Week in review: Official engagements of Buhari, Osinbajo

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By Ismaila Chafe

President Muhammadu Buhari started the week on March 2 with a briefing from a delegation he sent to Zamfara to sympathise with the people and government of the state on the kidnapped Jangebe schoolgirls.

The delegation was headed by the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, with the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sa’adiya Umar-Faruk and Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen as members.

Barely 24 hours after receiving feedback from the delegation, the president on March 3, expressed joy over the reported release of the abducted schoolgirls.

The president expressed his delight in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu.

Buhari said: “I join families and people of Zamfara State in welcoming and celebrating the release of these traumatized female students.”

Few hours after the release of the schoolgirls, the president summoned a meeting of the National Security Council.

The March 2 meeting of the council reviewed the renewed onslaught on insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes by the Federal Government to achieve desired goals.

In attendance at the meeting were Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen.  Bashir Magashi.

Others were Ministers of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, other Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

At the end of the meeting, the Federal Government declared Zamfara a no-fly zone and banned all forms of mining activities in the state.

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On March 3, Buhari presided over the 36th virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Council Chamber of the State House.

In attendance at the meeting were Osinbajo, Mustapha, Gambari and 10 ministers.

The ministers include Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Justice, Abubakar Malami, Agriculture Sabo Nanono and Environment, Mahmood Mohammed.

Others were the Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar, Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Power, Sale Mamman, and Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.

The council meeting approved total reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway at a cost of N797.2 billion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the figure shows an increase of N642.2 billion over the N155 billion the council previously approved for the rehabilitation of the same highway.

The council also approved N10. 4 billion for the procurement of fire-fighting vehicles and equipment for the Federal Fire Service and N6.04 billion for the provision of potable water in the four local government areas in Ogoniland in Rivers.

On March 4, Buhari inaugurated the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Technology Building in Abuja, where he directed the NIS to improve surveillance and control around the nation’s borders, to check the activities of criminal elements in the country.

Buhari also met behind closed doors with Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, where he enjoined all Nigerians to go about their lawful businesses as “the country’s unity is not negotiable”.

Also on March 4, Osinbajo delivered a keynote address at the 16th Biennial Delegates Conference of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, held at Michael Okpara Square in Enugu.

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Speaking on the theme: “The Unquenchable Light”, Osinbajo said: “We must bear this gospel of Jesus Christ, knowing that it is the beacon of hope and succour for our nation.

”As bearers of the gospel we are the reconcilers-in-chief.”

Buhari and Osinbajo concluded their engagements for the week on March 6, when they received vaccinations for the coronavirus.

The president’s chief physician, Dr Suhayb Rafidadi, administered the vaccine on Buhari at about 11.52 a.m., while the vice-president was vaccinated by his personal physician immediately after the president had received his dose.

Buhari, who is the ECOWAS Champion on the Fight against COVID-19 and Osinbajo also got COVID-19 vaccination cards.

The Nigerian leader used the opportunity to appeal to eligible Nigerians to take the coronavirus vaccination “so that we can be protected from the virus.”

Nigeria received 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on March 2, delivered under the international Covax scheme. (NAN)

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