, who departed the country on Friday to join other world leaders to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Armistice signed on November 11, 1918, delivered an address, “Illicit Financial Flows & Corruption: The Challenge of Global Governance”, at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday.

During his address, the president said, “Our experience in Nigeria is that financial crimes, such as corruption and fraudulent activities, generate enormous unlawful profits which often prove so lucrative that the threat of a jail term is not sufficient to deter perpetrators.”

While reacting to this on Monday, Fani-Kayode in a series of tweets that said such comments invariably characterised Nigerians as ‘rogues’.

The former minister, who dumped the ruling All progressives Congress for the People’s Democratic Party in 2014, opined that no Nigerian past leader has “ever denigrated or insulted the Nigerian people the way he [Buhari] keeps doing.”

This is not the first time the Nigerian president’s comments outside Nigeria will be deemed an affront on the people he leads.

In 2016, Buhari told UK’s Daily Telegraph that Nigerians’ penchant for criminality has made them unworthy of acceptance in Europe and the United States.

“Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he said.

Also in April 2018, the 75-year-old president came under fire for criticising Nigerian youths who he said “do nothing” and want everything for “free” at a business conference in London.

“A lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming, you know, that Nigeria has been an oil producing country therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, health care, education, free,” said Buhari.

Fani-Kayode said it is ‘self-deprecating’ and ‘unpatriotic’ for Buhari to ‘run down the Nigerian people’ that voted for him as the president.

“God will judge him for demeaning us before the world and calling us what we are not,” Fani-Kayode said.

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