Contrary to claims that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress [APC], is travelling to the United States for medical reasons, PREMIUM TIMES has obtained a correspondence indicating Mr. Buhari is only honouring an invitation by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS].
Media reports had suggested some days ago that the APC candidate had become so sick that he was planning a medical trip abroad. Mr. Buhari responded by saying he was not sick but only had cold.
But PREMIUM TIMES has now obtained a letter signed by the Director, African Programme of CSIS, Jennifer Cooke, inviting Mr. Buhari to the organisation’s headquarters in Washington DC “to give a major public address on Nigeria’s future as it stands on the edge of a pivotal national elections.”
Ms. Cooke gave Mr. Buhari the liberty to choose a convenient date for the proposed lecture.
“We propose to hold this event on a day of your choosing on either the week of January 5th or the week of January 26th, 2015 but will of course do our best to accommodate your schedule should you have other preferences.”
Travelling at this time would mean Mr. Buhari opted for the week of January 26th.
Ms. Cooke who said the event is expected to attract a large number of United State policymakers, academics, business leaders and members of the diaspora, also told Mr. Buhari that he would be expected to take part in a private off-the-record briefing with a small group of senior US government officials and U.S Congress.
“The event would be on-the-record and given the importance of Nigeria’s elections would be certain to attract a large audience of U.S. policymakers, academics, business leaders, and members of the diaspora. In addition, we invite you to take part in a private, off-the-record briefing with a small group of senior officials from the U.S. government and U.S. Congress. This will be an excellent opportunity to develop contacts and articulate your key messages to an influential audience of foreign policy decision-makers.”
“The CSIS Africa Program has long been engaged in research and analysis on the African continent, and Nigeria specifically. For the past year, we have hosted a conference series analyzing various dimensions of Nigeria’s forthcoming elections and their implications for peace, security, and prosperity in Africa’s most important country. These conferences have provided a platform for Nigerian statesmen to interact directly with Washington policymakers and we wanted to extend this opportunity to you. We hope that your schedule permits your participation and look forward to receiving a positive reply.”
View document: Buhari CSIS letter of invitation
SOURCE: PREMIUM TIMES – Nicholas Ibekwe