Barring any last minute change, President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a live broadcast 7am today.
Buhari arrived Nigeria on Saturday after 103 days in the United Kingdom where he was treated for an undisclosed ailment.
The President arrived Abuja on a presidential jet at exactly 4:35 pm to the warm embrace of his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo. The president later traveled by road to the Presidential villa where twice he was greeted by governors, politicians, and his aides.
… Gov Bello declares public holiday
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has declared today (Monday) as public holiday and “thanksgiving” day over the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country.
In a statement issued yesterday Sunday by Kingsley Fanwo, the governor’s spokesman, Bello said the gesture is to show the support of the people of the state for the President.
He thanked the people of the state for “standing by Buhari” and for trooping to Abuja to welcome “the lion of Africa” back to the country.
Bello described Buhari as “Mr. Integrity” for “ his efforts in tackling” corruption in the country.
“The gesture is in line with the support of Kogi people for the renaissance of our nation by Mr President,” the statement read.
“We urge Kogites to also use the occasion of the public holiday to pray for Mr President as he resumes his responsibilities of repositioning Nigeria.
He also described the president as “an African icon who is a nightmare to corruption” celebrated for “his vision and commitment to the greatness of Nigeria”.
“Nigeria was almost a globally blacklisted state due to institutionalised corruption until the advent of the man whom world leaders respect as the antidote for corruption came on the stage to reverse the trend. Mr Integrity is the singular reason the world is having hope in a prosperous Nigeria,” Bello said.
“Let me thank Nigerians for standing firmly with the man who has restored their hopes. Nigerians prayed fervently for the recovery of Mr President and their prayers have been answered.
“With the return of Mr President, we are re-assured that good governance will continue to be the lot of our nation.”
He also thanked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo “who has displayed competence, loyalty and patriotism throughout his stint.”
“It is a testimony that our party is a gourd of great leaders,” the governor added.
“We are witnessing a transition from a badly damaged economy to recovery. We are seen how gradually, the federal government is rebounding the economy of our great nation. Economic growth is gradually becoming visible. Nigeria will continue to witness progress.”
… Saraki, Ahmed rejoice with Nigerians
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed have felicitated with Nigerians following the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country at the weekend.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki thanked God for the safe return and recovery of the President, and reaffirmed the commitment of the National Assembly to continue working alongside the President in achieving objectives aimed at improving the standard of living of Nigerians and overall development of the country.
“I thank Almighty Allah for bringing President Muhammadu Buhari back whole, hale and hearty. I am thoroughly delighted that President Buhari has returned home after his medical vacation”, the Senate President said, “I was privileged to have met him twice in London during the period of the vacation. After our first meeting, I told Nigerians there was no cause for alarm. After our recent lengthy meeting on Thursday this week, I informed Nigerians that Mr. President’s return home was imminent.
“In all, we must thank Almighty God for sparing all our lives and granting Mr. President a most remarkable recovery. His return marks a new lease of life for this administration. I am confident that Mr. President will resume with even more vigour to pursue an economic agenda that will improve the welfare of all Nigerians. In this vein, Mr. President should seize this opportunity to further consolidate and strengthen his team in order to meet the challenges ahead.
“On our part, the Senate is ready to work closely with the Executive and bend over backwards to support Mr. President. I congratulate all Nigerians on Mr. President’s return.
We thank the Acting President for his hard work in holding forte and steering the ship of governing the nation during this period.”
Similarly, Governor Ahmed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Alh. Abdulwahab Oba thanked Almighty Allah for the quick recovery of Buhari and wished him continuous protection.
“I am delighted that Mr. President has fully recovered and ready to continue to deliver on the campaign promises of our party by improving on the economy, fighting corruption and strengthening security,” the governor said.
Governor Ahmed hoped that with the renewed vigour, President Buhari would consolidate on various successes recorded by his administration in the last two years.
Gov. Ahmed also commended Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his commitment in moving the country forward while holding forth for President Buhari.
He said the return of the President has shamed pessimists who do not wish the President and the country any good.
…Kwara NBA, PDP warns Buhari against distraction
By Kayode Adeoti
The Kwara State Chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), has joined millions of Nigerians to congratulate President Muhammed Buhari on his return from a medical trip even as it warned against distraction.
The Chairman of NBA in Kwara State, Barr Isa Mazuma while speaking with this medium yesterday, stressed that the President should be careful not to lose focus in discharging his responsibilities.
He said, “We expect the President to be focused on his duties. He’s trying in fighting corruption, that is what everyone should respect him for. The fact that he was sick is not unusual as anyone can have health challenge anytime.
“Everyone in the country is now expectant of what he promised the country,” he said.
In the same vein, the leadership of the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged Buhari to leverage on his return to fight corruption aggressively.
The Publicity Secretary of the Iyiola Oyedepo-led faction of the party, Chief Rex Olawoye who spoke to this medium last night stressed that the President should ensure that his administration delivers the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
He noted that there are enormous issues to attend to adding that dwelling on the past will only be blocking the possibility of forging ahead.
… equip Nigerian hospitals like UK’s before 2019 – NMA
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has risen from its August 2017 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to replicate medical equipment he had seen in London, United Kingdom in Nigerian hospitals before the end of his tenure.
The umbrella body of medical practitioners in the country said doctors in the country would have been able to handle the President’s health challenge if the health sector had been properly equipped and funded.
NMA in its communique issued and jointly signed by its National President and Secretary General, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu respectively after their just concluded National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Kaduna said it has “resolved to call on the President to utilize his positive experience in the health systems of other climes to impact on the health care system in Nigeria.”
Reading the communiqué to newsmen, Profr Ogirima said, Nigerian doctors are competent to handle any form of ailment if enabling environment and good working tools are on ground, adding that the President may have sought for medical attention outside the shores of this country perhaps as a result of ill-equipped hospitals in the country.
According to him, “the nature of the President’s ailment is not known to NMA, and even if it is known to us, we have to respect our oath of secrecy. The President like every other citizen of this country has the right to seek second opinion, that is part of medical practice. However, the Doctors in Nigeria are capable of handling any ailment if optimal working conditions are provided.
“We have read and heard on BBC that, the President does not believe in the Nigerian health system. What was wrong by the President going outside? It is a fact that our hospitals are not optimally equipped. Am sure that, the President after spending 100 days in London has first hand experience of what we have been shouting, equip! Equip! Upgrade our hospitals.
“We are happy that the President is back. Based on his experience, we are saying he should come and replicate what he has seen in London, at least to take care of the masses. So, we expect him to replicate such within the next two years.”
According to the communique, “the NEC observed with dismay the continuous low budgetary allocation to health leading to declining health care service delivery in the country.
“The the NEC observed with dismay the worsening availability, distribution, development and utilization of human resources for health within Nigeria’s health system and the increasing trend of brain drain especially affecting the already weakened man power base in the country.
“NEC calls on government to implement the Abuja Declaration of at least 15 percent budgetary allocation to health and ensure timely release of funds with effect from 2018 budget and appealed to the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the bill on Residency Training Program (RTP) in Nigeria.
“NEC calls for the improvement in Epidemic control, preparedness and establishment of more Infectious Disease Hospitals (IDH) throughout the country, and that the government to intensify efforts to improve funding on immunization services and further strengthen the collaboration between government and non governmental agencies,” NMA stated.