Presidential Villa roundup for June 18 to June 23, 2018

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President Buhari addresses the nation on May 29, on the occasion of the 2018 Democracy Day celebration
President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with the government and people of Bauchi State over the windstorm disaster which destroyed hundreds of homes and a fire incident that razed a market in Azare

The weekly activities of President Muhammadu Buhari started on Monday, June 18, at the Presidential Villa, when he condoled with the government and people of Bauchi State over the windstorm disaster which destroyed hundreds of homes and a fire incident that razed a market in Azare.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying that the government and people of Nigeria stood with the state as it struggled to manage the fallout of the double tragedy.

On Tuesday, June 19, President Buhari directed Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to lead a Federal Government delegation to Bauchi State to assess the level of havoc caused by the recent windstorm, which destroyed an estimated 1,505 houses mainly in the state capital.

A statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said eight persons were confirmed dead while 120 others reportedly sustained various degrees of injury as a result of the storm.

Azare, another major town in the state, was struck by a major fire disaster that destroyed the market few days after the windstorm.

According to Shehu, the delegation, which also includes Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, will undertake an assessment of the extent of damage occasioned by the natural disaster.

Malam Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari
Malam Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

Later on Tuesday, the Presidency explained that weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which usually holds on Wednesday was cancelled because of the Eid-el-Fitr holiday of Friday and Monday which affected the preparation of memoranda for the meeting.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, added that President Muhammadu Buhari would sign the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, June 19, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received in audience a delegation of German Industry & Commerce in Nigeria led by head of delegation, Ulrich Konstantin Rieger at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In his remarks, Prof. Osinbajo noted that the Buhari administration was continually working very hard to create an environment that makes it much easier for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.

The Vice President further said government was looking at ways to solve infrastructure and economic issues.

Still on Tuesday, the Vice President proceeded to Ado-Ekiti to flag off the Governorship campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, and erstwhile Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for the state gubernatorial election scheduled for July 14.

Broom affair in Ado ekiti
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flags off the Governorship campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, and erstwhile Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, for the state gubernatorial election scheduled for July 14

At the mega-rally, which held at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Osinbajo was joined by APC state governors from Edo, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Kebbi, Kogi and Kwara.

The well-attended rally was interspersed with goodwill messages from APC state governors, immediate past APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; newly elected APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; among others.

President Buhari kept to his words by signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law on Wednesday, June 20.

While signing the N9.1 trillion budget, the President declared: “I am concerned about some of the changes that the National Assembly has made to the budget proposals that I presented”,  adding: “notwithstanding the above-stated observations, I have decided to sign the 2018 budget in order not to further slow down the pace of recovery of our economy, which has doubtlessly been affected by the delay in passing the budget.”

Shortly after signing the budget, the President received Sheikh Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Inyass, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari received Sheikh Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Inyass, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari received Sheikh Ahmed Tijjani Ibrahim Inyass, the Grand Khalifa of Tijjaniya, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

The President told the visiting Sheikh that the rapid development of Nigeria beyond ethnicity, religion and geographical lines, will remain a driving force for his administration.

Acknowledging the overwhelming support of Nigerians and the confidence reposed in his administration, the President said: “We are very pleased with the prayers and support of the Tijjaniya to this administration and I assure you, our interest is for all Nigerians across ethnicity and religion.”

Still on Wednesday, June 20, Vice President Osinbajo joined cabinet Ministers and other officials at the signing of the 2018 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential villa.

PRESIDENT BUHARI SIGNS 2018 BUDGET
Vice President Osinbajo joined cabinet Ministers and other officials at the signing of the 2018 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential villa

The Vice President later returned to Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state in continuation with consultations ahead of the governorship elections in the state.

In his remarks on his visit to the Palace of the Ewi of Ado, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, in Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Osinbajo urged traditional rulers in the state to ensure unity among people of various ethnic groups residing in their domains.

Osinbajo said working for unity in their various localities would assist the Federal Government to maintain peace in Ekiti and other parts of the country.

On Thursday, June 21, President Buhari was in Bauchi to condole with the people over the calamities that befell residents of Bauchi metropolis and Azare town.

Speaking at the palace of the Emir of Bauchi when he paid him a condolence visit on behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari urged those affected not to lose faith, but consider the calamities as an act of God.

President Buhari in Bauchi
President Buhari in Bauchi to condole with the people of the state over the calamities that befell residents of Bauchi metropolis and Azare town

The president, who spoke briefly, prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives.

Later in Abuja, the President attended the opening of the International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress at the Conference Centre of the Presidential Villa, with the theme: ‘Why Good Journalism Matters.’

Delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony, the President tasked media executives to deploy good journalism as the antidote to prevalent hate speech and fake news in the society.

The President noted that in this era of social media, employment of quality media is essential for strong societies, pointing out that good journalism can also help media organisation to survive the competition.

Following concerns raised by some delegates at the IPI Congress on the alleged detention of a journalist, Jones Abiri, the Presidency issued a statement on Thursday night dispelling insinuations that the arrest and continuing detention of Abiri who claimed to be a journalist, trampled on freedom of the press.

2018 IPI World Congress in Abuja
From left: Chairman, International Press Institute (IPI) Mr John Yearwood; President Muhammadu Buhari and Chairman, Local Organizing Committee, IPI 2018 World Congress, Mr Nduka Obiaigbena, at the opening ceremony of 2018 IPI World Congress in Abuja. Photo: Callistus Ewelike/NAN

In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity) said Abiri has not been able to prove that he is a bona fide journalist “It is very uncharitable for anyone to infer that the President is in support of restrictions on freedom of expression and the media.

Shehu noted that Abiri, who allegedly parades himself as a journalist, is a guest of the Department of the State Services (DSS), because of his alleged involvement in militant and criminal activities.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also busy on Thursday, June 21, as he declared open the 7th meeting of the Ministers of Defence of Member States of the Community of Sahel-Sahara States (CEN-SAD), in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Vice President advocated stronger regional cooperation and good governance to tackle terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

He also called on member states to promote agreements, partnerships that bridge development gaps in the region.

On Friday, June 22, President Buhari received a Special Envoy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe at the Presidential Villa.

President Muhammadu Buhari received the special envoy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari received the special envoy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja

No statement was issued at the end of the parley.

In the aftermath of the 2-0 triumph of the Super Eagles of Nigeria against Iceland at the ongoing Russia 2018 World Cup, the President congratulated the team on the victory, hailing the confidence, discipline, team-work and indomitable spirit displayed by the young Nigerian players.

President Buhari urged them not to limit themselves but sustain the current winning momentum by going all out against their last group opponent, Argentina, on Tuesday June 26.

Ahmed Musa of Super Eagles: recorded a brace against Iceland
Ahmed Musa of Super Eagles: recorded a brace against Iceland which attracted President Buhari’s commendation of the team

Later on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, issued a statement quoting the President as assuring Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) that his administration will leave no stone unturned in restoring their devastated communities for their immediate and safe return.

While congratulating the 2,000 IDPs at the Kuchingoro Camp, in the Federal Capital Territory who are getting set to return to their communities in the Northeast, the President assured all Nigerians that his administration will not forget citizens in their time of distress and will continue to work for the betterment and security of the people.

Shehu, on behalf of the President, received the IDPs at the precincts of the Presidential Villa.

Still on Friday, June 22, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Lagos where he inaugurated the Vibranium Valley (a technology innovation hub) in Ikeja.

VP Osinbajo launched the Vibranium Technology Park in Ikeja located at the old Concord Press building in Lagos
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the Vibranium Technology Park in Ikeja located at the old Concord Press building in Lagos

In his remarks at the event, Osinbajo disclosed that the Federal Government would provide environment for innovation to thrive in Nigeria.

He added that the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry were working on intervention funds and loans for technology start-ups.

According to him, “on the part of government, we are putting our money where our mouth is.

“We believe that it is our role, to provide the environment where innovation can thrive.

“So we are including technology start-ups and businesses in our list of businesses eligible for pioneer status, and that means tax holidays.”

On Saturday, June 23, President Buhari attended the National convention of the All Progressives Congress at the Eagle Square Abuja.

Buhari and Osinbajo at APC Convention in Abuja
President Buhari and VP Osinbajo at the National convention of the All Progressives Congress at the Eagle Square, Abuja

In his speech at the occasion, the President urged members of his party to keep faith with the party as it addresses lingering issues that arose from the just concluded congresses at various levels. “May I, therefore, appeal to all to put our great party ahead of personal considerations and to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith.

“You are all important to our party’s progress and all must come together to ensure success in the forthcoming polls so as to enable us to continue the good work we have been doing for our fellow Nigerians,” he said.

Read also: Presidential Villa roundup for June 10 to June 16, 2018


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