President Buhari Clears Over 40 Pending Memos, Appoints Heads Of Agencies
President Muhammadu Buhari is marking his last few days in office with an unprecedented bust of energy not seen in the last eight years amid last-minute rash approvals and appointments.
Despite a very busy Tuesday packed with a series of activities and projects commissioning, President Buhari presided over an extraordinary FEC meeting at the chamber in the State House, Abuja, which saw the council considering over 40 memos from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
This was the second extraordinary FEC meeting in two weeks coming 24 hours before the valedictory council meeting today. It was gathered that 28 memoranda that could not be considered last Wednesday will be reviewed alongside others as the regime winds down before Monday’s handing over.
Shortly after the meeting, Buhari said he has built personal cordial relationships with the neighbouring countries, stressing that should anyone disturb him after leaving office, his Niger Republic neighbours will defend him.
Speaking at the commissioning of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) corporate headquarters in Abuja that reportedly cost N19.6 billion to construct, he noted that he will relocate to his country home in Daura, Katsina State, which is far away from Abuja and closer to the neighbouring Niger Republic.
“I said these few things about my personal belief because I have only six more days to go. And I try to plan to be as far away from Abuja as possible. I came from an area, which is far away from Abuja.
“That is why when I became the Head of State, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because based on personal and national issues, those neighbourhoods are very important. If you don’t secure the confidence and cooperation of your neighbours, you are in trouble. Your children and grandchildren will be in trouble.
It is very good that I established a relationship with my neighbours. I said if anybody disturbs me, I have a good relationship with my neighbours, Niger people will defend me,” he said.
Speaking further, he said he pointed out that the country has vast borders and only God could secure the nation from the activities of criminals, adding that his decision to close Nigeria’s borders at some point was in the interest of the economy to encourage Nigerians to produce food for their consumption. He said though the move was initially criticised, Nigerians eventually appreciated it.
“Please note that from Lake Chad to the Benin Republic is more than 1,600 kilometres, only God can effectively guard the borders. So, you need a person who has the energy and the competence to supervise it. I deliberately closed the borders because knowing Nigerians, they order rice with Niger address, and then bring the rice here.”
“With our potential, we have people, we have land, and weather – how many nations are as lucky as Nigeria in the world? Only few nations are. So, closing that 1,600 kilometres border from Lake Chad to Benin with Nigerians insisting they eat boiled rice – I mandated that you must eat what you grow or you die. I tried to make my point and later Nigerians appreciated it,” he said.
Buhari stated that he nominated Hameed Ali as Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) because of his experience and competence, adding that the late Sani Abacha, a former military head of state, gave Ali “problematic” tasks to accomplish.
“As for Hameed Ali, I asked him to be in charge of customs. No matter what people say about the late Sani Abacha, may his soul rest in peace, I knew him very well, when somehow he became the head of state, the biggest problematic area was around Kaduna. He picked Colonel Ali and dumped the problems on him. My decision for Ali to come to customs was a deliberate one. I brought him to ensure that I have peace of mind.”
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