President Muhammadu Buhari has cancelled his scheduled trip to the Republic of Niger.
This comes barely 24 hours after his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, announced in a statement that the President would attend the 59th Proclamation of Republic of Niger ceremony in Tahoua, Niger.
Shehu explained on Monday that President Buhari felt the trip was unnecessary after he had met with his Nigerien counterpart, President Mahamadou Issoufou.
He, however, said the President delegated the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Ibrahim, and some state governors to represent him at the event.
“The event to which the President was invited is the celebration of the 59th year of the country’s independence. Niger invited the leaders of neighbouring states – the Presidents of Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, and Nigeria.
“President Buhari felt satisfied that he had had useful discussions with his friend and brother, President Mahamadou Issoufou, in the course of the weekend meeting in Abuja, of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.
“After a phone call last night (Sunday) between the leaders, President Buhari decided to send a delegation made up of the three governors of Katsina, Yobe and Borno States along with the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs to represent him,” the presidential aide said.
The historic event holds on December 18 annually, to commemorate the founding of the Republic of Niger and creation of the Presidency.
In the statement issued on Sunday, Shehu had said President Buhari would hold bilateral meetings with some of the African leaders before returning to Abuja same day.
The planned trip comes less than four days after the President returned to the country from Paris where he attended the One Planet Summit.
President Buhari, who departed Nigeria on Monday last week, joined more than 60 Heads of State and governments, as well as representatives of non-governmental and private organisations at the conference.
He had appealed to the international community to support Nigeria’s commitment to reducing the negative effects of the climate change.
He had also told the gathering that his administration was actively promoting technologies and practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions among others.