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At birthday, Buhari appeals for more time to govern Nigerians

By Terhemba Daka and Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
18 December 2018   |   4:20 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to give him more time so that they could understand the intentions of his government.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh (left); National Security Adviser, Brig.-Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd); Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd); Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abba Kyari; Commander, Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Umar Musa and Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, during a special parade by the Guards Brigade, to mark the 76th birthday of the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

• Women launch reelection campaign for president
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to give him more time so that they could understand the intentions of his government.

He made the plea yesterday after a special military parade by officers of the Guards Brigade to mark his 76th birthday at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The president had earlier attended the 2018 edition of the Immigration Dialogue organized by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI) at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, before he returned to his office where a detachment of officers and men of the Guards Brigade had mounted a surprise guard of honour to celebrate his birthday.

On arrival at about 12:20pm, President Buhari stopped to acknowledge a special salute from the guard of honour after which he walked to the saluting dais.

The president, thereafter, received status of the parade formation and proceeded to inspect the Guards comprised of 203 officers and men of the 177 battalion decked in colourful ceremonial dress.

President Buhari, accompanied by his Aide de Camp (ADC), later joined other dignitaries and presidential aides for the birthday programme proper.

After the traditional cutting of cake, Buhari, in a brief chat with State House Correspondents, thanked his aides for organizing the event, just as he called on Nigerians to continue to pray for him.

He spoke in both English and Hausa.

To the Hausa audience, President Buhari said “Nigerians should continue to pray for me and understand my intentions and give me time.” In English, the president said: “I am impressed with it, they have put a lot of time behind it, I thank and appreciate them very much.”

Asked what citizens should expect, going forward, Buhari said: “We will keep reminding Nigerians about what we have done, how we met the country, what we have been able to do from the time we came in till now with the resources available to us.”

Among those who presented birthday cards to the president were the Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Umar Musa, on behalf of the team, his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari for presidential aides, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha.

Buhari did not mark his 75th birthday. In 2016, his 74th birthday was also marked with a military fanfare.

Also present at the event were the service chiefs and the inspector general of police, Minister of Defence Brig Gen. Masur Dan-Ali (rtd), director general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Nigerian women also trooped out to celebrate the president’s birthday.

The women, under the aegis of African Women Arise for Change and Good Governance , who stormed the Unity Fountain to declare their support for the president, called on Nigerians to reelect Buhari in 2019.

They also launched the ‘Tell Your Neighbours Say Baba’ campaign in support of Buhari’s second term bid.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Mrs. Jaiyetola Mohammed said the president deserved all the support to win reelection in 2019.