My Ministers Are Performing Well, Says Buhari

  •  Orders police to restore Obiano’s security aides
  •  Senate upbraids IG

Omololu Ogunmade in Abakaliki

Nigerians clamouring for the sack of some members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet over perceived inefficiency, might have to tarry a while before their wish would come true as the president on Tuesday night said he had confidence in his team.

The president, who spoke in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, while making closing remarks at a dinner organised in his honour by his host, Governor Dave Umahi, in the Banquet Hall of the Government House, said he had a good team.
According to the president, a number of his appointees were unknown to him before their appointments, pointing out that the appointments were based on merit and proven track records.

A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, Wednesday said Buhari also emphasised that he had always put the best interest of Nigeria into consideration before making decisions.

He said: ‘‘Some of the people holding high positions in the government, like my ministers, will tell you that I didn’t know them from Adam.
‘‘I just came across their names from the records and I worked with the records. I thank God that I have a very good team.’’

According to the statement, the president commended the governor for his development strides in the state, saying: ‘‘The absolute commitment of the governor to his position is very remarkable and I am very impressed.’’
While expressing gratitude to God and the people of Ebonyi State for recognising his modest contribution to the country, Buhari described Nigeria as a great country with incredible resources and highly talented people.
‘‘We should continue to pray to God that the elites that will be in charge of the country in the future fear God,’’ he said.

Orders Police to Restore Obiano’s Security Aides

Meanwhile, Buhari has directed the reinstatement of the security aides of Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
While welcoming the president to Awka Wednesday for the grand finale of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship rally, the governor had complained about the withdrawal of his security aides.

The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, had withdrawn the security aides of the governor at the weekend, claiming that he did that to provide a level playing field for all the gubernatorial contestants in the state.

But Adesina in a terse statement on his Facebook page Wednesday said Buhari while departing Awka directed the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), Mr. Joshak Habila, to ensure the return of the governor’s security personnel.

Also deliberating on the matter, the Senate Wednesday condemned the police boss’ action, saying that it was improper and must be reversed immediately.
It directed its Chairman, Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, to liaise with Idris and ensure that its resolution was respected by Thursday.

The Senate acted upon a motion moved by Senator Emmanuel Bwacha under Order 41, faulting the reasons given by the Idris for his action.

He said: “I woke up to my shock to listen to an explanation offered by the Inspector General of Police in respect of the withdrawal of security aides of the Governor of Anambra State.

“Mr. President, this matter is bi-partisan. The explanation offered went to the extent to mean that because there is a need for a level playground for all the aspirants in the Anambra governorship election, so, the governor who is a sitting governor should lose his security aides. Mr. President, I was in a state of shock when I received this explanation.

“The governor has lost his immunity on an election that everybody is allowed to participate. If a precedent is being set, we want clarification. That in 2019, if the president will contest, the president will lose all his security aides because we want a level playground. I am not a member of APGA but I know that injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

Bwacha was backed by Senator Biodun Olujimi, who warned that Nigeria could become a “Banana nation” if the excesses of the police were not checked.

The Senate subsequently resolved to ask the police chief to restore the governor’s aides immediately.