Presidential Villa roundup for June 3 to June 9, 2018

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari started his weekly activities in Abuja on Monday June 4 when he pledged to support humanitarian workers in Nigeria, promising that the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps across the country cannot be ignored.

The President gave the assurance at his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Red Cross Society at the Presidential Villa by the members of the Society led by Chief Bolaji Anani.

Recounting the humanitarian roles of the Nigerian Red Cross Society during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, the President said:  “I admire their courage and commitment in helping people who were in distress, who were virtually in their millions.

The photographs of the people from the Biafran enclave spoke a lot.”

Later in the night, the President hosted some Governors in his residence while breaking of Ramadan fast.

President Buhari hosts State Governors to the breaking of the Ramadan Fast
President Buhari hosts State Governors to the breaking of the Ramadan Fast

Also on Monday, June 4, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo declared open a National Stakeholder Dialogue on Land Reform in Nigeria, held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

In his remarks at the occasion, Prof. Osinbajo, urged relevant policy makers to focus on the poor by making land a catalyst of abundance, lasting prosperity for all Nigerians.

According to him, “To maximise its potential, land requires the consistent operation or implementation of considered policies and laws.

“And when at any point in the life of a nation or a people, the administration of land no longer meets their aspirations, it becomes incumbent upon the State to take the lead in initiating and overseeing some form of improvement or reform to the system, even if that reform is one that will ultimately end in less state control.

“To create wealth, land must be fungible, almost like money, it must be a medium of exchange, especially in its role as collateral. This is the only sure pathway to sustainable economic empowerment for all, especially the rural poor, where so much of our land is, and much of it untitled.”

On Tuesday, June 5, President Buhari received in audience Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at the Presidential Villa.

Buhari at the State House receiving Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization(UNWTO), and Zhu Shanzhong, Executive Director UNWTO
President Buhari at the State House receiving Mr Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the UN World Tourism Organization(UNWTO), and Zhu Shanzhong, Executive Director UNWTO during the 61st edition of the UNWTO Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting hosted by Nigeria

The President told the UN tourism chief that Nigeria is safe and secure for tourism, citing improved security and country’s burgeoning economy.

According to the President, it would have been inconceivable to host an international tourism conference in Abuja four years ago, because of security concerns.

“I am pleased that the country is now sufficiently safe and secure, and the message should go out to the world for all tourists and business travellers. The first thing tourists look out for is security and I am happy we have it now.

The President also presided over a Security Council meeting attended by the security chiefs including the Minister of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (retd.); National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin.

Other at the security meeting were the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; a representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar.

President Buhari presides over Security Council meeting

At the end of the meeting Dan-Ali, in a statement signed by his Public Relations Officer, Col. Tukur Gusau, said he suggested the suspension of the implementation of anti-grazing laws in some states while negotiating safe routes for herders.

The Minister argued that the suspension of the law, currently operational in Benue, Ekiti and Taraba states, “would reduce tension.”

On Tuesday night, President Buhari hosted traditional rulers and religious leaders at the Presidential Villa to the breaking of the Ramadan fast.

The President told his guests that it is his duty to uphold the trust reposed in him by Nigerians, warning that he will not allow anyone to abuse that trust.

The President also assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to work very hard to exploit the God-given abundant human and material resources in the country.

President Buhari hosted traditional rulers and religious leaders at the Presidential Villa to the breaking of the Ramadan fast
President Buhari hosted traditional rulers and religious leaders at the Presidential Villa to the breaking of the Ramadan fast

Speaking on behalf of the religious leaders, Prof Shehu Galadanci said President Buhari has done “marvelous things for Nigeria” in the areas of security, agriculture, infrastructure and the economy.

Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, assured the President that in them he had dependable allies on national development.

The Vice President was also very busy on Tuesday, June 5, as he attended a forum to mark the 2018 World Environment Day held at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja. In his address, the Vice President called for the adoption of practices that promote a safer and friendlier environment.

Later on Tuesday, the Vice President inaugurated the North-East Technology and Innovation Hub known as the North-East Humanitarian Hub, in Yola, Adamawa State.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, launched the North-East Humanitarian Innovation Hub in Yola, Adamawa State
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, launched the North-East Humanitarian Innovation Hub in Yola, Adamawa State

At the event, Osinbajo spoke about the various ways by which the Buhari-led Federal Government was creating opportunities for young people.

He said Nigeria’s future is in innovation and technology, adding that the Federal Government was ready to support innovation hubs nationwide.

He said: “I want to say that l am totally convinced, and so l believe, that the way forward for our country is innovation and technology.

“The young people who we see every day, who were able to do all these incredible things, represent the future of our country and  represent  it so dramatically, graphically  that we are all confident that where we are going is indeed a place of great prosperity and  abundance having regards to all that we see today.”

At the Presidential Lodge, Yola, the Vice President also met with some beneficiaries of the various components of the Social Investment Programmes, assuring them of government’s continuous support for young people, women and the poor through the SIPs.

He added that more Nigerians would soon come on stream in the SIPs.

On Wednesday, June 6, President Buhari presided over a meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa.

FEC Meeting
President Buhari presides over Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting

FEC members held a valedictory session for Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, following his emergence as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the governorship election in Ekiti State.

Speaking during the session, Buhari described Fayemi as a man of sound intellect, whose contributions helped the present administration to achieve progress in the solid minerals sector.

Later on Wednesday, the President announced that June 12 has been designated as Democracy Day instead of May 29.

In a statement, President Buhari said the new date had been chosen to commemorate the elections on June 12 1993 when the military annulled the results.

He said that the date was more symbolic for Nigerian democracy.

MKO Abiola
MKO Abiola: to be honoured posthumously on June 12

Also, the President announced the posthumous conferment of GCFR to Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 elections, while his running mate in the election, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe will be conferred with GCON.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi, who the President described as a defender of democracy would also receive the national award of GCON.

Still on Wednesday, June 6, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attended the commendation service for the late CAN Secretary General, Rev. Musa Asake at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

At the service, Prof. Osinbajo extoled the qualities of the late Asake and prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest.

Rev. Musa Asake
Rev. Musa Asake buried

The Vice President also joined President Muhammadu Buhari and cabinet ministers for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held at the State House Council Chambers, Abuja.

In continuation of his weekly activities, President Buhari On Thursday, June 7, received the Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of Tanzania to Nigeria, Muhidin Moweto and the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, Lee In-Tae.

The President told the Tanzanian envoy that Nigeria is ready to boost economic ties with Tanzania for the benefit of citizens of both countries.

In separate remarks with the Korean envoy, the President commended the Korean Government for its education development programmes in the country through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu said.

President Muhammadu Buhari Receives a letter of credence from the New Republic of Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Maj Gen In-Tae Lee (Rtd)
President Muhammadu Buhari Receives a letter of credence from the New Republic of Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Maj Gen In-Tae Lee (Rtd)

The President also met with the President of the African Export – Import Bank (AFREXIM), Dr. Okey Oramah, at the Presidential Villa.

The President told the Bank to align its lending schemes with the agricultural priorities of the present administration, noting that in spite of the impressive array of lending to institutions and industries in Nigeria, Agriculture didn’t feature very well and needed to be prioritised.

The President later met with his Security chiefs, the third of such meetings in 72-hours.

Later on Thursday night, the President hosted some select youths and artists to the breaking of Ramadan fast at the State House.

In his comments, President Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to encourage young people to aspire to the peak of their careers through qualitative education and learning.

The Vice President on Thursday, June 7, attended the graduation ceremony of the pioneer Senior Course of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Vice President attended the graduation ceremony of the pioneer Senior Course of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja
Vice President attended the graduation ceremony of the pioneer Senior Course of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, Abuja

He said the Federal Government would redouble efforts at improving the service’s capabilities in improving revenue generation.

The country’s number two citizen commended the management of the Nigeria Customs Service for the efforts at reforming its system and repositioning it for better service delivery.

On Friday, June 8, President Buhari signed into law four bills, including a law that limits a vice-president or deputy governor who completes the terms of their principals from seeking re-election.

Special Adviser to the President onNational Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang
Special Adviser to the President onNational Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang

Addressing State House correspondents, the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang, announced that the President also signed into law a bill granting financial autonomy for state judiciary and state assemblies.

Under the law, the institutions will directly access funds to their credit, and no longer through the state governors.

The President also signed into law a bill which relates to the determination of pre-elections matters. It has reduced the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that the pre-election matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not linger thereafter.

According to Ita-Enang, the other amendment Bill signed by President gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct by-election.

It has increased the time from seven to 21 days, widening the latitude of the INEC to handle election matters upon vacancy.

Later on Friday, President Buhari approved the nomination of Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as Deputy Governor at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) subject to Senate confirmation.

Shonubi is currently the Managing Director of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc. (NIBSS) – the financial payments, facilitation and settlement platform.

On Friday night, the President hosted members of the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In his remarks to the group, the President weighed in on the letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo which among other things disparaged his government.

President Buhari said the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed disobeyed him by replying the letter of the former president. He however, noted that he (Mohammed) did a good job judging from the recommendation he received.

The President also revealed to his guests that he stopped one of his aides, Femi Adesina, from replying Mr Obasanjo, because of the age difference between him (Adesina) and the former leader and “secondly, I am from the same constituency with Gen. Obasanjo; so, I wouldn’t know how it will affect him if I allow him to go wild or to go public, but when Lai Mohammed came, I said he shouldn’t and he insisted. He disobeyed me.”

Friday, June 8, saw the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo travel to Ibadan for the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Pastors’ Conference.

Osinbajo who spoke at the conference urged the church to support the government in delivering on its mandates, noting that the success of Nigeria’s leadership was largely dependent on the prayers of the church.

On Saturday, June 9, the Presidency announced that President Buhari will embark on a two-day official visit to Morocco on Sunday.

The President will meet with King Mohammed VI of Morocco, who had earlier visited Nigeria in December 2016.

Discussions in Rabat will focus on agriculture, Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipe line project, education cooperation and the planned establishment of an ammonia plant in Nigeria to serve Morocco’s phosphate needs.

NAN

Hassan Usman Author

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