The dinner party was organized for the President by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Corporate Council on Africa.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari cautioned his aides against smuggling Nigerian businessmen into his meetings throughout his visit in the United States. This led to most of the lobbying businessmen being prevented from meeting with the president.
Events went ugly when President Muhammadu Buhari was to deliver a written speech at the dinner party and noticed some uninvited Nigerian Business men in the audience who he suspected were brought into the event by the CBN Governor.
It would be recalled that Elumelu and Ovia were formidable supporters of former President Goodluck Jonathan but since Buhari’s victory, these and many other businessmen have been looking for ways to warm themselves into the Buhari fold.
During his remarks, Buhari departed from his prepared text to tell the surprised crowd he was surprised to see Mr. Ovia, and that he thought the CBN Governor had brought him along. He also expressed surprise at the presence of Wale Tinubu, who happens to be a good friend of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress chieftain, Bola Tinubu.
The crowd, which mostly comprised of US businessmen, did not fully understand the heart of Buhari’s position which wasn’t part of his prepared speech for the evening.
According to Saharareporters, Tony Elumelu, the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa also graced the event but was was only allowed to greet President Buhari when the event was over.