The Emir of Qatar has allegedly turned down the proposed visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to his country on September 22.
A report by Sahara Reporters alleged that the Qatar Embassy in Abuja made the Head of State’s position known in a statement released on August 19.
The Emir had said that the dates picked by the Nigerian government were not suitable.
The Federal Government had proposed 11th and 12th September, 2022 for President Buhari to visit the country but the Emir asked for other dates in 2023.
A note sent by the Qatar embassy reads: “The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) and with reference to the latte’s Note M 403/2022 dated 12/08/2022 informing that H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has accepted to visit Qatar on 11-12 September 2022 on invitation of H.H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.
“Has the honour to communicate that the proposed dates for the visit are not suitable and kindly request the Nigerian side to propose other dates for the visit during the first quarter of the year 2023.
“The Embassy of the State of Qatar avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Regions Department) the assurance of its highest consideration.”
A source also told the publication that the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), Amb. Lawal Kazaure and his team were to be blamed for the rejection.
According to the source, the Emir was actually the one that sent out an invitation, but his team did not follow the diplomatic rules to accept and propose alternative dates.
He alleged that after 3 months without a word, the State House wrote directly to Quatar Embassy in Abuja informing them that President Buhari wants to visit from 11-12 September 2022. He however stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not involved in the request.
“Unfortunately, the President was snubbed and asked to come next year. They know there will be a newly elected president by that time. It’s a way of telling him, he’s not welcome again. The initial plan was to proceed to New York for UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) from Doha,” he said.