Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, has described Kingsley Moghalu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as “either ignorant or playing petty politics” over his criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Shehu expressed his position in a statement issued on his social media pages on Thursday in reaction to Moghalu’s comment decrying the absence of President Buhari at the recently concluded G7 Summit in France.
Moghalu, who was the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the 2019 general elections, had lamented that Nigeria was uninvited for the summit while the leaders of Rwanda and South Africa were present.
He described the non-invitation as “a reflection of our domestic weakness”.
But responding, Shehu said the non-invitation was not a humiliation for Nigeria, noting that it was evident that the former CBN deputy governor was not conversant with how the G7 secretariat operates.
The presidential spokesperson further stated that contrary to Moghalu’s claim, the non-invitation to the summit did not in any way have a negative impact on the country having the biggest economy in Africa, noting that it is the prerogative of the organisation to invite whoever it chooses to.
He explained that the proof of Nigeria’s respected standing in the world was recently exhibited when the European Union facilitated the signing of a €50 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the rehabilitation programme in the North-East geopolitical region.
The statement read: “The non-invitation of President Buhari to witness the G7 meeting this year is not a snub. Neither does it diminish the status of Nigeria as the biggest economy on the continent. It seems no one clarified to the one-time Presidential Candidate how the G7 secretariat works.
“If they invite a country with an economy the size of Niger State, not Kano’s, not even Lagos’s does it call for Dr. Moghalu’s lamentation? Today, as we see it, they call this country, tomorrow they decide to have another. It’s entirely up to them.
“Buhari didn’t go to Europe. Europe came to him in Japan, where the EU had him sign an MOU for 50 Million Euro in support to the country’s devastated North East.
“The joke is not on President Buhari. The joke is on Moghalu for attempting to make ignorance fashionable.”