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Ramadan fast forces FEC meeting into night, President suspends deliberations

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Inaugurates NEDC to thank zone for support
Yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) again dragged into the night as President Muhammadu Buhari, who presided had to suspend deliberations to break his Ramadan fast.

He suspended the meeting at exactly 6:45pm to enable other Muslim faithful among the cabinet members to break their fast.

The meeting, which commenced about 11am, had a break in the afternoon during which only three of 29 memoranda slated for consideration had been deliberated upon

The FEC resumed but its deliberations lasted until 6.45pm just in time for the Muslim faithful to break their fast.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the meeting was expected to resume s after the religious obligations about 7.15pm, but the members were yet to reconvene at press time.

This is the second time this year that the weekly FEC, which begins at 11am will extend into the night except for a one hour break at 3pm yesterday to enable cabinet members go for lunch and return at 4pm to continue deliberations.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presided over last week’s council, which was moved from Wednesday to Thursday, while President Buhari was away on a 10-day private visit to London. The postponement was because of the Workers’ Day celebrations.

The meeting, however, did not start on the 11am schedule as the Vice President was out of Abuja for an undisclosed engagement in Lagos, causing it to be rescheduled for 4pm.

He arrived at 4.30pm to preside over the meeting of the cabinet members and suspended the meeting to about 7.50pm to enable him receive a delegation from African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, forcing the meeting to last far into the night.

However, before the commencement of yesterday’s FEC meeting, President Buhari inaugurated an 11-member governing board of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

The Commission, which has a N10 billon takeoff grant and headed by General Paul Tarfa (rtd.) as its Chairman, is to facilitate rehabilitation of devastated communities in the North East due to Boko Haram terrorism.

The President charged members to be fair and equitable in the discharge of their mandate, adding establishment of the NEDC was in appreciation of the electoral support he received from the Zone in 2015 and 2019 general elections.

The Senate Chamber in April confirmed Tarfa as Chairman and Mohammed Alkali as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the commission alongside nine others as members of its board.


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