- The climate change summit in Dubai witnessed Nigeria taking a bold stance by prioritising action-oriented initiatives over routine speech deliveries
- Nigeria's minister, Yusuf Tuggar, said Tinubu decided not to speak at the conference because he was dissatisfied with repetitive promises and pledges
- This was not well received by some Nigerians who tackled Tinubu's handlers and noted the government had nothing tangible to tell the world leaders at the conference
Legit.ng journalist Esther Odili has over two years of experience covering political parties and movements.
The minister of foreign affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has explained why President Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not deliver a speech as planned at the United Nations climate change conference in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to Tuggar, Nigeria is no longer interested in official and fancy statements but rather more action-oriented.
The minister made this known on Friday, December 1, as he cleared the air on the debate surrounding Tinubu skipping his speech at the 28th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP28) on climate change, Premium Times reported.
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What happens at climate change conference?
As is the norm, with the COP28 or COP, two days after the opening day is reserved for high-level engagements. At these engagements, heads of state and governments are expected to deliver their national statement or speech.
Nigeria's President Tinubu was billed to speak on Friday alongside other heads of state. Tinubu was 36 on the list to represent Nigeria but did not speak. This raised questions about the country's position at the conference, The Cable reported.
When asked why the president did not deliver his speech as scheduled, Tuggar said:
“The president was in the hall, he waited, he was going to give the speech, he listened and he decided, perhaps, that was not the time to give the speech. There were other engagements that he needed to be involved in that would be more productive.”
Nigerians react as Tinubu skips speech at UN conference
Some Nigerians did not accept this explanation by the presidency. Legit.ng captured some of their reactions on X.
"He has nothing to offer."
"Because he had nothing tangible to say."
"Always having reasons for everything! Why can’t the handlers rest sometimes and allow governance to be the priority and not respond to every statement out there???"
Peter Obi reacts as Tinubu's govt sponsors 1,411 delegates to COP28
Earlier, the Labour Party flagbearer in the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi, criticised President Tinubu.
In a series of tweets on his X page (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, December 3, Obi tackled Tinubu's government for sponsoring 1,411 delegates to attend the COP28 in Dubai.
The politician further described Tinubu's move as a waste of resources, noting that some of the delegates were irrelevant.
Tinubu meets UAE president
In another development, Legit.ng reported that Tinubu held a crucial meeting with the president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Sunday, December 3.
The president made this known in a post on his official X page.
President Tinubu tweeted:
"Had a fruitful bilateral meeting with the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan today, reinforcing the strong Nigeria-UAE partnership and our shared commitment to expanding ties between both countries."