President Buhari notifies National Assembly he has resumed duty.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has sent letter to parliament notifying lawmakers that he has resumed his duties, his spokesman said on Monday.

It follows the president’s return on Friday after medical leave in Britain that lasted nearly two months.

His spokesman Femi Adesina, in a message posted on Twitter, said Buhari would receive a briefing from the vice president “in a short while”.

 

Source: Reuters

I am not under pressure to resign, says Osinbajo.

Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo Monday said he was no under pressure to resign from his post, addressing rumours for the first time that he was pressured by a special interest to vacate his position.

Osinbajo spoke to reporters at the State House, Abuja, after a meeting with the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John odigie-Oyegun.

“I’m absolutely under no pressure to resign. In any event, I was voted for by the people of this nation – myself and Mr President, and the people of this nation have not asked us to resign,” Osinbajo said.

Reiterating the presidency’s position that the Buhari had no serious health issues, the acting vice president said he had a long phone conversation with ‘hale and hearty’ Buhari earlier on Monday on the state of the nation.

“Let me say that the President is hale and hearty. I spoke to him just this afternoon and we had a very long conversation.

“He was interested in knowing about the budget process and how far we had gone. As you know, we had a meeting today with the private sector on the economic recovery plan.

“Of course I informed him about some of what we are seeing – the protests, marches and all of that, some of the feedback and what people are saying about the economy.

“He is in good shape, he was very chatty and we had a good conversation this afternoon.”

He, however, like Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, declined to disclose the exact state of the president’s health, noting that only the president had the right to disclose such information to the public.

“I think that the health status of Mr President is a fact or issue that only Mr President himself will be able to discuss at the appropriate time.

“Again, he is running tests and before you determine your health status you must be able to say ‘this is my health status’.

“If I’m running tests; doing some routine and some that my doctors have asked me to do, then surely I must await the outcome of that before I talk about any kind of status,” he said.

Femi Adesina: Only President Buhari can disclose his own health status

Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, says it will get to a point when his principal would disclose his health status “if it has to be disclosed”.

 

Speaking on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television, Adesina said knowing the actual health condition the president has been treating is not compulsory.

 

Explaining that all the information he has on the president’s health had been released, he said what Buhari needs from Nigerians at the moment is prayers.

 

Adesina said known to be a straightforward person, Buhari would not fail to disclose his condition to the citizens if the need arises.

 

“I am sure it will get to a point when the president has to disclose the status of his health if it needs to be disclosed,” he said.

 

“If it’s something serious enough to disclose, I am sure he will disclose it.”

 

He explained that he could not disclose the nature of health challenge the president is dealing with because he was not aware.

 

“The president is the one who can release his own health status,” he said.

 

“The day he left, we still spoke. He didn’t tell me ‘this is my condition’. He told me he was going to rest and he would do medicals and that was included in the statement we released.”

 

Responding to a question on when Buhari would return, Adesina said: “If there was a date he would return, it would have been in that statement.

 

“But the issue now is (that) there is no vacuum in government. No lacuna because power has been transferred to the vice-president who is acting president.

 

“So, Mr President can take the time he desires and when his doctors give him a clean bill of health, he then can return home.”

 

Source: The Cable

Change Will Be Evident Before 2017 Ends – Femi Adesina

The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has again assured Nigerians that the end of the country’s economic challenge is nearer than ever.

Speaking on Politics Today, Mr Adesina said that all efforts of the Buhari administration to get Nigeria and Nigerians back on their feet would begin to materialize before the end of 2017.

He added that projections by notable international agencies have also predicted that Nigeria would exit recession in 2017.

“World Bank has said it, IMF has said it and before those institutions, the government has said it,” he said.

Adesina refused to have the Buhari administration blamed for the recession that hit the country saying Nigeria had been ‘primed for recession’ at the time Buhari became President.

“That recession was inevitable (with) the way Nigeria had been run two to four years prior the time we went into recession. There was no way it would not have happened,” he said.

He explained that President Buhari remained committed to correcting the mistakes of the past.

“What he is doing is good governance which will translate to better life for the people. It’s not going to be by a sudden flight, it’s not a magic wand that he will wave – policies that will yield over time and lead to improvements in the life of the people,” he said.

President Not Sick

Mr Adesina also debunked the rumours that President Buhari has been ill and wondered why critics altered the sequence of the statement issued regarding the President’s trip to the UK in order to make the President appear ill.

“Don’t forget, the statement we issued said he was going on holiday and during that holiday he would do medical checkups. The sequence is very important – holiday first, medical checkups second.

“Nigerians want to turn the sequence to medical checkups instead of holiday first.”

Mr Adesina’s explanation also triggered questions regarding the President’s trust in the quality of medical services in Nigeria but he argued that it is usually important to consult doctors who have the patient’s medical history.

“Before he became President, he has been using those same set of people. So, it stands to reason that the same people continue to attend to him,” he explained.

Cabinet Rejig?

There have been questions regarding the current makeup of the President’s cabinet, with many wondering if there would be a rejig of ministerial appointments.

The death of the Kogi state-born former Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and the impending exit of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed for her UN appointment have also fuelled the speculation that there could be a rejig.

However, Mr Adesina insisted that it remained the prerogative of the President to rejig his cabinet.

While admitting that citizens have the rights to criticize the cabinet in the face of economic challenges, he maintained that the President has the final say on who works with him.

He gave the assurance that President Buhari is in touch with the grassroots and understands the challenges Nigerians have been going through.

 

Source: Channels TV

Femi Adesina: If this government tells you something, you can take it to the bank.

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, has urged Nigerians to disregard Ayodele Fayose’s claim that the payment of N5,000 stipend to vulnerable citizens has not begun.

Adesina said the Buhari administration is built on “integrity and accountability” and “does not lie to Nigerians.”

On Monday, Laolu Akande, the spokesman of vice president Yemi Osinbajo, said the federal government had commenced payment of the N5,000 stipend to poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

“Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi States have started receiving the money. The other states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states,” the statement by Akande had read.

But on Tuesday, Fayose, governor of Ekiti, said there was no evidence of payment in his state which is among the first batch of beneficiaries listed by the federal government.

“A blind man will say it is when it gets into my mouth that I will say you are feeding me, not promises. Apparently the states they claimed have started receiving payments are APC-controlled states knowing fully that the governors cannot come out to disprove the payments,” the statement by Idowu Adelusi, Fayose media aide read.

Reacting to Fayose’s claims, Adesina said the federal government is so honest in its dealings that anything it says could be taken to the bank.

“On N5,000 stipend, it was announced specifically from the office of the vice president that the scheme has started in nine states,” he said.

“Then a certain governor came and said it is not true. It is just a matter of who do you believe? This is a government that is built on integrity and accountability. This government will not lie to Nigerians, does not lie to Nigerians. In fact, anything you hear from this government you can take it to the bank, believe it.

“So, if anybody comes and say it is politics and that it is not true, choose who to believe. I can tell you that you should believe this government because this government will not lie to you.”

Why Defence Chief is stepping down — Presidency

The presidency has denied a news report that President Muhammad Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the report was “not completely true”.

He however admitted that the defence chief was stepping down.

” The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.

“Gen Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.”

Mr. Adesina said the administration had repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.

“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” he said.

Buhari has high regard for Asiwaju Tinubu – Presidency

Here’s how Femi Adesina addressed the relationship between President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu:

Bola Tinubu’s loyalists are saying that after helping to install Buhari as President that he has been betrayed. What’s the position of things?

You are a journalist and a political watcher. You can say whether somebody installed another person. I am sure as a political watcher you know it. You know that getting to political office is usually a combination of factors. Each person has a role he plays and so, I don’t think anybody can come out to say, “I installed this person.” No, it is a wrong word. That person would then be playing God. Asiwaju Tinubu is a political force to reckon with. He played his own part in the emergence of President Buhari and that is why the President has high respect for him.

How would you assess the government you serve in, more than one and a half years in office?
Well, Nigeria is not where it was when he entered office. When you want to assess his government, assess it based on the promises he made.

You know the tripod promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of security, reviving the economy and fighting corruption. In terms of security the country, as heaven is as far from hell, that is where we are now, which is far from where we were on May 29, 2015.

We know that by 2015 the entire country was almost overrun and nobody was sure what would happen the next day, the next week, the next month. But we know where we are today that the insurgency is virtually defeated, completely under control. What we are passing through is a mopping up process and the worst we can see is over by the grace of God. So, in terms of securing the country, the President has kept to his promise.

Roads that had been closed for three years have reopened. Emirs and traditional rulers that had fled their palaces have returned and are using the same palaces. Gombe had not had NYSC orientation for two years. They had orientation in Gombe this year.

So, you just need to talk to the people in the North East and they would tell you that it is a new dawn.

They couldn’t farm for almost five seasons. They are back in their farms. Those who fled their villages are back into their villages. We know that there are still skirmishes here and there. There are cowardly suicide bombers here and there but it will be over.

So, the President has kept to his promise of securing the country. Other fronts of insurgency like Niger Delta will be settled. Issues like kidnapping, armed robbery, the government is attending to them.

This government has a capacity to secure the country and is putting that capacity to work. And on anti-corruption, no matter what they say, “Oh, it is one-sided and all that,” what we all know is that the anti-corruption war is well and alive and it is a war that will be fought to a logical conclusion.

Nigeria will never be the same again because the cleansing process is real and that cleansing will permeate every nook and cranny of the country.

The third area is the economy. It is still sticky but it is work in progress. I tell you, as clear as night follows the day, the government will put the economy of this country on a fresh foundation.

So you mean there is light at the end of the tunnel?
Oh, definitely. Even now a new foundation of a diversified economy is being laid for the country. We had had promises of diversification of the economy for five decades. This is the first time real practical steps are being taken to diversify the economy.

Do you know what is happening with agriculture now? So much so that in two years time Nigeria will not import rice again and we will be able to even export.

Buhari Is Not Sick, He Only Went To Rest – Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says contrary to opinion held by some people, Buhari’s five day vacation is for him to rest and that he is not sick . Adesina who was a guest on Channels TV yesterday night, said Buhari had worked for eight straight months since he assumed office and needs rest

“Any man can fall sick, old or young, but the president is not sick, the president is well. The president has worked for more than eight months non-stop, and he felt it was time to take a respite and he asked for six days leave and he did it the proper way. He communicated it to the national assembly, handed over power to his deputy and nothing is wrong with that.”he said

He denied claims that Buhari’s vacation appeared sudden.

 “Do you go on vacation because you are sick? You need respite from time to time and when you think it is time for respite, you take it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his state of health. “Nigerians have been lied to for so long that they are now finding it difficult to believe the truth and that is the problem. You have told the truth yet they did not believe it because they have a carry-over of those who have lied to them for many decades but this government will not lie; it will tell the truth.”?he said

Cleaning PDP’s Mess Requires Painstaking Planning – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to PDP’s statement that the last 30 days under President Muhammadu Buhari for Nigeria has been a period of all motion and no movement.

In a new statement made available to journalists today, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said cleaning the mess left behind by the Peoples Democratic Party, especially the immediate past administration, requires scrupulous and painstaking planning.

That across all sectors, national life was devalued under the PDP and it would take meticulousness

and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches. Adesina said:

“The Buhari administration is naturally contemplative because there was absolutely no
rhyme or reason to the way PDP ran the country, particularly in the immediate past dispensation. That is why the Augean Stable is being cleaned now, and it requires scrupulous and painstaking planning.

Across all sectors, our national life was devalued, and it takes meticulousness and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches. This, the Buhari administration will deliver.”

He also described the PDP’s 30 days appraisal of the Buhari administration as amusing.

Adesina said while the party wanted Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the government so that things would begin to move, it did not know that Nigerians had long formed such coalition.

He said Nigerians were hand in hand, and that was what gave victory to Buhari in the March 28, 2015 poll.

He said they had teamed up to uproot an administration that had brought the country to her knees, and was about to tip her off the precipice, adding that they also resolved that never would they allow any government to divide them along regional, religious and ethnic fault lines again.

The presidential spokesman also described as “déjà vu,” a situation where Metuh claimed that people around the President were conniving with bureaucrats to syphon money from the treasury.

He said such situation was the pastime of the immediate past administration.

He added that the enormity of the sleaze will be evident when stolen money, to the tune of billions of dollars, is recovered, and returned to the national treasury soon.

“In the process of time, after all that is being planned by the current administration has matured, and bearing fruits, Nigerians will be able to determine who is serving them acceptably, and who has taken them for a ride. It is just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, Metuh and his masters can only rue the missed opportunities to make salutary impact on the lives of Nigerians. They have a long road of regrets to travel,” Adesina concluded.