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UK Visit: As PMB Proves Critics Wrong

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It’s been a week of marathon meetings and briefings at the presidential villa following President Muhammadu Buhjari’s return to the country. Against all expectations Buhari returned from his 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom. As at Saturday last week, the country’s rumour mill was in a state of rhetorical overdrive, with stories flying around that the president may have extended his vacation to possibly another one month to attend to his health.

But the president put all speculations to rest when, like James Bond, returned that Saturday. Not wanting to let the triumph over the pestle wielding critics slide, the presidency threw a shade at the rumour mongers. Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, sent the cynics to sleep with a combination of right verbal jabs and left upper cut.

The presidential spokesman said some reckless online media, irresponsible political opposition, and other bilious groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the president left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalisation, and would not return after 10 days as stated.

In their vain imaginations, he said, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care, adding that now that the President has returned, can these apostles of evil imaginings swallow their words?

On Tuesday, President Buhari received the president of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces. He told the UNGA president that the assistance of United Nations and the international community will be invaluable in reversing the devastation visited on Nigeria by Boko Haram insurgency.

On Wednesday, President Buhari inaugurated the governing board of the newly established North East Development Commission (NEDC) to fast track the rebuilding of the region.

In his remarks during the inauguration at the presidential villa, President Buhari charged the new board members to take charge and be the focal organisation to assess, coordinate, harmonise and report on all the intervention programmes and initiatives of the federal government in the region

Also On Wednesday, the president held the longest serving federal executive council meeting since 2015. The meeting lasted close to 12 hours. Last week FEC meeting was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday because of the Workers’ Day public holiday. Due to certain engagements that took the vice president’s time, FEC meeting started at about 4:00pm on Thursday. The meeting lasted till past 10 in the night and from the body language of the ministers, it was obvious they were not happy. I was expecting to hear after the FEC meeting at night that all the problems bedeviling the country were over.

However, the federal government explained reasons why the FEC meeting of Wednesday lasted for over 10 hours. A presidency source revealed that Wednesday’s FEC meeting dedicated time for members to clear all outstanding memos presented to the cabinet. He said, “There is nothing special. You know that there will be only two more FEC meetings before the inauguration date. So, we want to clear the outstanding.”

On Thursday, the president held a meeting with security chiefs, the second meeting in 48 hours over the rising cases of insecurity in the country. Again, Buhari gave marching orders to service chiefs, directing them to ensure that Nigerians go to bed with their two eyes closed.

Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, who disclosed this to State House correspondents after the meeting between President Buhari and  security chiefs. According to him, the meeting was just basically to appraise President Buhari of the security situation generally after his short vacation abroad.

The Naval chief said the security agencies briefed the president on what has been happening, with particular emphasis on the proliferation of small arms and what the various agencies are doing to curtail the consequences of this proliferation.

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