FACT CHECK: Reno Omokri claims about Buhari’s absence in 2019 G-7 summit misleading
A viral tweet by Reno Omokri, a former presidential aide, with claims that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was not invited to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit due to Buhari’s “misrule” is misleading.
The G7 summit or ‘Group of Seven’, meets each year, bringing together the heads of state and government of the world’s seven largest so-called advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus the presidents of the European Commission and European Council.
Traditionally, representatives of other nations and international organisations are also invited to attend. 2019 edition was held on 24–26 August 2019 in France.
A Twitter post, already retweeted 420 times with a 2017 G-7 summit picture of U.S. President Donald Trump and Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, Omokri claimed that “Nigeria has deteriorated under General Buhari’s misrule” hence the miss-out.
“President of @AfDB_Group Devt Bank, @akin_adesina, was invited to the G-7 summit, while Buhari was not invited. LIFELESS versus LIVELY,” Omokri tweeted.
The picture, taken by Getty Images’s Sean Gallup shows Trump chatting with Adesina after a group photo for the G7 Outreach Program on the second and last day of the G7 Taormina summit on the island of Sicily on May 27, 2017, in Taormina, Italy.
Moreover, findings by The Guardian shows that countries oftentimes do not get invited for the summit every year as there are a limited number of nations to be invited.
In the last five years only one African country, Senegal, has been invited to the summit more than Nigeria. The country was invited in 2019, 2018 and 2015.
Nigeria was invited to the summit in 2015 and 2017. This is as much as other African countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Ethiopia, which were invited twice in the last five years.
Buhari attended the 2015 edition hosted by Germany on June 7–8, 2015.
He was absent for the 2017 edition held on May 26–27, 2017 in Taormina in Sicily, Italy. Buhari was represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who was the acting president then due to Buhari’s medical visit to London.
Buhari left Nigeria on May 7, 2017, and returned on August 9, 2017, for treatment of an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Osinbajo.