We pray Buhari is more tolerant of NASS – Saraki
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said after successful completion of this year’s Ramadan fast, he is much healthier to attend to national issues.
He said even although he was advised not to fast due to ill-health, he refused because he knows the benefits of fasting and having missed that of last year due to ill-health, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity this time around, more so when he was up to it.
Buhari spoke when he received a delegation of Federal Capital Territory, led by the minister, Mohammed Bello to pay the traditional Sallah homage.
The delegation comprised of lawmakers, religion leaders, some cabinet members, security chiefs, presidential aides as well as privileged few FCT residence.
Buhari while noting that the delegation was larger than that of last year, said, “I’m very grateful to the ministers and church leadership that came to say happy Eid-el-Fitri to those of us that have been fasting. A lot of people asked me if on health grounds I can default, I refused because I know the value in fasting, I cannot miss it once I can do it. Last year I didn’t because I was on health vacation but this year I have done it and I thank God because it has helped me to be much more healthier to give me the time that I need to attend to national issues.”
Buhari last month was back in London from May 8-11, to see his doctors.
That medical trip made it the third in 2018 alone, the first being the nine days visit just before the recent Commonwealth Heads of government meeting in that country and the second, during the technical stop over in London on his way to Nigeria from his recent visit to the United States on the invitation of President Donald Trump.
President Buhari also used the occasion to appeal to Nigerians to shun individualism and sectionalism, reiterating his position 30 years ago, that Nigeria belongs to all hence the need to salvage it together.
Buhari to his guests that, “Please in your constituencies emphasized what I said about 30 years ago, we don’t have another country except Nigeria we may as well remain here and salvage it together, there is nothing else we can do. Even those that had gone out are now trying to come back because they are not wanted out there. I wished that all the resources they had then they had deployed it here it would have been much better. So thank you very much and please try to persuade your constituencies to work much harder away from individualism and sectionalism.”
The President reiterated that despite the fact that the met little or no resources, his administration has worked hard to stabilize the economy, insisting the nation is blessed with natural resources to pull through.
He said, “I’m very pleased that we are working very hard collectively as Nigerians and that God in his infinite mercy who knows what is in the heart and not by mouth, will continue to guide us so that we accommodate each other at all times.
“This country is blessed on human and material resources. Here I have to digress and wish my former minister of mines and steel, Fayemi, well. He has been a very hardworking minister, because the ministry he was leading was neglected with the overbearing economic relevance of oil. But from the days of mining of tin, columbite, coal and so on, you know this country is blessed. Throughout the country, we have solid minerals and I am hoping that Fayemi will succeed to lead again his state. I believe he is a very hardworking person, very patriotic but Nigerian politics is virtually unpredictable. We are going to work very hard to fill his space in the executive council so that we keep on exploiting more and more of our solid minerals and less politicizing of our petroleum resources.
“What we realised between 1999-2013 as I have always said we have never realized it. It’s on record that we were producing 2.2 million barrels per day on the average, at the cost of $100 per barrel. It went up to $143 per barrel and then I think it stabilised between $80 and $90, Nigeria has never received so much money and we thank God that we have survived the crisis in no time. It is amazing that we are here because we tried four times, we earned up three times at the Supreme Court and it is no joke. I have suffered for this constituency just like I suffered in the Military, I walked from the Royal border to the sea virtually on foot, because every culvert and bridge were blown up, so we had to walk and carry our luggage.
“I think we have invested so much in this country and we will continue to pray that we stay together and let us develop the necessary confidence, work together as a people, this country is great, let us work together so that we can save a lot more and exploit more of the resources that were abandoned so many years ago.”
The Senate President Bukola Saraki had, while pledging the commitment National Assembly to President Buhari, prayed that God would bless him with additional tolerance for him to continue to tolerate it members as his children.
Saraki, who was represented by Deputy Senate leader, Sen. Bala ibn Na’allah, at the homage visit said the National Assembly would keep supporting the vision of the Buhari administration for a greater Nigeria.
He noted that no administration since 1999 had enjoyed more cooperation from the legislature like Buhari.
“Mr President, I have the authority of each and every member of the Senate and the House of representatives to wish you a blessed Eid-al-Fitr in 2018 which we are celebrating today
“And I have the authority of each and every one of us to equally pledge our loyalty and commitment to work with you for the betterment of this country and to wish you more strength; to wish you more health and most importantly Mr. President to add additional degree of tolerance for you so that you tolerate us as your children.
“Mr. President let me seize this opportunity to say, for the record, that from 1999 to date when we started our democratic experience, no president and I repeat, no president and I say for the third term no president has received the amount of cooperation from the National Assembly like you contrary to what is outside there,” he said.
He also thanked the president on behalf of the National Assembly over his decision to revisit and address the unresolved issue of June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was presumably won by late MKO Abiola.
President Buhari had on June 6 declared that henceforth, June 12, be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria and that some heroes of democracy be given national honours.
The president fulfilled this promise on Tuesday when he conferred on late MKO Abiola the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous) and Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe and late Gani Fawehinmi were also conferred with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
“May I on behalf of the Senate and the House of Representatives again thank you for that bold steps you have taken in addressing the unresolved issue of the June 12.
“You might have underestimated the effects of that singular act. But I will tell you sir, you have achieved more than 75per cent of what South Africa did with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee with this singular act.
“You may not understand sir, but I’m sure in near future you will understand the value of that singular act.
“Along that line, may I on behalf of the National Assembly implore our religious leaders to begin to think along the line of uniting this country.
“God has brought together, we do not have any alternative, as far as we are concern we should continue to live as brothers and sisters,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of FCT, Bello, said the Ramadan provided an auspicious opportunity to pray for the nation, and the wellbeing of the President and his family.
President Buhari also received women groups led by his wife, Aisha Buhari, President of the National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Laraba Shoda, and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen.