BREAKING: Akufo-Addo ‘defeats’ Mahama in #GhanaElections in a 1 million votes lead.

Nana Akufo-Addo has defeated John Mahama, the incumbent president, in the Ghanaian presidential elections, news agencies within the country are reporting.


According to Joy News, one of the leading television station in the country, Akufo-Addo maintains a lead of nearly one million votes, over Mahama, who has led the country for four years.


Of 275 constituencies in the country, results have been collated from 251, and Akufo-Addo is leading with 5.268 million votes, while Mahama polled 4.367 million votes.


More to follow…

Ghana’s presidential candidates make final push before vote.

With just 48 hours left before voters in Ghana head to the polls, presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo said the country’s democracy was in a “critical space”.

Akufo-Addo accused the ruling party of fomenting violence as police turn a blind eye, casting doubt on the country’s reputation as beacon of democracy in Africa.

“We’re certainly in a very critical space,” Akufo-Addo told reporters at his house in Ghana’s capital Accra after a rally.

“It’s important that these acts of violence being perpetrated by operatives of the ruling party are dealt with according to the rule of law,” Akufo-Addo said.

“We have definite reservations about the neutrality of the police.”

Fears about the erosion of Ghana’s democracy have dominated the presidential campaign, with claims of voter intimidation and questions over independence of the Electoral Commission.

An exporter of gold, cocoa and oil, the West African country was once hailed as a regional growth model but has lost its lustre after taking on too much debt.

During the bitter presidential campaign, New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate Akufo-Addo criticised incumbent John Mahama for mismanaging the economy and allowing corruption to flourish.

National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Mahama has painted a radically different picture of Ghana, touting his government as an example of fiscal discipline and promising that tackling corruption will be one of his priorities if reelected.

– ‘Winds of change’ –

If neither the NDC or NPP win more than 50 percent of votes, a presidential run-off will take place later in December.

Elections in Ghana are often down to the wire — Akufo-Addo has lost narrowly twice before — but the economic crisis may swing voters his way.

At a final NPP rally in Accra, there were echoes of Barack Obama’s seminal 2008 campaign, with jubilant supporters waving huge blue “hope” flags and blowing plastic horns.

Many in the crowd said they were “suffering” without jobs, describing Akufo-Addo as an “incorruptible” leader who could restore the economy and help Ghana compete with regional star Ivory Coast.

“The winds of change are blowing the whole of Africa, all the corrupt leaders are being taken away,” said 40-year-old Bernard Owusu.

“It happened in Gambia, it happened in Nigeria, and other parts of Africa, and it’s time for Ghana.”

When Akufo-Addo took the stage, the crowd unleashed an earsplitting roar as fireworks popped overheard.

“NDC is corrupt,” said Margaret Darkwah, a 55-year-old decked out head-to-toe in NPP paraphernalia.

“So we are throwing them out.”

– Statesman –

Mahama has worked to take the high road in the campaign, playing the part of statesman.

“Let’s continue to ignore all forms of provocation,” Mahama said in a statement on Twitter over the weekend, urging Ghana to vote and peacefully “wait for the results.”

Mahama studded his campaign with announcements of new infrastructure works and “cash donations”, according to a October report by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, a non-profit organisation based in Accra.

In a recent survey, local pollster Ben Ephson predicted Mahama will win in the first round with 52 percent of the votes, although others have predicted a NPP victory.

Mahama will hold a rally Monday in Accra before heading to his hometown of Bole in the north to cast his ballot.

Akufo-Addo will go vote in the eastern town of Kibi, with the election results expected to be announced in Accra within a couple of days.

Sporadic violence, spurred on by so-called “macho men” — party-affiliated gangs — may break out in some areas, but nationwide violence is unlikely.

Still, it’s a “dangerous” time, Akufo-Addo told reporters at his house.

“The consequences of the election on Wednesday are really, really serious for the future of our country.”

JUST IN: Presidential aircraft handed over to Air Force crashes

One of the Presidential aircraft handed over to the Nigerian Air Force, the Agusta AW 101 has crashed at the Nigerian Air Force base in Makurdi, Daily Post reports.


The helicopter which was reconfigured for military operations reportedly crashed due to poor handling by the crew.


It was also gathered that no life was lost in the crash.

Obama Gives His Final Presidential Medals Of Freedom To Diana Ross, Jordan, De Niro, Springsteen, Others

Basketball star, Michael Jordan, actor Robert De Niro and music legend, Bruce Springsteen, were among the 21 people honoured with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by outing President Barack Obama.

During a ceremony at the White House, President Obama gave out the awards which is the nation’s highest civilian honour – for his last time to a diverse group of sports stars, scientists, artistes and philanthropists.

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful personal way,” Obama said. “It’s useful when you think about this incredible collection of people to realise that this is what makes us the greatest nation on earth.

“Not because of what we are, not because of our differences, but because in our differences we find something common to share.”

According to AFP, the star-studded group included actors Tom Hanks and Robert Redford, basketball great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, cultural icon, Diana Ross and comedian and talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres.

While speaking on the accomplishments of DeGeneres, Obama lauded the comedian’s courage for coming out as a gay.

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FG Handovers Two Presidential Aircraft To Nigeria Airforce, Reduces Fleet To 6.

The Federal Government has handed over two aircraft in the presidential fleet to the Nigerian Airforce.

The brief handing over ceremony took place at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The handover of the two Agusta Westland AW101 helicopters acquired on 20 Oct 2014 and 21 May 2015 respectively, effectively brings the presidential air fleet to six. The Federal Government had earlier advertised for the sale the Falcon 7x 1 and Hawker 4000 aircrafts in the fleet.

The two aircraft being handed over today possess Ballistics defence capabilities, and are equipped against certain forms of missile attacks.

Receiving the helicopters from the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Abubakar said “It is with a big sense of appreciation that I accept these helicopters into the Air Force.”

He said one of the helicopters will be configured and deployed as an Air Ambulance, while the second one will be deployed as a Troop Carrier.

“The two Helicopters will be immediately reconfigured and deployed to the Northeast for the use of Nigerian troops.”

“The Air Ambulance will carry a Trauma Unit to ensure that injured troops get immediate medical assistance during airlift”

He added that “These helicopters are some of the most sophisticated, most comfortable and most equipped in the world.”

President Buhari puts up 2 presidential jets for sale

The Nigerian Government on Tuesday listed two jets in the Presidential fleet for immediate sale.


The sale of the jets, a Falcon 7x and Hawker 4000, was contained in an advertorial published on page 35 of Thisday Newspapers


The advertorial showed the performance and specifications of the jets, which indicated that they were still in good condition.


According to the advertorial, interested buyers are  urged to inspect the Falcon at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International, Airport Abuja, while the Hawker 4000 would be inspected at Cessna Zurich Citation Service Centre, Zurich, Switzerland.


The  sale of the air craft,  will reduce the  number of planes on the presidential fleet to nine.

Buhari Will Win 2019 Election If He Contests – Ex-PDP Chairman

A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali has seen his party as a contending force for power in 2019, but said Nigerians will vote for President Muhammadu Buhari if he decides to present himself for another term in office.


He stated that though Nigerians are currently criticising Buhari over his performance in office so far, they will be singing his praise a year from now as they would have forgotten their present complaints by then.


Speaking with Saturday Sun, the Director-General of the Goodluck Jonathan/Mohammed Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation in 2015, said:

“Buhari’s performance that you are criticizing now, give him another year, you will be singing his praise.

“As far as Nigeria is concerned, they have forgotten the past, they will vote for him unless he is not standing. If Buhari is standing in 2019, people will vote for him.”


Explaining why he sees the possibility of Buhari’s victory in 2019 despite the present cries of Nigerians about hardship, Ali said:

“In order to get something good, you have to do a radical surgery, that radical surgery the pain is what we are suffering from; I am telling you when the pains heal and we start enjoying the surgery that was put in place, we will be ready to vote again if it is the same Buhari because they will say if things go wrong, he knows how to fix it.”


Ali, who noted that his party will be up against an uphill task if Buhari “continues to perform well and he wants to come back”, stated that such does not mean the PDP cannot defeat the President, adding that,“after all he defeated us so we should be able to defeat him.”


He went on to blame the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for the current leadership squabble in the PDP, stressing that their plan is to disorganize the opposition so the party in power can have peace.


He continued that the current crisis rocking the former ruling party was also caused by western powers who are envious of PDP’s record of governing Nigeria for 16 uninterrupted years.


The former minister stated that the forces, who he called enemy outside Nigeria, believe that leaving the PDP to continue in power after 16 years, will make it grow into an impossible party which cannot be manipulated.


His words,

“The PDP imbroglio is most unfortunate but it is all within the realm of politics. If APC finds that they are not performing excellently well and we who can claim to be experts in running the country for 16 years are now outside government and we keep criticizing, the best thing is to find a way of disorganising us and they succeeded in disorganising us.

“And again our friends, the enemy outside Nigeria who believed that the PDP has broken such a record in the governance of Nigeria… 16 years uninterrupted… one political party… it has never happened in Nigeria.

“So they believed that leaving the PDP to continue in that run, they will end up to become an impossible party that they cannot manipulate, like the Gulf Party of the Arabs where they had to destroy Saddam and everybody to disorganize the region,” the ex-PDP chairman said.

#ChangeBeginsWithMe: FG spends N5bn on Presidential fleet in 15 months

Despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Federal Government has spent the sum of N5bn on the 10-aicraft Presidential Air Fleet in the last 15 months, document obtained exclusively from the Presidency by Saturday punch has revealed.

According to the document, the Presidency put the amount of money so far released for the Presidential Air Fleet since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 till date in the region of N5bn.

The breakdown of the sum showed that N2.3bn was released for PAF by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between May and November 2015.

That figure included releases for personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures; out of the N5.19bn appropriated for PAF in the 2015 budget.

Of the sum, the Presidency said N99.715m was spent on aircraft maintenance, spares and subscription services.

The sum of N98.5m was also spent on operations; N165.373m on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

During the period, the document claimed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from 2014 while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

According to findings from aviation experts, however, the Federal Government may have spent about N19.9bn on the 10-aircraft PAF in the last 15 months of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The large-size PAF inherited from the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is the second largest airline in the country, coming after Arik Air which has 23 aircraft in its fleet.

According to experts’ estimated projections of expenses made in line with the cost of running and maintaining airplanes, about $65.13m (N19.9bn), using the official exchange rate of N305.5 per dollar, may have been spent on the 10-aicraft presidential fleet between May 29, 2015 and August 29, 2016.

According to the Presidency, the PAF contains 10 aircraft. These are: Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or AirForce One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters. Each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 by the Federal Government for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m, a former Minister of Information, the late Pro. Dora Akunyili, had said.

The price of other aircraft in the fleets could not be ascertained. But according to Wikipedia, price.wescrawler. com and airline executives, the factory price of other aircraft in the fleet are: Boeing Business Jet, $59m; HS 4000, $22.9m; AgustaWestland 139, $12m; and AgusatWestland 101, $21m.

This brings a combined estimated value of Nigeria’s PAF to $347.4m (N106.13bn).

According to airline chief executives and industry experts, airlines spend between 15 and 20 per cent of the cost of an aircraft on its operation yearly.

They explained that averagely, a little less than one-fifth of the cost of the plane is spent every year on insurance, flight and cabin crew, maintenance, fuelling, catering and training.

Using a conservative percentage of 15 per cent, it means that about $52.11m (N15.92bn) must have been spent on the presidential fleet by May 29, 2016.

A quarter of the annual maintenance cost ($52.11 or N15.92bn) would also have been spent to maintain the 10-aircraft in the presidential fleet in three months after May 29, if the Federal Government followed experts’ recommendation on maintenance of its air fleet.

This means that between June and August this year, an additional $13.02m (N3.98bn) would have been spent in principle to maintain the 10-aicraft presidential fleet.

It means, all things being equal, between May 29, 2015 and August 29, 2016 (15 months), the Presidency would have spent $65.13m (N19.9bn) to maintain the 10-aicraft presidential fleet.

Though the amount ought to have been N12.8bn, the depreciation of the naira from 197/dollar to 305.5/dollar at the official interbank market raised the amount to N19.9bn. This indicates an increase of 45 per cent.

Aviation experts told Saturday PUNCH that depreciation in naira value had made the cost of maintaining airplanes to go up astronomically.

This, they argued, was because airline and aircraft maintenance expenses were denominated in dollars.

They therefore urged the President o reduce the size of the PAF as soon as possible.

The General Secretary, Aviation Round Table, an industry pressure group, Group Captain John Ojikutu, said Buhari needed to reduce the PAF and sell aircraft belonging to most of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

He said, “It is high time the Presidency reduced the number of aircraft in that fleet. We can’t be spending our scarce forex to maintain a large fleet of 10 aircraft.”

A few weeks after his inauguration, Buhari had reportedly ordered the immediate disposal of some of the planes in the PAF.

However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, later denied knowledge of such directive.

“The story of the order for the sale of aircraft in the Presidential Fleet, about which so much interest is being expressed, is not known to us,” Shehu had said.

Other aviation experts and Nigerians had called on the President to reduce the fleet.

A former Assistant General Secretary, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Muhammed Tukur, said the aircraft could be sold to both airline operators and private individuals who could use them for commercial purposes.

He said that this could generate more revenue and create jobs.

Nigeria happens to be one of the few countries with a large PAF.

Most major countries in Europe and Asia maintain two aircraft in their PAF. According to Wikipedia, Japan maintains only two Boeing 747-400 planes in its PAF.

Netherlands government operates only two aircraft, a Fokker 70 and Gulfstream IV to transport the Dutch Royal family and government officials such as the Prime Minister and other ministers.

The Queen of England and the UK’s Prime Ministers often go on British Airways chartered flights for long trips.

Countries like Ghana, Algeria and a host of others in Africa maintain only one aircraft in their PAF.

Reacting to the development, Chairman, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said spending a whopping N5bn on maintenance of 10 aircraft at a time when many states “cannot pay salaries and dozens of families going hungry across most parts of the country is insensitive and a hallmark of an anti-people regime.”

While condemning the All Progressives Party-led Federal Government for engaging in the same ‘sins’ it accused the ousted Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for, Adeniran said the high level of waste on the part of the government in the face of hunger wasn’t what Nigerians yearned for while electing Buhari.

He said, “Spending that type of money on maintenance of aircraft is not the best at this time. It is profligacy, it is unnecessary and smacks of insensitivity on the part of the regime that is supposed to effect positive change in the lives of the people.

“A few days ago the Federal Government launched the ‘Change begins with me’ campaign but I disagree with the government that because it is like shifting the goalpost to Nigerians. This administration has not shown us that it has good plans. All the policies that have been implemented so far – both fiscal and monetary – are anti-people. This is not the type of government that we yearned for.

“They criticised Goodluck Jonathan of keeping a large fleet of aircraft but they are also doing the same thing. I think Buhari is alone in his anti-corruption fight because most of his cabinet members have not been able to detach themselves from the lifestyle of the past regime.

A former Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said President Buhari administration “is as wasteful as the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

He also asked the President to sell some of the jets in order to minimise wastage.“They should sell off some of the jets in order to reduce wastage of our economic resources and also to demonstrate the change they are talking about,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Presidential Garba Shehu, hinted that there was a committee already deliberating on trimming the presidential fleet.

He made the revelation in a reaction to a tweet by blogger, Japheth Omojuwa, who asked why the Presidency has yet to reduce the 10 aircraft on its fleet.

“There is a government committee already in place, working to reduce the number of aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Shehu said.


Source: The Punch

Panic As Presidential Arms Panel Prepares To Submit Report

There is tension and frantic scheming among former army chiefs and other top officers of the Nigerian Army as the Presidential Committee on Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces has concluded its task and is set to submit its report to President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming days.

A reliable source close to the committee, which was set up by President Buhari to probe the procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment in the military from 2007 to 2015, said that that several top retired army officers were indicted, with some already scheming to suppress the content of the report. “The committee members are putting things together and will present their findings to the President next week or so,” a source said.

The source explained that the committee uncovered a lot of things, including the outright stealing of money meant for equipment for the army, inflation of contract, diversion of money for soldiers’ welfare, money for the rehabilitation of barracks and military facilities and many other corrupt practices.

In March 2016, the committee, predominantly made up of retired military officers, had summoned 292 retired and serving top army officers. Last August, President Buhari directed the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno, to set up a 13-member investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and munitions in the Armed Forces from 2007.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that the investigative committee’s mandate was to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the armed forces.

Credit: Vanguard

Obama’s Grinning Daughter Acts As Interpreter For Dad In Cuba

The Obama daughters may be on spring break but their trip to Cuba means they’re getting some extra Spanish lessons in.  

In a candid picture snapped by White House photographer Pete Souza during the president’s historic trip to Cuba this week, Malia Obama is seen acting as an interpreter for her father as he talks with a Spanish-speaking Cuban man in a restaurant. 

It appears the restaurant worker has cracked a joke, since father and daughter sport matching ear-to-ear grins. 

White House photographer Pete Souza posted this picture to Instagram on Monday, writing, 'The President and Malia share a laugh as Malia translates Spanish to English for her dad at a restaurant in Old Havana' 
'The First Lady with Malia and Sasha at La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada in Old Havana,' Souza wrote of this image

‘The First Lady with Malia and Sasha at La Catedral de la Virgen Maria de la Concepcion Inmaculada in Old Havana,’ Souza wrote of this iamge

Souza released several images on Monday giving a behind-the-scenes look at the president's historic trip to Cuba. Mr Obama pictured above greeting Cubans in Old Havana on Sunday

Souza released several images on Monday giving a behind-the-scenes look at the president’s historic trip to Cuba. Mr Obama pictured above greeting Cubans in Old Havana on SundayThe picture was one of several Souza posted to Instagram on Monday, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the president’s monumental trip to reopen Cuban-American diplomatic relations.

In another picture, White House staffers stare out the windows of Air Force One as the president landed in Havana on Sunday while other snapshots show the president holding an umbrella as he greeted Cubans in Old Havana later that day. 

Michelle Obama holds her daughters close in an Old Havana church, in another sweet photograph. 

The Obamas are scheduled to spend another night in Cuba on Monday before flying to Argentina Tuesday afternoon.  

White House staffers and the President angle to get the best view of Cuba as Air Force One lands in the country on Sunday

White House staffers and the President angle to get the best view of Cuba as Air Force One lands in the country on Sunday

It was raining on Sunday, so president Obama held his own umbrella as he toured the streets of Old Havana 

It was raining on Sunday, so president Obama held his own umbrella as he toured the streets of Old Havana 

Sasha Obama is seen in the background of this photo of President Obama and his team walking down the street in Old Havana 

Sasha Obama is seen in the background of this photo of President Obama and his team walking down the street in Old Havana 

Excited workers wave and give a thumbs up as the Obama family pass by their restaurant on Sunday 

Excited workers wave and give a thumbs up as the Obama family pass by their restaurant on Sunday 

Northern Clerics Suggest Presidential Amnesty Programme For Boko Haram Terrorists

Religious leaders under the auspices of Northern Inter-Faith and Religious Organisations of Nigeria (NIFROM) have urged the federal government to consider instituting a presidential amnesty programme to members of the Boko Haram sect operating in the northeast similar to that granted to former Niger Delta militants.

The group said in a statement signed by its coordinator, Bishop Musa Fomson, that following the success recorded by the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta, there was the need to replicate it in the northern part of the country currently ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.

He noted that even as the military made gains against the insurgents, the use of force alone might not be able to win the war against terrorism.

The Bishops specifically commended the efforts of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd.), especially in the management of funds.

They expressed pleasure that the office has already trained 17,322 of the beneficiaries, leaving a balance of 12,678, while embarking on the domestication of its programmes.

“Since taking over the amnesty program, Boroh has restored hope to many of the agitators. We believe that with such confidence in a man who can be trusted, such program can be replicated in the troubled northern part of the country,” he said.

Credit: Thisday

Presidential Facebook Poll: Carson, Trump, Others, Find Out Who Won

Republican Presidential candidate, Ben Carson, has taken the leads against seemingly unstoppable Donald Trump on the Facebook fans polls. Mr. Carson has surged to over 4.5 million Facebook fans since declaring his candidacy in May–and his aggressive campaign strategy on the social networking site could provide a window into how next year’s presidential campaign battle might unfold.

Despite the popularity and support Mr. Trump has got from his various TV series including a broad profile from his real estate wealth and fame, Dr. Carson has surged ahead of him with over 4.5 million Facebook fans, sending Trump to $.1 million fans. The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton has just 1.7 million fans on Facebook.

According to Erik Hawkins, group director of Facebook’s global marketing solutions team, Mr. Carson is “the most active candidate on Facebook in terms of paid and organic activity,” he said. “They’ve made it a core part of their strategy. Most of the candidates have only dipped their toes if anything.”

Confirming the polls, Mr. Ken Dawson who runs digital marketing for Mr. Carson, said the campaign has already run 240 different ads on Facebook alone–some nationally but mostly focused in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, the states where the first four Republican primaries will be help in early 2016.

“Those ads have ranged from carrying messages designed to introduce the still-relatively-new candidate to voters, to those meant to encourage fundraising to straight up get-out-the-vote messages. As part of that effort, Mr. Carson is running many 10-to-15-second video ads on Facebook. Carson even regularly goes on Facebook himself and interacts with potential voters—a move Mrs. Clinton has also tried on a few occasions,” he said.

Credit: Vanguard

Tanzania’s Ruling Party Candidate Declared Presidential Vote Winner

Tanzania’s ruling party candidate, John Magufuli, won the presidential election, the National Electoral Commission announced on Thursday, after the opposition challenged the tallying process and demanded a recount.

National Electoral Commission Chairman Damian Lubuva told a news conference that Magufuli, a minister for public works, secured 58 percent of the votes, beating his main opposition rival, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa who had 40 percent.

Credit: reuters

Top World Leaders Pile Up Presidential Visit Invites For Buhari To Their Capitals

In what is an unusual diplomatic largesse for his country and presidency, leading nations around the world are offering President Muhammadu Buhari state visits this year.

This is just as the United Nations is also looking forward to his participation at the 70th anniversary of the world body in New York this September.

In the past recent weeks, the global community has been generally celebrating Nigeria, including the leading international news weekly, Time Magazine, which published a very positive review on the country recently, saying Nigeria is one of the very few things that is currently positive in a world described by the publication as depressing.

As such sentiments spread in the international community, there are now at least three major countries known to have invited Buhari to visit their executive heads of government in what promises to be fairly elaborate state visits sooner or later this year. These nations are the United Kingdom, the United States and India.

A senior UN official also confirmed Monday that the world body is hoping that President Buhari attends the next General Assembly summit which marks 70 years of the United Nations.

The official said more than 100 heads of state are expected alongside Buhari at the yearly global summit in New York, where the Nigerian delegation might be one of the major attractions.

Although a visit to the UN by a nation is more of the discretion of a country, since the UN is open to all its member-states especially during the annual General Assembly summits, it is believed that the gathering offers unique opportunities to celebrate nations, their presidents and leaders around the world whose public record or global goodwill are rising, just like what is happening to Nigeria currently.

On the other hand, invitations for state visits from one nation to the other, and one president to the other is considered more nuanced and signifies a celebration of warm ties between nations and their leaders.

Of the three major nations being mentioned so far, that is the US, UK, and India, it is the White House offer of a presidential visit that is expected to generate the greatest diplomatic windfall for Mr. Buhari and Nigeria.

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