Buhari Optimistic Nigeria will Remain United

Buhari welcoming President of Guinea Bissau Jose Mario Vaz to the State House Abuja
  •  Holds closed-door meeting with Guinea Bissau counterpart

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has given the assurance that irrespective of the challenges confronting the country, Nigeria will emerge stronger.

The president and his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Jose Mario Vaz, also had a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Buhari Unity Band (BUB), a brainchild of President Buhari support group, Good Governance Ambassadors of Nigeria (GOGAN), the Nigerian leader said the citizenry had resolved to work for a united country.

Addressing the audience, after his campaign wrist band was launched, President Buhari expressed concerns about threats to Nigeria as elections draw closer, but remained optimistic that relying on the will of Nigerians, the country would continue to be united.

According to him, the incumbent administration has been promoting togetherness and cordial relationship among the citizens, stressing that the composition of the group, which drew membership among people of different ethnic backgrounds, is a pointer to the resolve of the people to see that Nigeria succeeds.

He stated that no country can make progress without unity, adding that “By the grace of God, we shall remain strong and united.”

GOGAN National Coordinator, Felix Idiga, said the purpose of BUB was to shut down the malicious plans of the opposition.

Alleging that “senseless looting” of the national treasury was the main factor uniting “desperate politicians” Idiga said: “When they are picked to face the wrath of the law, they cry marginalisation and begin to fan the flames of disunity and unrest in the country.”

He said with the BUB wrist band, Nigerians who support President Buhari and Nigeria’s unity, can flaunt their solidarity by wearing it.

“Our ultimate goal is to make all Nigerians peace ambassadors of our country by uniting them with the national outlook for excellence in visual identification symbol.

“It is a symbol with a loud declaration by Nigerians; a slogan which says: no to united looters, yes to a united Nigeria.”

The chairman of the occasion, former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, was represented by Senator Kabiru Gaya.

Business mogul, Prince Arthur Eze; President Buhari’s nephew, Alhaji Mamman Daura, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, members of the National Assembly, the Federal Executive Council, Civil Society Organisations, members of the diplomatic corps as well as presidential aides graced the occasion.

In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari and his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Jose Mario Vaz had a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

Buhari received Vaz who arrived the State House at 11.a.m and took him straight to his office where the meeting held.

Addressing journalists with the aid of an interpreter after their interaction, President Vaz said the purpose of his visit to Nigeria was to brief Buhari and seek his advice on the postponement of election previously scheduled for November 18 in his country.

According to President Vaz, he discussed with the Nigerians leader about the ongoing voters’ registration exercise in Guinea Bissau and he expressed satisfaction that the engagement with the Nigeria’s President was fruitful.

“I came to see President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the President of Nigeria and also in his capacity as the current Chair of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). I came to see him as my elder brother, to seek his advice and experience because as you know, we in Africa respect the elders.

“I had the opportunity to brief him about the situation in Guinea Bissau, the voter registration process going on in Guinea Bissau. As you are aware the international community will be aware Guinea Bissau was to hold election on November 18, but we have come to the conclusion that it will not be possible, that is the reason why I came to see my elder brother so that I can seek his advice and brief him about the situation.

“I am going back home very much encouraged because I was given very important advise. Nigeria has been a great supporter of the process in Guinea Bissau in the voter registration process going on. I can tell you that I took the engagement before the President and all the advice I got from him will be applied fully.

“That is why I am very happy about our discussions for his warn welcome and this comes as no surprise because this is a reception from an elder brother to his younger brother,” he said.

President Buhari did not however comment on his closed-door meeting with President Vaz of Guinea Bissau.