Despite complaints by Nigerians and a critical editorial by one of Nigeria’s most widely read newspapers, President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) has chosen to continue his frequent foreign trips, this time to Saudi Arabia.
The president jets out to Saudi Arabia today for a three-day official assignment followed by a two-day personal religious act, his office said on Sunday.
Presidential sources revealed that after the president returns from Saudi on Saturday, he will, days later, proceed on a vacation to the UK for about 10 days.
The UK trip is yet to be officially announced.
On Sunday, the presidency announced the departure of Mr Buhari to attend the third edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) organised by Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Also, he will proceed to Makkah on Thursday to perform Umrah.
Mr Buhari is not new to criticisms on foreign travels. He spent over one-third of his first three years in office outside Nigeria, according to computation by Punch Newspapers. A large part of that was for medical treatment of an undisclosed ailment in the UK.
In the past three months, the president has travelled at least four times, spending over 15 days.
Although the travels were deemed a priority by the presidency, many Nigerians have argued that the president could have sent few representatives to some of the events, thus cutting cost and having more time to attend to important national issues at home.
Some of his recent foreign trips have been to Japan, Russia, South Africa and the U.S.