Buhari directs Osinbajo, appointees to fill, return assets declaration form
• Takes Tinubu On Familiarisation Tour Of State House
• I’ll Hit Ground Running From First Day In Office, President-elect Reassures
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all his out-going appointees as well as other elected officials in his administration to fill and return their assets declaration forms as required by law.
“I signed, collected and acknowledged receiving my form. From here, I will ask my bank manager in Kaduna to show me what has gone in and out of my account. Nobody is excluded from declaring his assets. I expect everyone from the Vice President downwards to follow the system,” the President said.
The President said the directive was in strict adherence to the constitutional requirement of assets declaration before and after taking office, “aimed at strengthening best practices, raising moral standards in Public Service, helping to build integrity and combating corruption.”
Speaking upon collecting his form from the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Prof. Isah Mohammed, in Abuja yesterday, Buhari insisted that no one is excluded from the constitutional duty of assets declaration.
In his remarks, Mohammed said compliance by the President in the last eight years and the support he had given to the Bureau has enabled it to achieve 99 per cent compliance by elected and appointed officials.
He also acknowledged the support of the President in the achievement of the digitisation of its services and operations, thereby helping the organisation to open investigation of cases with greater efficiency.
Meanwhile, ahead of the May 29 inauguration, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday took the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, round the State House, Abuja, on a familarisation tour of the offices within the seat of power.
The Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, was earlier on Thursday conducted round the VP wing of the Villa by outgoing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The duo of Buhari and Tinubu walked through the Press Gallery in the State House shortly after they both observed the Jumat prayers at the Mosque situated in the Presidential Villa.
The President and his successor, followed by a large retinue of Presidency officials and security personnel, were guided on the tour by the State Chief of Protocols (SCoP), Amb. Lawal Kazaure.
The Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahimi Gambari, and the Permanent Secretary, Umar Tijjani, were among other top officials of the State House that accompanied the President and the President-elect on the tour.
Ahead of his inauguration on Monday, Tinubu has reassured Nigerians that he would hit the ground running from his first day in office even as he promised to be a fair minded leader who would do justice to all Nigerians irrespective of differences in political affiliations, religious persuasions, tribal or sectional backgrounds.
Speaking at the Jumat Prayer and Lecture which were part of activities lined up for the presidential inauguration yesterday in Abuja, he stated that the starting point of his administration may not be rosy, stressing that oil subsidy has become an albatross round the country’s neck, while the multiple exchange rate system has become a drain on the national economy.
Tinubu, who was represented by the Vice President-elect, Shettima, emphasised that his government would take certain hard decisions, stating that in the fullness of time, Nigerians would come to not only appreciate but also celebrate his administration. He said that the incoming government does not have the luxury of time considering that the challenges facing the country are enormous.
Tinubu noted that Nigeria is a great nation that is waiting to unleash its full potential to the world, adding that China, which was once described as a sleeping giant, has woken up and Nigeria needs to wake up too.
He said: “Power is the most ephemeral of all Allah’s gift to humanity. We are what we are not because of our pedigree, intellect, physical prowess or political sagacity because there are better politicians. Power to us will be a humbling experience and an opportunity to serve God and humanity. And whether we accept it or not, we are going to spend more years of our lives outside power than in power.
“The President-elect is a fair minded leader who will do justice to all Nigerians irrespective of differences in political affiliations, religious persuasions, tribal or sectional backgrounds. We are all united by our common heritage of poverty, insecurity. This is time for all of us to coalesce into a single purse. According to Kom Ferry, global consultancy outfit, there will be an 85 million global unfilled tech roles by 2030, and Nigeria is in a unique position to take advantage of this tech deficit because of the country’s high internet penetration index, youthful population, proximity to Europe and because of our proficiency in English language. India last year earned over $135 billion from global outsourcing. How much did we earn as an oil-producing nation? Not more than $30 billion.
“Ours is a great nation that is waiting to unleash its full potential to the world. China was once described as a sleeping giant; China has woken up and Nigeria needs to wake up. I call on Nigerians to pray for God’s guidance, wisdom and protection. This government will hit the ground running from the first day in office. The starting point may not be rosy. The oil subsidy has become an albatross round our neck; the multiple exchange rate system is a drain on the national economy.
“There are certain decisions that the new administration will take but in the fullness of time, Nigerians will come to not only appreciate but also celebrate us. Assured that women will not only be well-represented but also well compensated in the incoming administration.”
In his speech, President Buhari appealed to Nigerians to put aside their differences and support the incoming administration.
“Elections have come and gone. Another set of leaders has been elected. It is our duty to give them the necessary cooperation to enable them deliver their plans towards transforming Nigeria. As citizens, we must turn our differences into our source of strength to enable progressive development. We must also strive to ensure peaceful coexistence, harmony and respect for the rule of law. A solid foundation has been laid in the last administration for successive administrations to build on,” the President said.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the president noted that the economic, security and other challenges faced under his administration were a global phenomenon, adding that the way Nigerians handled the problems showed that they can surmount other challenges.
He said: “The problems we have had within the economic, security and social sector are not peculiar to us. The potential is always there to make the country great. How we managed during COVID-19 and the Russian /Ukrainian war, among others, have shown how Nigerians can come out of difficult situations.”
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, urged the President-elect to be fair and just to all Nigerians, regardless of religious and ethnic affiliation.
The Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), tasked the incoming government to live up to its mantra of fostering unity among Nigerians.
The Sultan said he aligned himself with the belief of the President-elect when he said that Nigerians are better together.
“We can be united but not uniform. We have our identities and we should retain them as Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, but we should work together and contribute to the development of the country,” he said.
Delivering the key lecture titled, ‘Unity in Diversity: Evolving a Better Nigeria,’ the Chief of Imam of the National Mosque, Prof. Bashir Galadanci, focused on the common origin of humanity while emphasising the need for unity of purpose.
Galadanci called on the government to lead by example, give Nigerians more security, address multidimensional poverty among Nigerians, invest more in quality education by funding education from two per cent of the GDP to 10 per cent of the GDP and fight corruption.