The All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, has explained that President Bola Tinubu and the US President, Joe Biden, did not meet on the sideline of the UN General Assembly because they had earlier met at the G-20 Nations summit in India.
The presidency had before Tinubu’s trip to the US, announced that Biden had chosen Tinubu to be the only African leader he would meet on the sidelines of UNGA.
Briefing journalists on 15 September ahead of the UNGA, presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, said Mr Tinubu would be meeting with Mr Biden on the sidelines of the event in New York.
Mr Ngelale also said the Nigerian leader would hold talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Lula Silva.
Biden and Tinubu failed to meet, which led to a bit of controversy on social media.
However, Felix Morka, the spokesperson of the party, in a statement on Monday, said the two leaders did not see any reason to meet again in New York.
Mr Morka’s statement was in response to a press release issued by the media team of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, on the performance of the Tinubu administration.
Phrank Shaibu, an aide to Atiku, had in a statement accused the ruling party of lying to Nigerians, including about a meeting between Mr Tinubu and the US President.
Mr Morka, in his statement, said the meeting between Messrs Tinubu and Biden was not necessary and not even on the schedule of the president.
“The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter,” he said.
The APC spokesperson said Mr Shuaibu “clearly does not understand or lacks the constitutive capacity to understand.”
He also dismissed the accusation that the ruling party is engaging in “propaganda” instead of addressing the issues facing the country.
He said Mr Tinubu has been making bold decisions to reform the economy.
“The President has dutifully appointed experienced and highly skilled professionals to key institutions of the economy, including the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in a patriotic zeal to reposition and grow the economy,” Mr Morka said.