#TakeBackNigeria Movement, a support group of Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, has criticised the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s decision to back out of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The 2019 presidential hopeful said it’s unreasonable for Nigeria to have backed out at the last minute.
Forty-four African countries recently signed the agreement in Kigali, Rwanda. The Buhari-led administration had said it would carry out consultations before signing.
In a statement released on Thursday, Sowore said Nigeria should have taken a key role in shaping the negotiations as Africa’s most populous nation.
“When African nations gathered to sign the African Continental Free Trade agreement on March 21, 2018, Nigeria was conspicuously absent,” the statement read.
“Instead of providing leadership, the Muhammadu Buhari government has exported its shambolic approach to governance at home to the continental stage. Just days after the federal executive council (FEC) approved Nigeria’s participation in the agreement, the Buhari government announced it would no longer be participating because ‘some key stakeholders were not consulted.’
“It is unconscionable that it is at this late stage in the process that the Buhari government is realising that it ought to have engaged with stakeholders.”
Sowore said his #TakeBack movement will “move quickly to ensure continuing Nigerian leadership on the global stage and will join a continental free trade agreement that promotes the well-being of Nigerians”.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Africa CEO forum, former President Olusegun Obasanjo advised Buhari to sign the agreement before it is too late.