Activities at the Presidential Villa started on Monday, April 2, with President Muhammadu Buhari paying tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
The President in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the death of the South-African anti-apartheid icon as a huge loss to Africa.
President Buhari said that the continent had lost a courageous woman following the death of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
On Tuesday, April 3, the President met with the All Progressives Congress Governors forum at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The consultations with the State Governors was widely reported in the media as a follow-up to the President’s proposal for elections of party officials to hold at all levels from the national, state to the ward levels.
The weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) did not hold this week as President Buhari presided over a meeting with the nation’s security chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, April 4.
At the end of the security meeting, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, told State House correspondents that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the purchase of equipment worth $1bn for the military.
Prior to the security meeting, he met some Governors of the APC, in an apparent continuation of their meeting on Tuesday.
Those who met the President on Wednesday included governors of Zamfara, Abdulazeez Yari; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Imo, Rochas Okorocha; Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun.
At the end of the meeting, Yari told State House Correspondents that all the 24 state governors have agreed that elections of party officials should hold at all levels as canvassed by the President at the last meeting of the party’s National Executive Council.
Following the death of the Senator representing Katsina North, Senator Mustapha Bukar, President Buhari commiserated with the government and people of Katsina State, the National Assembly as well as the Bukar family on the passing away of the distinguished senator.
The President described his death as a “great loss to Nigeria’s democracy and the engineering profession.’’
On Thursday, April 5, President Buhari received Letters of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, His Excellency Ketil Iversen Karlsen, Ambassador of Italy, Dr. Stefano Pontesilli and the Ambassador of Spain, Mr Marcelino Cabanas Ansorena, at the State House.
The President told the Head of Delegation of the EU that Nigeria had been reluctant to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) among ECOWAS countries because of the need to protect the economy, especially the industries and small businesses that currently provide jobs for majority of Nigerians.
The President noted that the signing of the agreement would expose the industries and small businesses to external pressures and competitions, which could lead to closures and job losses.
Later in the day at the Council Chamber, the President met with a delegation of the Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria led by Bishop John Abu Richard.
He told the delegation that allegations against him on religious bias were far from the truth. His words: “Some voices, for political or ethnic reasons, are making unguarded statements accusing the government and myself in particular of religious bias.
“Let me assure you, honourable clergymen that this is far from the truth. In my career as a soldier, administrator, and politician, I have never veered from my oath of office.
“When I had the honour to lead a Military Government, there were more Christians than Muslims in the Federal Executive Council and the Supreme Military Council. This was not by design but I appointed people on their merit without the slightest bias.
“The present Federal Executive Council is also evenly balanced; again, not by design but by respecting and rewarding individual qualities.’’
In the aftermath of the declaration of Julius Bio as the new President of Sierra Leone, President Buhari, on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, congratulated the new President on his victory in the March 31 presidential run-off election in the West African country.
Buhari urged all stakeholders in Sierra Leone to work together for the peace, security and development of the country, calling all those with grievances over the outcome of the elections to seek constitutional means of resolving them.
On Friday, April 6, President Buhari departed Abuja for Daura, Katsina State his hometown. In Daura, the President attended the third-day Fiddau prayer for late Senator Mustapha Bukar, the Senator representing Katsina North senatorial zone.
Twenty-four hours later, precisely on Saturday, April 7, President Buhari received a group of Senators led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu in his country home Daura, who paid him a condolence visit on the death of Senator Mustapha Bukar, the Senator representing Katsina North senatorial zone, his senatorial district.