Emerging facts indicate that the Presidency seems to be disturbed, as many world leaders will not be attending the scheduled London summit on corruption on Thursday, May 12, to be hosted by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, which President Muhammadu Buhari, is billed to attend.
The summit is expected to see world leaders sign on behalf of their respective countries, a global declaration, committing them to tackling corruption, ensuring it is not allowed to fester in institutions, businesses or communities and supporting people affected by it.
Apart from Buhari, other leaders attending are; Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg.
However, other top world leaders are sending less senior figures, with Russia set to be represented by deputy foreign minister, Oleg Syromolotov, and most world leaders shunning the summit.
Earlier, Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman in a statement, said that Buhari will on Tuesday, May 10, leave for London to participate in the International Anti-Corruption Summit, which will be held at the British capital on Thursday.
He added, that Buhari will ahead of the summit’s opening, deliver a keynote address titled: “Why We Must Tackle Corruption Together”, at a pre-summit conference of development partners, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Transparency International and other civil society groups on Wednesday, May 11, 2016.
Political pundits have alleged that the decision of some of the world leaders to shun the meeting with Buhari in attendance, might be connected to a report by a British newspaper, “The Mail Online” on Sunday, May 8, questioning Buhari’s anti-corruption credentials.
The Mail Online, said Buhari who is typecast as the People’s President, may be waging a war against corruption, but that his critics have described the war as a witch-hunt.
The report quoted a Nigerian newspaper alleging that Buhari had spent £150,000 on educating his daughter Zahra, a Surrey University student in the United Kingdom, UK.
The paper also reported Buhari’s failure to give a full account of his worth, and that even his partial admission included more than £1 million in the bank, five houses and two plots of land.
The publication comes 72 hours before Buhari’s scheduled arrival in London for a world anti-corruption summit.
Buhari will be accompanied to the summit by the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami and Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu and others.
According to the Mail Online, “The presence of Nigeria’s president at David Cameron’s anti-corruption summit this week may surprise many in his nation – which receives vast amounts of UK aid.”
It added, “Self-proclaimed ‘People’s President, Muhammadu Buhari began a war on corruption after taking power last year, but critics allege it is a political witch-hunt.
“The Government is giving nearly £250million in the coming year to oil-rich Nigeria.
“Supporters say 49 arrests of members of the previous regime show the anti-corruption war is genuine, but opponents say it is politically driven.
“Nigeria has the highest-paid government officials in the world, but is one of the largest beneficiaries of UK foreign aid.
“The president of its senate, Bukola Saraki, is due to face trial on corruption charges, after it emerged he has a £6million London property in his wife’s name.
“The Nigerian Embassy did not comment”, it said