PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with governors of the 36 states of the federation, revealing that he invited Vice Yemi Osinbajo to London in July to thank him for the way he ran the country in the president’s absence.
He told the governors that Osinbajo applied his intellect to administer the country commendably prompting him to invite Osinbajo to London to personally thank him.
“The efforts by the vice president are commendable. He used his intellect to run all over the place. I was seeing him 24 hours on NTA. I congratulate him. I allowed him to come and see me to thank him personally for what he has done,” Buhari explained.
Osinbajo on July 11 made a 24 hours return trip to meet President Buhari who was on medical vacation at Abuja House in London.
The president maintained that while he was away, he closely monitored events particularly in that states and was happy with the way the governors tackled the issue of inadequate food production as high food import was taking its toll on the naira.
Buhari explained that the devaluation of the naira was not his government’s making, noting that even though it may not be a comfortable development, there was nothing that could be done about it.
He said: “I had so much time to watch television, NTA, I heard so much information about the states. I am very pleased with the states, you are all doing your best and it is proving to be good enough on agriculture and solid minerals. You are succeeding in agriculture because I think people cannot afford foreign food.
“The devaluation of the Naira is not my making; it may not favour us but it is something we cannot change. Some people were asking me if we should be stricter on the border, but I want to thank God this year is better than what it used to be.”
The president mocked the ResumeOrResign group who protested against his presence in the U.K.
He said now that he was back to the country, members of the group especially those who do not pay taxes to the U.K. government should consider returning home or get caught by the implications of Brexit.
Brexit is the term for the United Kingdom’s intended withdrawal from the European Union (E.U.).
He advised them to consider the implications and make plans to return home.
According to him, those that have plans to sell their properties should consider bringing some home to help the Nigerian economy.
Buhari said: “I’m very happy with the national prayers it was very well covered and reported, across religions and ethnicity, people were praying. In fact some groups in London came and sang the national anthem and asked that I should go back home, indeed I have come back home.
“I hope those who went there are not stuck there, they should come back and join us, those that are stuck there with the Brexit, I hope they have weighed the implications that it won’t affect them including those that have properties there, those who are not paying tax here. I hope when they sell their properties there they will bring some of the money here. We need it very badly here.”
The President said the visit of the governors has boosted his morale, adding: “I thank you very much. My morale have been raised greatly by the love shown to me and the security of the country.”
The Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, in his remarks observed that the Buhari administration has enabled state governments that hitherto could not pay workers’ salaries to meet up with their obligations.
He added that the bailouts and the refund of the Paris Club funds authorized by the president have helped to cushion the effects of recession in the states.