According to SaharaReporters, the Qatar Embassy in Abuja made the Head of State’s position known in a statement released on August 19, noting that the proposed dates for the visit are 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.
“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 note verbale sent by the Qatar embassy reads.
In addition, a presidential source told SaharaReporters that the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), Amb. Lawal Kazaure and his team are to be blamed for the rejection. The source said; “Actually, it was the Emir that invited President Buhari to come and visit him. Unfortunately, his team didn’t follow the usual diplomatic channel to accept and propose alternative dates.
“After over 3months without a word, the State House wrote directly to Qatar Embassy in Abuja to inform that President Buhari wants to visit from 11-12 September 2022. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not involved. Our Embassy in Doha, capital of Qatar was not also consulted.
“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.”