The Nigerian Academy of International Affairs has chided political leaders for converging outside the country for meetings ahead of the 2023 elections.
Presidential candidates, some governors and party officials met in Dubai, France and the United Kingdom in August.
They include Bola Tinubu, All Progressives Congress (APC); Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Peter Obi, Labour Party (LP), Governors of Abia (Okezie Ikpeazu), Oyo (Seyi Makinde), Rivers (Nyesom Wike), among others.
On Tuesday, the Academy President, Bolaji Akinyemi condemned the “ill-advised and unwitting jamboree of shame displayed” by the politicians.
His statement said their trip has again demonstrated that the Nigerian environment they polluted is “not conducive to their vainglorious self-importance and unearned esteem”.
Akinyemi noted that they prefer a savoury Western atmosphere “because of their Neo-colonial mentality”
The group said the implication of meetings abroad was an exposure of Nigeria directly or indirectly to unwarranted Western influence.
Akinyemi said the unnecessary trips show the insensitivity and disregard for the plights of workers and pensioners whose salaries and pensions have not been paid for a long time.
The statement added that it was the kind of neo-colonialist behaviour that caused Nigeria’s absence from the global scene.
“Nigeria is not invited to G20, Brics or any significant meetings. Countries that watch our leaders’ pattern of behaviour such as the obnoxious conclaves in London/Paris/Dubai will have no respect for Nigeria.
“No wonder South Africa has eclipsed Nigeria on the global scene. The solution to Nigeria’s problems lies within Nigeria and among Nigerians,” he said.
The Academy insisted it would be more cost-effective and appropriate to brainstorm in Nigeria, adding that leaders should stop going abroad in search of the magic wand.
Ex-Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinterinwa is the body’s Secretary.
Members include Lt. General Martin Luther Agwai, Prof. Joy Ogwu, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), Prof. Akin Oyebode, Prof. Jide Osuntokun, Prof. Alaba Ogunsanwo, Amb. Godknows Igali, Director General of NIIA, Prof. Eghosa Osagie, among others.