Buhari gives hint of contesting 2019 election


President Muhammadu Buhari has given the clearest hint that he will seek re-election in 2019.

He gave the hint in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where he is attending the 5th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit.

He was accompanied on the trip by a leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and governors Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi states among others.

The president arrived late to an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire, Tuesday night and said he had to wait for the two governors to accompany him to the meeting because of their electoral value.

“First I want to apologise for keeping you for too long sitting, this is because I insisted on the governors attending this meeting.

“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future. I’m very pleased that they were able to turn up,” Mr. Buhari said to thunderous laughter and clapping by the audience.

Recall that Buhari had during his inauguration on May 29, 2015 stated that he will be for everybody as well as for nobody.

He reiterated that position on Tuesday, saying that was responsible for his support of Akinwumi Adesina to emerge as the President of African Development Bank, AfDB, despite serving as a minister in an opposition party’s administration.

Buhari was reacting to Adesina’s remarks earlier expressing gratitude for the support he received in his bid to emerge as the AfDB president.

Buhari had shortly after assumption of office dispatched former vice president, Atiku Abubakar to lobby President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to support the candidature of Adesina, a move that was key in getting the former Minister of Agriculture the job.

Adesina is the first Nigerian to head the continental bank since it was set up in 1964.

“The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), who forgot to mention that he was serving in the PDP government as minister but all the same I picked him and recommended him for AfDB.

“I think it emphasised what I said during my swearing-in that I am for everybody and I am for nobody. As long as you are a Nigerian, be prepared to be on the receiving end from me,” the president said.

Buhari also told the audience that he just received “a beautiful piece of information” from Tinubu which he was never aware of. He thanked the APC leader for the information.

He however, did not disclose what the information was.”

“I also thank our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He has brought me a very beautiful piece of information, which I was not aware of it until I sat down and read it this evening (Tuesday night). Thank you very much for your hard work and I will discuss that paper with you.”

Adesina in his remarks noted that the the Nigerian economy picked up soon after Mr. Buhari’s health challenges appeared over, adding that “so it seems there is a correlation between the President’s health and the improved economy.”

On security, Adesina said the bank has released $250 million for the construction and rehabilitation of the North-east, destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.

He also said the AfDB has constructed a big building behind the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, which will serve as its office in Nigeria.

He said it is the first of such buildings by AfDB outside its Abidjan headquarters, which he will want President Buhari to commission.


…opens up on video of Nigerians being sold as slaves in Libya

Weeks after CNN started airing videos of many Africans including Nigerians being sold as slaves in Libya, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally opened up on the incident.

According to a statement by the presidency, Buhari condemned the act in Cote d’ Ivoire on Tuesday night at an interactive session with members of the Nigerian community.

Buhari said it was appalling that, “some Nigerians (in the footage) where being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya.”

The president’s reaction comes two weeks after former vice president, Atiku Abubakar condemned the act.

“It is sad and unbelievable that such horror scenes which belong in the darker pages of the history books, could be re-enacted in this day and age,” Abubakar, who recently dumped Buhari’s APC, said according to a statement by his office on that day.

The Senate yesterday also condemned the act and called on the federal government to do more to prevent Nigerians from travelling the dangerous Libyan route.

In the presidency statement on Wednesday, Buhari also pledged to ensure that all Nigerians stranded in Libya be brought home.

He, however, noted that it is very difficult to know the origin of the people who died, while attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, because of lack of documentation.

“When it was announced that 26 Nigerians died recently in the Mediterranean, before they proved that they were all Nigerians they buried them.

“But the evidence I have from the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, (Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa) is that only three of them were identified as Nigerians. But I’ll not be surprised if the majority of them were Nigerians.

“For people to cross the Sahara desert and Mediterranean through shanty boats… we will try and keep them at home. But anybody who died in the desert and Mediterranean without documents; to prove that he is a Nigerian, there is absolutely nothing we can do,” he said.

The president advised Nigerians in Cote D’ Ivoire to be good ambassadors in their host country, warning that the Embassy will not hesitate to repatriate those who tarnish the image of the country abroad.


…seeks confirmation of 10 CCB members by Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari, has written the Senate to seek confirmation of 10 nominees as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau, with one of them as chairman.

In a letter read by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Buhari sought the expeditious confirmation of the nominees.

The letter reads, “In compliance with section 541 of the 1999 constitution as amended and in pursuant to sections 1(2) and 1(3) of the code of conduct bureau act LFN 2004, I write to request for the confirmation of the following nominees for appointment as chairman and members of the bureau.”

The appointees are: Muhammed Isa – Chairman Jigawa, North West, Murtala Kankia – member, Katsina North West, Emmanuel Attah – member, Cross River, South South, Danjuma Sado, member, Edo South and Obolo Opanachi, member, Kogi North Central.

Others are; Ken Madaki Alkali, member Nasarawa, North Central, S.F. Ogundare, member, Oyo, South West, Ganiyu Hamzat, member, Ogun South West, Sahad Abubakar, member, Gombe North East and Vincent Nwanne, member, Ebonyi South East.

The letter reads further, “The curriculum vitae of the nominees are attached herewith. It is my hope that this Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will in their usual expeditious manner consider and confirm the nominees. Please accept Mr. Senate President, my assurances of my highest consideration.”


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