President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Nigeria after a 16-day medical trip to London, preaching compassion to Nigerians as he resumed his high profile job.
Buhari, who returned just in time to join his compatriots to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, pleaded with privileged Nigerians to show generosity and to help the poor all the time.
The 78-year-old president flew out of Nigeria on March 30 for a routine medical checkup. He returned on April 15.
At an airport ceremony on his return, Buhari responded to questions from reporters, challenging the new service chiefs, including the acting Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Usman Baba, to work diligently to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
“Oh yes, the service chiefs have been in the system all the way. They know what is wrong. They know what is right and I think they are doing their best.
“I hope their best will be good enough for Nigerians,” newsmen quotes Buhari as saying.
The president, who earlier announced the acting I-G’s appointment while he was in London, revealed that due process was followed in the selection of the new police chief.
“Well, we went through the system. There was a committee by the minister of police affairs. They gave me some names and Baba happened to be the one chosen.
“He knows his job. He has been in it for a long time, he went through all the training. He has the necessary experience.
”So, we have high expectation from him,” added the president, who was received on his return by top government functionaries at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Earlier, Buhari in a message to mark the commencement of Ramadan prayed Allah to “accept our sacrifices and increase the unity, solidarity, peace and prosperity of the nation”.
The message was signed by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu.
Buhari was also quoted as urging Muslims in the country to exercise patience and tolerance and to reject voices that seek to divide Nigeria.
The president also urged citizens to remember those displaced by conflicts in their prayers during the fasting season.
Muslims around the world are expected to fast for 30 days in observance of Ramadan, an annual event in the Islamic faith.
On April 14, the presidency reassured beleaguered parents and Nigerians that the missing students of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, remained constantly in the mind of the government as they remained in the minds of their parents.
The re-assurance was given in a statement by the presidential spokesman, to mark the seventh anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok girls.
The statement assured that “the release of the remaining Chibok girls was still work in progress.
“No one is giving up hope. Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course”.
The schoolgirls were abducted on April 14, 2014, by jihadists, fighting to enthrone the strict Islamic code in parts of Northern Nigeria.
On his part, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on April 14, presided over a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the State House, Abuja where a one-minute silence was observed in honour of a former Minister, Mr Mahmud Tukur.
Osinbajo also participated in a virtual forum, organised by a leading American Christian University, Liberty University with the theme, “Equity for Africa: Transforming the World through Judeo-Christian Values.”
The event was hosted by the university’s School of Business, where the vice-president criticized vaccine nationalism and advocated fairer global cooperation.
According to Osinbajo, in building a fairer world that takes into account the interest of the poor, the principle of fairness must be applied by leaders in addressing challenges in health, the economy and other issues.
On April 15, the vice-president participated in the virtual launch of the Ogun State Digital Economy Empowerment Project as well as the Africa Regional Commonwealth Leaders Roundtable, led by the Prince of Wales at the Council Chambers of the State House.
He assured that internet access and broadband penetration would become commonplace in the nearest future and would determine Nigeria’s competitiveness in the global economy.
Also on April 15, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies met behind closed doors with the chief of staff to the president in Abuja.
The NGF appealed to striking judicial workers to call off their ongoing strike in the interest of the nation. The judicial workers commenced their strike on April 6, to seek autonomy for the Nigerian judiciary.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the NGF, made the appeal when he responded to questions from State House correspondents.
Tambuwal had earlier led officials of the Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
On April 16, Buhari sent a condolence message to the president and people of Nigeria’s northern neighbour, the Niger Republic on the death of 20 school children, following a fire that engulfed a primary school in Niamey, the country’s capital.
In the message to President Mohammed Bazoum, Buhari expressed sorrow over the tragic incident.
Victims of the fire incident were mostly kids of between three to five years.