News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Presidential Villa roundup from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25, 2018

Be security conscious: President Muhammadu Buhari (left), Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar

On Monday, Aug. 20, President Buhari presided over the Security Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja following his return on Saturday, Aug. 17, from London, after 10-working days’ vacation.

The security meeting was attended by all the service chiefs and heads of security agencies in the country.

Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin said the President ordered the service chiefs to raise the tempo of security operations in the country with a view to guaranteeing peace and safety of citizens.

He said the meeting received disturbing security reports from the North-east, while reports from Benue, Zamfara States and the Niger Delta showed a great degree of improvement.

Later, President Buhari left Abuja for his hometown, Daura, Katsina State for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations. Before leaving Abuja, the President felicitated with Muslims and non-Muslims in his usual Sallah message to the nation.

President Buhari slaughtering a ram to mark the Eid-el-Kabir in Daura

The theme of this year’s message dwelt on the fight against corruption and the need for Nigerians to remain upright and patriotic in addition to supporting the Federal government’s effort against the malaise.

The President’s message also dwelt on the need for unity and peaceful coexistence in the country.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, President Buhari observed the Eid prayers at Kofar Arewa Eid Ground, Daura, Katsina State.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, the President had the honour of performing the symbolic slaughtering of the ram at the Eid ground, signifying total obedience to the will of Allah, as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.

President Buhari walks home in Daura from Eid praying ground

After the prayers, the President was reported to have shunned protocol and opted to trek some 800 metres, acknowledging cheers from Nigerians who had trooped out en mass to attend the Eid prayers and also catch a glimpse of him in his hometown.

The President also received members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) currently serving in Daura community.

In his usual tradition and in the spirit of the season, the President donated a bull, 10 bags of rice and half-a-million Naira to the Corps Members.

On Wednesday, Aug. 22, Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity announced that President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to undertake the cost of medical care and treatment of a visually-impaired National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, currently deployed to Daura, Katsina State.

President Buhari, deep in the middle, with NYSC members

Twenty-eight-year old Okenala Ahmed, a graduate of Insurance from the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State, was among the Corps members who paid Sallah homage to President Buhari Tuesday in his residence, in Daura, as part of activities to mark the Eid-El-Kabir celebrations.

The President applauded two security men on Thursday, Aug. 23 after they returned a handbag filled with valuables forgotten at the Murtala Muhammed Airport by an American returnee.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, the President commended their conduct to other Nigerians, saying such conduct reflects the new Nigeria that we all desire.

Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina: on two security men who returned a handbag filled with valuables forgotten at the Murtala Muhammed Airport by an American returnee

Also in another statement, the Presidency lashed out at a chieftain for the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), Akin Osuntokun, for allegedly claiming that there was a bomb blast in Maiduguri on Sallah day which killed about 88 people.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, said “lies of that kind” betrays a mind taken completely over by ill wishes against his own country.

While assuring the CNM leader and Nigerians that Sallah Day had passed quietly and peacefully, without even a firecracker going off, which he claimed was contrary to what used to happen before the Buhari-led administration, Adesina said enemies of peace and progress had expected a return to the infamous past, thus Mr Osuntokun appeared on television with his bag of lies.

In Daura, President Buhari hosted to lunch some APC Governors accompanied by members of the National and State assemblies and commissioners, during which he said that the combined efforts of defectors and their backers in the opposition will not distract his administration from the good work it is doing for the benefit and development of Nigeria.

Okorocha gets Buhari, Governors Masari and Bagudu cracking in Daura

President Buhari stressed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has the full understanding of Nigeria’s challenges and is encouraged by the support of Nigerians in addressing them.

On Friday, Aug. 24, President Buhari received several groups and visitors in his country home Daura, Katsina State.

At an audience with Kano Traders Association led by Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Sani, Chairman of Kanti Kwari Traders Association, the President said it was very heart-warming that more Nigerians are appreciative of the implementation of policies and projects of the Federal Government aimed at improving the standard of living in the country.

President Buhari pledged that his administration will not relent in doing the needful to create jobs, expand trade and encourage greater productivity.

President Buhari with members of the Kano Traders Association led by Alhaji Ahmed Nuhu Sani, Chairman of Kanti Kwari Traders Association

The President told members of the business community that under the Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), that more traders and farmers have expanded their trade and increased food production.

Later in a meeting with 34 Chairmen of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in Katsina State, President Buhari said the string of victory recorded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in bye-elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States is sufficient proof that 2019 elections will be won by the party.

At a separate meeting with the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Katsina State, the President expressed his continued determination to respect the diversity of the country, saying that he will run a government that is fair and just to all Nigerians.

The President thanked the CAN leadership in the State for living in peace and harmony with other religious groups, and for supporting his administration in its policies and programmes.

The President also met with representatives of 5 local governments in Daura Emirate, where he explained his decision to walk some distance after observing Eid prayers at Kofar Arewa Eid Ground and the humbling hero’s welcome from well-wishers that lined the street.

President Buhari with some traditional rulers in Daura

The President told his kinsmen that the walk was not about proving his fitness level or scoring cheap political capital. “This is my constituency, the people came out in their large numbers to see me and the car in which I was being driven had tinted windows.

“They were not seeing me so I came down so they could see me. I didn’t need to convince anyone about my health and the decision to contest for a second term- a decision that I made public in April this year,” a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said.

Also on Friday, President Buhari on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, heartily congratulated President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali on winning the country’s election for a second term in office.

President Buhari congratulates President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of Mali on winning the country’s election for a second term in office

The President also congratulated President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe on his electoral victory in the July presidential poll in the country.

On Saturday, August 25, President Buhari returned to Abuja after celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State.

Shortly before leaving for Abuja from Umaru Musa Yar’Adua International Airport, Katsina, the President interacted with troops deployed to curb the activities of bandits and criminals in Zamfara and neighbouring states under Operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya.

President Buhari with troops deployed to engage bandits in Zamfara and neighbouring states under Operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya

The unannounced visit was intended to appreciate the work of the Nigerian Armed Forces, for the tremendous results that are being achieved in securing this nation and its people.

The President praised Nigerian troops for their service and dedication to the nation, urging them to remain “ruthless” in the battle against bandits, criminals, and kidnappers.

Read also: Presidential Villa roundup from Aug. 12 to Aug. 18, 2018