In addition to a string of abruptly scrapped travels by the Presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari’s scheduled trip to Senegal for the 49th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been cancelled.
The President was slated to depart Nigeria for Senegal today, Friday, June 3, and return on Saturday, June 4.
TheWill reports that sources from the presidency say the President may have directed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to represent him at the one-day summit.
Speculations have it that the President may have shelved the Dakar trip so as not to buy into the narrative that he only prefers to do trips to international destinations after shunning Lagos and Rivers States.
On Thursday morning, the President had abruptly cancelled his widely publicized Thursday trip to Ogoni, Rivers State to launch the cleaning up of years of oil spills that have devastated the Niger Delta community in the south south region.
Prior to President Buhari’s visit, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) militant group had sent forth a message warning the president to stay away from the region or sign his death warrant.
The presidency has however responded, clarifying reasons for the cancellation, saying that it rather stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would stand in for the president at the event.
Had he made the visit, it would have been the first visit of the former military ruler to the Delta since taking office in May last year as he has been accused by critics of ignoring the predominately Christian south.
Recall that President Buhari also cancelled his trip to Lagos on Monday, May 23, where he was to commission projects done by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, citing scheduling difficulties.