The two lawmakers favoured by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress in last year’s National Assembly elections, Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, are to join President Muhammadu Buhari on his visit to Germany.
Mr. Buhari’s team will leave for Germany on Thursday. Apart from Messrs Lawan and Gbajabiamila, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and his Borno counterpart, Kashim Shettima are also traveling with the President.
A statement by the presidency earlier Wednesday mentioned Messrs Okorocha and Shettima but not Messrs Lawan and Gbajabiamila. It only said “representatives of the National Assembly” would be on the visit with Mr. Buhari.
But PREMIUM TIMES obtained a correspondence showing Messrs Gbajabiamila and Lawan are the said representatives of the National Assembly.
Mr. Lawan is in the Senate, and Mr. Gbajabiamila in the House of Representatives as the House Leader.
Both were supported to emerge Senate President and Speaker by the APC but, respectively, lost to Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, who aligned with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party lawmakers.
“Should there be any matter requiring attention of my office, please direct it to the deputy leader, Hon. Buba Jibrin,” Mr. Gbabiamila wrote in a letter to his colleagues, apprising them of the official visit.
The visit will focus on issues of humanitarian crisis and rehabilitation of the insurgency-ravaged Nigeria’s North East and bilateral relations between Africa’s most populous nation and Germany.
“In Berlin, President Buhari, will confer with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues of shared interests between Nigeria and Germany, including further cooperation on security, the humanitarian situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rehabilitation of the North-East, as well as trade and economic relations between both countries,” said Femi Adesina, Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson.
Mr. Buhari will also meet with Federal President Joachim Gauck.
“In furtherance of the administration’s objective to attract more foreign investment and create economic opportunities in the country, President Buhari will participate in a Business Forum in Berlin with leading German companies already active in Nigeria and other prospective investors.
“Before returning to Abuja, the President is expected to meet with representatives of the Nigerian community in Germany,” Mr. Adesina added.
It is Mr. Buhari’s second trip to Germany since he became president last year. The first was shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, on the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, when he attended the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany – his first visit as president to a non-African country.