The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the controversy that has trailed Nigeria’s huge number of delegates at the ongoing COP28 Climate Change Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
According to a list published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Nigeria has 1,411 participants out of 81,027 delegates registered to attend the summit in person, the third-highest number, alongside China.
The participants’ list showed that Nigeria also has the highest number of registered delegates from Africa.
The Federal Government has also come under criticism over the participants’ list as many Nigerians condenmed the sponsoring of delegates to the conference with taxpayers’ money.
Reacting to the development, Atiku criticized President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his huge entourage, saying the action of the government is at variance with the reality of the nation.
According to him, Tinubu turned the climate summit into an ‘Owambe’ all-comers jamboree with his large entourage.
Atiku made his position known on the contentious issue in a statement by his spokesman, Paul Ibe.
He posited that Tinubu was disconmected from the severity of the economic ruin that Nigeria is facing due to his failed economic policies.
The COP28 summit, he said, is about improving lives, clean air, water, and healthy food for all people, nature, a safe and secure future, and not for a jamboree party.
His words: “How will the head of a government turn a conference of climate change to a jamboree, all-comers and ‘owambe’ party of over 1,400 delegates? It is ridiculous and a confirmation that he is still in a slumber as far as governance is concerned.
“The economic dire straits that Nigeria is facing demand that its leaders cut their coats according to the cloth available. It makes no sense for us to continue to borrow money to throw a street party outside the country.
“The leader of the Nigerian delegation should be reminded: COP28UAE is about improving lives, about clean air and water, healthy food, for all people, for nature, for a safe and secure future, and not for a jamboree of over 1,400 Owambe delegates.”