- Â Kogi declares today public holiday to celebrate presidentâ€™s return
- IYC calls for focus on governance than politics
By Amby Uneze in Owerri, Sylvester Idowu in Warri, Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja and Laleye Dipo in Minna
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, yesterday said the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from medical vacation in London had dealt a blow on mischief makers in the country.
This came as the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, yesterday declared today as public holiday and thanksgiving day to thank God for the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari from London.
President Buhari returned to the country at the weekend and was received by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and other government officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Bello said in a statement made available to journalists in Minna yesterday that the mischief makers and death wishers had hoped that the president would not return to the country alive.
â€œThe presidentâ€™s return has indeed dealt a dirty blow on mischief makers and death wishers who rather than wish the president well wanted him dead or to resign from officeâ€.
In the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Ndace, the governor regretted that â€œthe perpetrators of such false, malicious and ungodly speculations and those calling for his resignation either wanted to overheat the polity for their selfish ends or are completely ignorant of the countryâ€™s constitutional provisions.
â€œThe presidentâ€™s return has rekindled hope, strengthened the resolve and faith among Nigerians that the country will be great againâ€.
The governor who had earlier visited the president when he was recuperating in London, also noted that the uncommon, natural goodwill and support he enjoyed from most Nigerians would strengthen his resolve to return the country to the glorious past and take it to the next level.
â€œPresident Buhari â€˜s return to the country will no doubt rekindle our hope for a better Nigeria. Nigerians look up to him as a father – figure who is committed to building the country of our dreamâ€
â€œThe spontaneous positive reaction of Nigerians was a clear indication of the love for, and faith in the Presidentâ€™s capacity and political will to build a new Nigeriaâ€.
Also in the statement, the governor commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for successfully piloting the affairs of the country throughout the Presidentâ€™s absence.â€
He also commended religious leaders, political organisations for their prayers, outpouring of love and solidarity during the presidentâ€™s medical trip to London, and asked for the sustenance of such behaviour.
Meanwhile, Governor Bello of Kogi State, has declared today as public holiday and thanksgiving day to thank God for the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari from London.
The declaration came as the people of Imo State and their Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, yesterday expressed their gratitude to God for the return of President Buhari to the country.
A statement issued yesterday by the Director General on Media and Publicity to the governor, Mr. Kingsley Fanwo, stated that the gesture was in line with the support of the people of the state for the renaissance of the country by the president.
â€œWe urge Kogites to also use the occasion of the public holiday to pray for Mr. President as he resumes his responsibilities of repositioning Nigeria.â€
The governor described Buhari as â€œan African icon who is a nightmare to corruption.â€
According to him, Buhari is adored around the world â€œfor his vision and commitment to the greatness of Nigeria.
â€œNigeria was almost a globally blacklisted country due to the institutionalised corruption until the advent of the man who world leaders respect as the antidote for corruption came on the stage to reverse the trend. Mr. Integrity is the singular reason the world is having hope in a prosperous Nigeria.
â€œLet me thank Nigerians for standing firmly with the man who has restored their hopes.
â€œNigerians prayed fervently for the recovery of Mr. President and their prayers have been answered.
â€œWith the return of Mr. President, we are reassured that good governance will continue to be the lot of our nation.
â€œThe acting president has displayed competence, loyalty and patriotism throughout his stint. It is a testimony that our party is blessed with great leaders.â€
Bello urged Nigerians to continue to support the change initiative of the federal government, insisting that Nigeria is better than it was two years ago.
â€œWe are witnessing a transition from a badly damaged economy to recovery. We have seen how gradually the federal government is rebounding the economy of our great nation.
â€œEconomic growth is gradually becoming visible. Nigeria will continue to witness progress,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Okorocha and said it was a thing of joy that Buhari returned home strong and healthy after four months of medical trip to London.
He equally thanked God for answering the prayers of Nigerians for granting the president total recovery from the ill-health that took him outside the country.
According to the governor, if anything had happened to the president, no doubt, the country would have been thrown into a state of uncertainty.
He added that it was out of Godâ€™s abundant love for the country that the president recovered and came back alive and healthy.
Okorocha said though the president is back, Nigerians should continue in their prayers for him, his family and for the nation.
â€œOnce again, the government and good people of Imo State welcomes back the president, and pray that the good Lord will continue to sustain him as he continues to serve God and humanity especially Nigerians who elected him,â€ he stressed.
However, with the return of President Buhari to the country, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has urged him to hit the ground running by solving the various agitations and economic challenges facing the country.
It advised the president to focus on good governance rather than politicking.
According to a statement issued by the factional President of IYC, Eric Omare, the Ijaw youths noted that the economy had suffered tremendously due to the constant absence of the president on health grounds.
â€œThe IYC worldwide while joining Nigerians in expressing delight over the return of President Buhari to Nigeria call on him to focus on governance by hitting the ground running rather than unnecessary politicking.
â€œThe Nigerian polity especially the economy has suffered from the constant absence of President Buhari due to health challenges, however now that he has returned in good state, he should take urgent steps to address the economic challenges to take Nigeria out from economic recession, address the agitations in the Niger Delta region, the IPOB agitations and the different calls for self-determination and restructuring in the country.
â€œWe want to strongly advise President Buhari not to be misled by selfish politicians to disregard the different agitations in the country. The agitations are genuine and must be addressed for the country to make progress,â€ he said.
The IYC president also advised the president to avoid the temptation of been too engrossed in intra and inter party politics, adding â€œWhat Nigerians need now is serious and purposeful leadership to address the multifarious problems facing the country. This is not time for politics but it is time for President Buhari to rise up as statesman to address the national challenges.
â€œIn the coming days and weeks, we expect President Buhari to take concrete steps towards addressing the demands for restructuring, sincere commitment towards the Niger Delta peace process and steps towards economic recovery including resolution of the ongoing industrial action by university teachers,â€ he added.
Also the National Coordinator of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice CEPEJ and a Niger Delta Activist, Sheriff Mulade, yesterday urges maximum support for President Muhammadu Buhari to enable him steer the ship of state successfully devoid of politics.
While expressing excitement over the return of President Buhari back home from medical vacation in London, he also urged Nigerians to remember the President in their prayers.
According to a press statement in Warri, the elated CEPEJ boss said that it was a good thing that the president was back, imploring Nigerians to always remember the president in their prayers and give him maximum support to carry on.
â€œWe at CEPEJ are so excited about the return of Mr. President back home after over 100 days of medical vacation in London. We thank God for the life of our president.