UPDATE: Governor Fayemi is in South Africa but not for WEF, Aide tells Legit.ng
- Reactions recently trailed Oby Ezekwesili's attendance at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in South Africa
- It has now been confirmed that Mrs Ezekwesili is not the only Nigerian in the country
- Governors Nasir El-Rufai, Kayode Fayemi and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi are also in South Africa
Photos of two Nigerian governors, Nasir El-rufai and Kayode Fayemi in South Africa, have generated reactions on social media.
Nigerians are outraged that the governors, who are members of the country's ruling party - All Progressives Congress are in South Africa, despite the federal government's withdrawal of its participation in the World Economic Forum on Africa in the country.
The Emir of Kano and former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is also in the country for the conference.
A former minister of education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, was subjected to intense criticisms by Nigerians for attending the conference on Wednesday, September 4.
Presidential aide, Bashir Ahmad, chided Ezekwesili for attending the event, adding that, “we all thought you would sympathize with them and boycott the WEF.”
It is not clear if Ahmad knew President Muhammadu Buhari's close associates were in South Africa at the time he tweeted.
Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of online newspaper, Premium Times, shared a photo of Governor El-rufai speaking at a conference in Capetown on Wednesday, September 4.
The Kaduna state government also shared photos of Governor El-rufai in South Africa, meeting potential investors.
The photos have sparked another round of controversy as Nigerians are now bashing the governors on social media.
Responding to criticisms over her decision to participate at the forum, Ezekwesili had tweeted that her decision was thoroughly considered.
Her words: “Those who have genuine concerns about my being at WEF in South Africa, should please know that my decision to be here was thoroughly considered.
“I am in South Africa leveraging to ensure that South African government never again looks away while our citizens are attacked, mai*med and killed.
“My life vision is to always stand for the weaker. This is a role I play within and without Nigeria.
“Those of you who take delight in making ‘politics’ of our citizens’ Llves can carry on with your usual trade. I stand strong on doing the things one can do to safeguard lives. Citizens’ lives are too sacred and important for me to be drawn into your latest ‘playground.’ Never.”
An aide of Governor Fayemi, however, reached out to Legit.ng on Wednesday, September 5, and said the governor is on a private visit to the southern African country.
He, however, refused to reveal his identity, saying he is not authorized to speak for the governor.
His words: “Dr Kayode Fayemi was not at the World Economic Forum in South Africa. But, I can confirm that he is indeed in South Africa, though for other reasons.
“He is in South Africa to honour an invitation by Mr Dele Olojode at the “Africa in the World Festival of Ideas” which held in Stellensbosch far away from Cape Town where the WEF is currently holding.
“The event already held before the decision of the federal government to boycott the WEF programme.”
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