By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that the best asset to give to the people is health and education.
President Buhari stated this when he received the former ambassador of the United States to the United Nations, Andrew Young, accompanied by the board of Emeka Offor Foundation in Nigeria, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that his administration will maintain focus on health and education and would require the support of well-to-do individuals in the country to achieve success in these areas.
The President, who noted the attainment of three years without a recorded polio incident, achieved by his administration with local and international support, said it was something not only to cherish but one that also requires sustained vigilance.
According to him, “The best asset to give to the people is health and education. You free them from the tendencies of under-development, especially religious and ethnic manipulations which are challenges facing us at this stage of our development”.
President Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba, however, expressed optimism that these challenges will wither away with time.
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He said, “We have to march gradually. It is impossible to be in a hurry. We are seeking inclusive development without leaving a majority of our people behind.”
President Buhari also commended the social and humanitarian activities of Sir Emeka Offor, especially in the areas of education and health: “You are translating the success you achieved into social service. This is what the government is doing, so you are helping us in many ways. I commend your activities in the area of health and education to other successful Nigerians.”
In his address at the meeting, Ambassador Young expressed happiness with the Buhari administration’s effort toward Polio eradication.
He commended the President’s leadership of the country, saying, “at a time when nations of the world are pulling apart, we are happy that Nigeria is stable and secure under you. We will continue working with Nigeria because we consider ourselves as part of the family.”
In his remarks, Ambassador Howard Jeter, a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria said President Buhari’s re-election was, “a real boom for the future of Nigeria.”
He outlined on-going efforts of the Emeka Offor Foundation, in partnership with the Andrew Young Foundation, to supply millions of books to schools, ensure the complete eradication of polio, attack River Blindness with about 40 million afflicted mostly in the South-east and the South-south areas of the country and, in the near future, also start a campaign against cervical cancer, for which Nigeria holds a world record.