The government on Sunday defended President Kenyatta’s trip to Nigeria even as he came under attack from Kenyans on social media over his absence in the country during the recent terror attacks.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Tom Amolo, said the visit to Nigeria was winning Kenya multiple gains through bilateral deals.
Mr Amolo said that Nigerian top business magnate Aliko Dangotewas was already finalizing his efforts to set up a Sh52 billion cement plant in Kenya.
He added that Kenya and Nigeria are also working on a 5-year visa for businesspeople that will ease their movement between the two countries.
“The reason why we are doing this is because Nigeria is Africa’s largest country in terms of population and economy. If you want business to succeed, make sure you are in Nigeria. That is why President Kenyatta is coming with one of the largest business delegations,” Mr Amolo said.
Frustrated Kenyans on Twitter went were angry over what they saw as misplaced priorities in the president’s calendar, faulting President Kenyatta’s decision to go to Nigeria even after a twin bomb attack rocked Mombasa on Saturday.
@Makondigo, under the infamous hash tag #SomeoneTellUhuruKenyatta, decried the choice to go to Nigeria, a country he accused of neglecting the 234 girls abducted a month ago and who are still missing.
He criticized the government for neglecting the people now that they were in power and seeking business deals at the expense of security in the country.
“The Kenya CEO is no more than a businessman globetrotting seeking deals,” he twitted.
This is the first time President Kenyatta has gone to Nigeria for a state visit.
Mr Amolo said President Kenyatta’s state visit will deepen the bilateral ties that have been blossoming especially in the past one year since the Jubilee government came to office.
“President Kenyatta has made a personal effort to ensure that we widen relations with all African countries. This visit underscores the importance of Africa in our foreign policy,” Mr Amolo said.
Mr Amolo said the Kenyan High Commission in Nigeria is working to ensure that the huge number of Nigerian businesspeople with their massive capital invest in Kenya.
Meanwhile, Deputy President William Ruto has condemned the suspected terror attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa.
“I condemn in the strongest terms possible the cowardly spate of violent attacks on innocent Kenyans in both Nairobi and Mombasa,” Mr Ruto said in a statement.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said he was deeply saddened by the acts of terrorism that continue to plague the country.
“That successive blasts could occur on two successive days in Mombasa and Nairobi causing death maiming many is a serious matter of concern,” Mr Wetangula said.
Mr Wetangula sent condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished the injured a quick recovery.
“I urge Kenyans to be vigilant and report suspicious characters in their midst to security agencies,” he said.
– Daily Nation