President Muhammadu Buhari has pointedly told government contractors coming to him not to give him cheques as kickbacks but rather commit the money to public good as corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Buari has noted that he would love to visit his hometown of Daura in Katsina State more frequently, but for the high cost of presidential movements and exposing security personnel to the weather, assuring that his heart remains with the people.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Friday, President Buhari spoke when he visited the Emir of Daura, Dr. Umar Faruk Umar, at his palace.
“We are known for farming and I have my farm here. I could come every two weeks and no one can stop me. But the cost to the movement is high. I would rather want it be used to better our schools, clinics and hospitals,” said the President.
The President also urged businessmen, contractors and other privileged Nigerians who are beneficiaries of government patronage to always engage in CSR, instead of seeking to favour individuals with gifts.
He said pointedly, “I don’t want your cheque. Go and assist our communities,” instead of trying to return kickbacks to public officers, including his office.
“We don’t want cheques from anyone or organisation as returns or influence of any kind. Let them remember their Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.
The President said the grace of God has kept Nigeria together as a country in spite of differences that led to a 30-month civil war.
“We want to thank God always for keeping us together as a country. From January 15, 1966, the country was thrown into political crisis. We had a 30 months civil war that resulted in the loss of about a million lives.
“We still thank God for keeping us together. We remain grateful to all those who showed interest in our unity and progress. May God continue to bless them,” he added.
The President, who recalled fond memories of visiting the Palace as a military Head of State, expressed happiness that the warmth and hospitality of the traditional institution had been sustained over the years.
In his remarks, the Emir of Daura, thanked the President for always creating time to visit his hometown and the palace despite the tight schedule.
“Your visit to Daura reflects your good character which we are very proud of. I can assure you that men, women, children, marketers and artisans are always pleased to receive you and they will be praying for you.
“Today is not for speeches but for appreciation. We have been blessed so much as a community because you are the leader of the country. You have brought honour to our domain.
”As a community, we have benefited a lot with increased traffic of people and organisations coming to help us here. We know it’s because of you.
“May the good Lord always go before you and behind you, and remove all obstacles from your path,” he added.
The Emir said the President must remain focused in getting results particularly in securing the country.
“Nigeria is lucky to have you at this time. I am not saying it to please you, but if you had not been in power it would have been very difficult. I doubt if we will be here today,” he added.
At the meeting, the Emir publicly announced conferment of the title of Talban Daura on Yusuf Buhari, son of President Buhari.
He said a date would be announced for the turbaning ceremony of the President’s son, which might likely be before his marriage.
The Emir also announced creation of a District in the community of the President, with headquarters in Dimurkol.
He said the turbaning of young Buhari and creation of the District was to further extend and deepen the long relationship between the Palace and the family.
He said the decision was in agreement with the kingmakers in Daura Emirate Council.
During the visit, the Palace used the opportunity to clarify the difference between two titles, Talban Hausa, given to Alpha Conde, the President of Guinea and Talban Daura designated for Yusuf, the President’s son.
The Palace explained that Daura, as the linchpin of the Hausa society had conferred titles that have bearing on the Hausa Kingdom and those that are specific to the Emirate.