Buhari never voted for Niger over Nigeria at Organisation of African Unity - Presidency



Senior special assistant to President Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, has denied reports that as Military Head of State, Buhari spurned the candidacy of a Nigerian, Ambassador Onu, and voted in 1983 for Idi Oumarou of Niger Republic to become the Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU.


In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Shehu said: "Let me answer those who peddle the false story that Muhammadu Buhari, as Military Head of State, spurned the candidacy of a Nigerian, Ambassador Onu and voted in 1983 for Idi Oumarou of Niger Republic to become the Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, OAU.

​"This is utter falsehood. An unwritten convention in the OAU, now African Union had been that the “big five countries”, Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa and Libya would stay away from leading the organisation as Secretary General and now Chairperson. The logic, which is not far-fetched, was to reassure smaller countries that they will not be subject to the will of their bigger brother-nations. This had remained so until recently when South Africa broke with the tradition to have Madam Ndilama Zuma elected as Chairperson of the AU.


​"Although Nigeria’s Ambasador Onu was the most Senior Assistant Secretary-General who acted as the Secretary General leading to the election, he was not a candidate in that election which threw up Idi Oumarou."

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