Presidential Villa roundup for March 3 to March 10, 2018

President Buhari’s weekly activities started with the visit of Liberian President George Weah at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, March 5, 2018.

After their meeting, the Liberian President told State House Correspondents he was in Nigeria on a mission of gratitude and respect for the roles that Buhari and Nigerians had played in maintaining peace and stability in West African, particularly in Liberia.

Later on, Monday, the Presidency issued a statement saying the President will visit Jalingo, Taraba to console the communities affected by recent criminal activities in the State and on the spot assessment of the situation there.

The President is also scheduled to visit other restive areas including Benue, Yobe, Zamfara and Rivers States at a later date.

In Jalingo, the President accompanied by Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, had an interactive forum with traditional rulers, community leaders, representatives of farmers and herdsmen, security chiefs and some top government officials in the State.

He reiterated his appeal for peace and unity, noting that the traditional institutions had a crucial role to play in finding lasting solutions to the frequent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

From Jalingo, the President jetted out to Accra, Ghana to attend the 61st independence anniversary celebrations of the country, on March 6, as Special Guest of Honour.

From the Vice President’s wing, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo declared open the 2018 Technology and Innovation Expo at the Eagles Square, Abuja.


Prof. Yemi Osinbajo declares open the 2018 Technology and Innovation Expo at the Eagles Square, Abuja

In his remark, the Vice President said every challenge is a natural laboratory for home-grown innovation and also announced the Federal Government award of scholarship up to PhD to the top three young Nigerian Scientists that participated at the event. 

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “With the right environment, and policy support, there is no limit to how far Nigerians can go, especially with respect to innovation in science and technology.

“Equally worthy of note is the fact that Nigeria is a land hungry for innovation; every challenge that we face – in terms of security, infrastructure deficit, financial inclusion, and so on – is a natural laboratory for the manifestation of ground-breaking home-grown innovation.”

He added that “Science and Technology, of course, are key instruments for the realization of the objectives of our national Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, 2017 – 2020. Our goal of moving Nigeria’s economy away from a resource-based model to a knowledge-based model is one that we must take seriously, and the ERGP is a step in that direction.”

On Tuesday, March 6, President Buhari attended Ghana’s 61st independence anniversary celebrations at the Independence Square Accra where he delivered a speech in his capacity as the Special Guest of Honour.

In his remarks, the President praised the historic cultural ties between Nigeria and Ghana; and pledged Nigeria’s readiness to collaborate with Ghana in the fight against corruption.


From left: Vice President of Ghana Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia; President Muhammadu Buhari; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, First Lady of Ghana, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Speaker of Ghana Parliament, Prof. Mike Aaron Ocquaye, Wife of Speaker of Ghana Parliament, Mrs Alberta Oquaye and Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki during the 61st Independence Celebration of Ghana at the Black Star Stadium in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday

The President also commended President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana on his achievements in the first year in office, lauding his committed fight against corruption and the passing of the Special Prosecutors Bill into law.

President Buhari also paid tribute to all leaders of the Republic right from the era of the late first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to date.

Also on Tuesday, the Vice President represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the opening of the 2018 National Security Seminar organized by the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC), at the National Defence College, Abuja.

In his remark, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the Dapchi abduction rekindles Nigeria’s resolve to permanently subdue terrorism in Nigeria and that the Boko Haram war must henceforth be fought on all fronts; from the financial networks that sustain terrorists to the cyberspace that amplifies their noise.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “The National Armed Forces must learn the art of rapid evolution and adaptation. But there should be no room for self-pity or frustration on our part.

“The Dapchi and Rann incidents should, if anything, rekindle our determination, as Nigeria’s Armed Forces, as security forces, as the Government entrusted with the protection of the lives and property of Nigerians, to permanently subdue terrorism in Nigeria.

“We must fight them on multiple fronts, starve them of funding and resources, of sympathisers, and of the oxygen of publicity, especially on the Internet.”

Later on Tuesday, the Vice President received a delegation from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), an international public-private partnership committed to increasing access to immunization.

In his remarks at the meeting with the GAVI team, Prof. Osinbajo said, President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to finding lasting solutions to the challenges of healthcare delivery and funding in Nigeria, including exploring alternative sources.


Osinbajo receives delegation of Global Alliance Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI)

He said government was considering several options including working on some of the recommendations by the alliance, to improve Nigeria’s healthcare system.

According to him, “the funding of our healthcare system especially for a country of Nigeria’s size cannot depend on the budgetary allocation alone. There is clearly a need to look at alternative sources of funding, and clearly international donor funding cannot bridge that gap when you look at what is required for Nigeria.”

The GAVI delegation comprised representatives from the World Bank, DFID, and other organizations.

The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

On Wednesday, March 7, President Buhari presided over the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The President took a break from the FEC meeting to receive the FIFA 2018 World Cup trophy, CHAN Super Eagles team and Nigeria’s Bobsleigh Winter Olympic team.


President Buhari Receives the Original FIFA World Cup Trophy In Abuja

At the event, the President noted that football had a cult following in Nigeria which cut across religion and ethnicities.

He assured the Super Eagles of the necessary support ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.

Briefing journalists after the FEC meeting, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said FEC had ordered a complete audit of Dana airline in the aftermath of two near-fatal air incidents in two weeks.

Vice President Osinbajo joined President Muhammadu Buhari and other cabinet members for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held at the State House Council chambers.

Also on Wednesday, the Vice President joined President Buhari to receive the FIFA delegation to the State House for the FIFA World Cup trophy tour to Nigeria.


Buhari, Osinbajo receive FIFA World Cup Trophy, hosts Winter Olympics bobsleigh team and CHAN Eagles

On Thursday, March 8, President Buhari departed Abuja for Plateau State on a two-day working visit.

Prior to his departure, the President received a delegation from King Salam of Saudi Arabia.

A statement from the presidential press office quoted the President as saying that ‘‘he remained undeterred and focused in securing the lives and properties of all Nigerians’’, noting that his administration was mindful of the three-pronged promises made to Nigerians before the 2015 elections.

President Buhari, while on official working visit in Jos, paid homage to Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba in his palace, inaugurated the Mararaban Jama’a-Secretariat junction-British American Junction in the state capital.

He also attended a town hall meeting where he launched Plateau State Road map to Peace. Speaking at the town hall meeting, the President restated his commitment to arrest the cycle of violence that has engulfed some parts of the country.

In spite of his busy schedule, the President took time off to call his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and wish him a happy 61st birthday.

Later, a tweet on the President’s personal twitter handle @Mbuhari said: ‘‘Happy 61st Birthday, @ProfOsinbajo. Thank you for being a loyal and dependable partner on this journey. I join millions of your friends and well-wishers around the world to wish you many more years of service to God, to Nigeria, and to humanity.’’

Also on Thursday, Staff of the Office of the Vice President and some Cabinet members showed up for a surprise photo session with the Vice President on his 61st birthday.


Staff of the Office of the Vice President and some Cabinet members in a surprise photo session with the Vice President on his 61st birthday

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had earlier met in his office with a delegation of bank CEOs and executives from the body of banks CEOs, a committee of CIBN governing council.

Later in the evening, the Vice President was joined by family members and friends at his Aguda House residence for a birthday service that held in place of the weekly fellowship.

On Friday, March 9, the President concluded his two-day visit to Plateau State with the launch of the Plateau State Tractor Ownership Scheme in Jos.

While the President was away in Jos, the Vice President held private meetings with some groups and visiting delegations to the Presidential villa.

On Saturday, March 10, the Vice President travelled to Ibadan, Oyo state for the wedding solemnization of the children of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi and his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje. (NAN)