…begs Supporters not to complain against his govt
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday assured residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, that his administration will do everything possible to protect the them despite the fact that Abuja residents voted against him.
President Buhari also pleaded with political leaders especially his supporters not to complain against his administration to avoid sending negative signals that would make his government unpopular.
Speaking while receiving residents of the FCT that paid him Sallah homage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari who jokingly described the Abuja residents as unnecessary evil for not voting for him in the February 23 Presidential election, stated that he would continue to protect the seat of power because any negative thing that happens to the place would also affect him and the entire residence.
According to him, “I want to appreciate the number two man of the country (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) because he knows what we are going through very quietly. I am very pleased that you came with this very powerful constituency…
” I Appeal to you to remain exemplary so that those under you will know that the country is doing very well. If you break down and complain, the impact will reverberate all over and then, government will not be popular and whatever efforts we are making will not be appreciated.
“I have just spoken to the senator on my left (Philip Aduda) and I told him that his constituency did not vote for me. So I was very pleased that when they made the arrangement they put him very far way from me. I have all the results of all constituencies.
“I am not threatening FCT because to make FCT secure is to make myself secure and the Vice President. I think they are are necessary evil that that was why they decided to vote for PDP.”
Recalling the toutous journey he went through before he was elected after three attempts, President said,” During my long journey to this place, 2003, 2007, 2011, those were interesting political developments that enabled me visit all the local governments in this country, all 774 local governments.
“First port of call whenever I visit any local government was to visit the community leader for understanding and support. I am very pleased that Nigerians understand me that although I was a governor, minister of petroleum and one time head of state, people know I don’t have a lot of money to give.
“So when I went round, I smiled and greeted them and I think it has helped. Because by the time I went to campaign for my second and last term constitutionally, I visited all the states this time around, some two states in a day, I thank God for giving me the stamina to do it.
“What impressed me most was the turn out in all the states and FCT. The number of those who turned out are more than what anyone can afford to pay or force to come and listen. So I am very pleased that a lot of Nigerians have voted me, sympathized with me for what I went through between 2003 and 2019.
“I went to court up to Supreme Court and in 2011, I went to court for eight months. And in the last one, God answered our prayers and gave us victory, and brought in technology through the permanent voters card, (PVC) And INEC said whoever is aggrieved should go to court.
“You all know as much as I know that most of my supporters are looking for the next day’s meal, we don’t have money to give. In 2011, I said God dey, in 2015 God brought technology PVC and that is how we won.
“I thank you very much for those of you who suffered very much to support me. And I congratulate you for being happy that I made it and I assure you that I will continue to do my best inspite of the toughness of my neighbours.”
Also speaking, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said that Nigeria was on the threshold of greatness, stressing that the security and religious challenges presently facing her was an evidence that something great was coming.
Osinbajo said,” First let me congratulate you on this very solemn occasion that marks the end of the Ramadan.
“I want to say that God almighty has been extremely good to you and to our government. I recall about two years ago when I had to host this particular event because you were away on medical leave at the time.
“But God has been so good, not only did he bring you back healthier than when you left, but has also been gracious enough for you to have a second opportunity to lead our great. I thank the almighty God for you and for all of us who have been a part of your government and who have been a part of what God has done in our midst.
“The period of the fast is always a very good time because first of all, usually all of my friends who are usually very badly behaved, behave themselves much better. I pray and hope that the good behavior that they maintain during the fast will continue even for the next four years and beyond because I think we all need that.
“Our country as it is today, is at a threshold of greatness, you have said so many times. Any situation where something great and something important is about to happen, usually you will have very many and negative opposing voices that want to keep that thing from happening.
“I believe that our country is at a threshold of the breakthrough that we have been praying for and hoping for all these many years. And this is why many challenges are going on. Challenges around security, religion, people who are stoking up embers of religious and ethnic divisions and all that.
“But this gathering is one of those gatherings that we are at liberty, political leadership, religious leadership to demonstrate to our people that this country is a country of one people, the Nigerian people. They may be different in their faith, ethnicity but we are one people. We are one and united people.”
The Vice President commended leaders that attended the homage that had become a tradition during festive period, adding,” we will come together, Christians, Muslims, and people of different faith to demonstrate that this country is a united country. And that those who will want to stoke up ambers or division we will not allow them to do so.
“So I want to urge all our leaders here that we must not allow the rhetoric of religion to supersede the rhetoric of unity. We must also speak up, we must seek ways that will unite our country.
“We cannot keep quiet because there are so many negative statements being made everyday and sometimes we ignore those statements and say these are people who have no understanding. But if we allow these negative statements to continue, then they will define our country and will define the situation of our country.
“As I have said, our country is destined for greatness and I pray that the almighty God will lead us to that greatness. And as we move day by day towards that greatness, those who want to bring us down that God almighty will prevent them from doing so.”
Osinbajo commended President Buhari for the leadership he had shown in the past four years and in his second term.
On his side, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Christian Oha prayed that all the sacrifices during the Ramadan will be acceptable by God.
He Congratulated President Buhari for the success of his inauguration which marked the beginning of his second term in office.
“We pray that almighty in his infinite goodness and mercy continue to grant you good health and wisdom as you steer our country back to the path of social harmony, security and economic recovery.
“The people of the FCT stand solidly behind you as you begin this task and pledge our support and cooperation in the coming years ahead.
“We do this sir, because we are a grateful people. Over the last four years, the FCT has benefited immensely from your wise and believe, divinely inspired leadership. We have enjoyed peace and the social intervention programmes have filled the gaps in our educational system and provided succor for thousands of our people.
“We in the FCT will continue to do our part to ensure that you succeed in your second term in office starting of course with first celebration of our Democracy Day on the 12th of June 2019.
“Our people have been mobilized to be exceptional hosts to the hundreds of foreign guests who we know will honour the invitation to be here and felicitate with us.
“On this day as we celebrate the end of Ramadan, we pray that almighty Allah blesses and sustains you and your family; we pray that your administration succeeds in all that it has set out to do and above all, we pray that our country Nigeria, under your watch remains a great prosperous and indivisible nation.”
Those present at the homage were, Prof. Shehu Umar Galadanci, Murshid Abuja Central Mosque who prayed the Muslim, the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Others were, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, and the Director General of Department for State Service, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Civil Defence FCT Commandant, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi, Senator Philip Aduda, the former minister of communication, Adebayo Shittu as well as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele.