…As President Buhari declared intention to re-run for 2019,
…Traveled to London
…Met with Archbishop Welby
…Osinbajo presided over FEC meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari commenced his activities for the week on Monday April 9, when he declared his intention to seek a second term in office in the 2019 general elections.
The declaration took place during the National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the party headquarters in Abuja.
The President who broke the news to leaders of the party said he took the decision because of the clamour by Nigerians, urging him to re-contest in 2019.
After the meeting, the President travelled to the United Kingdom on official visit, which his office said would see him meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Rowan Williams and other high profile officials.
The President’s visit will culminate in his participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London.
At the Vice President’s wing, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo joined President Muhammadu Buhari and other party leaders at the All Progressives Congress headquarters in Abuja for the National Executive Committee meeting where the President declared his intention to seek a second term in office in the 2019 general elections.
Later on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Prof. Osinbajo chaired the meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) during which important economic resolutions of the council were reviewed especially the third National Action Plan (NAP. 3).
A statement issued by the SSA Media to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande said, the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) presented the National Action Plan 3.0 (NAP 3.0) scorecard, indicating an improvement on reforms aimed at making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business.
It said the plan, which is third in the series of accelerated interventions, ran from 5th February to 5th April, 2018 and achieved a 68% success rate, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, told the council.
On Tuesday, April 10, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Ogun State where he attended the 90th birthday anniversary service of Chief Ayo Adebanjo at the St. PhiIips Anglican church, Isanya Ogbo-Ijebu, Ogun State.
President Buhari approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) to June 30, 2018, on Wednesday, April 11.
The short extension after the original March 31 date is based on the appeals of professional bodies and individual taxpayers, a statement from Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media & Publicity said, adding that no further extension of time will be approved after June 30.
In London, President Buhari met with Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby.
A statement from the presidency following the meeting said discussions focused on the President’s recent declaration to seek re-election, herdsmen and farmers clashes in the country and the abduction of Leah Sharibu, the lone Dapchi Christian school girl still under the captivity of her abductors, Boko Haram.
President Buhari was quoted to have explained that he declared his intentions to run for another term in office ‘‘because Nigerians were talking too much about whether I would run or not.’’
He added: ‘‘we have many things to focus on, like security, agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, and many others. We needed to concentrate on them, and politics should not be a distraction.
‘‘The majority of Nigerians appreciate what we are doing, and that is why I am re-contesting.”
Also on Wednesday April 11, Prof. Osinbajo presided over an extended Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the State House Council Chambers. The council received briefs on important issues including a briefing from the Nigerian Army.
Later after the FEC meeting, the vice president received a delegation from the World Health Organization (WHO) led by its Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at the conference room of the Vice President.
Thursday, April 12, saw President Buhari commiserated with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the people of Algeria on the military plane crash near the Boufarik military airport in Algiers which claimed many lives.
A statement by Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, said President Buhari assured his Algerian counterpart of the sympathy of all Nigerians in their moment of grief, even as he prayed God Almighty to comfort the bereaved, the nation of Algeria and grant eternal rest to the souls of those who died in the crash.
Still on Thursday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was on a one-day working visit to Abia state where he attended the launch of Abia state tele-health support center in Umuahia.
At the event the Vice President explained why the Buhari-led Federal Government supports states and offers SIP benefits to all without partisan considerations.
According to him, “This commitment has meant two things. First, is President Buhari’s determination to break from the past where the Federal government only supported States where the party in office was their own.
“At the inauguration of the NEC in 2015, he publicly declared that our own NEC will assist every State because poverty in our nation is no respecter of ethnic group, religion or party affiliation.
“Consequently, as of today the Federal government has supported States without discrimination along party lines to the tune of N1.91 Trillion.”
“Let me take this opportunity to assure the Governor, the Government and people of Abia State of our unwavering commitment of the FG, to partnering and collaborating with you on any and all programmes intended to make life better and easier for Nigerians.
“We will certainly continue to look for opportunities like this to work with and support you and other State Governments.”
The Vice President also moved to Anambra State on the same day where he launched the National Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics in the state.
In his remarks, the Vice President said the Buhari administration will continue to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises nationwide as they contribute significantly to the national economy.
The Vice President said, “as individual units, MSMEs may be small, but together they account for up to 50% of Gross Domestic Product and over 80% of the labour force.
“It therefore follows that they are of decisive importance in the national economy. This is more so now that it has become inevitable for us to look inwards so as to, “grow what we eat and consume what we make”.
“MSMEs have tended to be neglected in this country over the years. This is partly as a result of competing priorities and a tendency to discount their contribution to the national economy.”
Also on Thursday, the Office of the Vice President issued a statement on the commencement of academic activities at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
According to the statement issued by the Vice President’s media aide, Laolu Akande, the reopening of the institution is in fulfilment of the Buhari administration’s commitment to develop the Niger Delta in line with its New Vision for the region, the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, has today commenced lectures for the 2017/2018 academic year.
The statement also said that a total of 196 students have so far been accepted into the University to commence their academic programmes.
The Maritime University was granted approval in January by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.
On Friday, April 13, precisely on the eve of the anniversary of the abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, President Buhari assured that as long as he remained the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Chibok girls would never be forgotten and everything would be done to reunite them with their families.
He also assured the parents of the schoolgirls that “their daughters will never be forgotten or abandoned to their fate, despite four long years since they were taken away by terrorists.’’
The President said the remaining girls abducted by terrorists from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, four years ago were still in captivity because of some setbacks in the negotiation between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect.
Elsewhere on Friday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over a meeting of the National Research & Innovation Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ministers and other council members present include; Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Usman Jibril; Minister of Communications, Dr.Abdur-Raheem A. Shittu; Minister of Water Resources; Eng. Sulaiman H. Adamu; Minister of Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo travelled to Lome, Togo, on Saturday, April 14, where he represented Nigeria at an emergency meeting of leaders of the Economic Community of West African States.
According to a statement on Saturday by his SSA on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, ECOWAS leaders discussed developments in Guinea-Bissau.