President Muhammadu Buhari last week described football as ”our passion and a major tool for unity.”
According to him, football remains the number one sport in Nigeria and a national asset, saying that his administration will resist any attempt to undermine its development.
Mr Buhari stated this when he received the 10-year Football Development Master Plan submitted by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said, ”It is the responsibility of the government to safeguard the sport, which had brought Nigeria many laurels, and treat it as a national asset. Indeed, just as I expect and demand a higher standard of patriotism, responsibility and commitment from those charged with the administration of our football.”
On the same day, the president also hosted the Indian minister of state for external and parliamentary affairs, Vellamvelly Muraleedharan, recollecting his one-year training in the country as a military officer.
Mr Buhari, who received the Indian minister in the State House Abuja, recalled his 1973 visit to India.
“it was a very good experience. I think I was a Lt.-Col. then, and I spent a year in India. We travelled and met people from different countries. It became part of my success story in the military,” Mr Buhari said.
During the week, the Presidency condemned The Guardian’s editorial calling for the impeachment of Mr Buhari.
In a statement on Tuesday, his media aide Garba Shehu frowned at how and how the newspaper had antagonised the president and his party, the All Progressives Congress.
The president also reacted to the cold-blooded murder of a Yobe-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Goni Aisami, directing military authorities to flush out criminal elements in the army.
Mr Aisami was murdered by a soldier he had offered a lift, the police said.
The army dismissed two soldiers, John Gabriel and Adamu Gideon, for their alleged involvement in killing the Yobe cleric.
The acting commander officer in charge of the army’s 241 Recce Battalion in Nguru, Ibrahim Osabo, announced on Saturday that a joint board of inquiry set up in collaboration with the police found the soldiers guilty.
Mr Osabo said the soldiers were dismissed on a two-count charge of failure to perform duties and conduct prejudice to service discipline.
Mr Buhari also on Tuesday condoled with residents in towns and villages affected by flooding across the country. He stated that his regime would keep sending teams to assess the situation to render all necessary help.
He expressed concern over the hardships being faced by people due to this natural calamity.
The president reiterated his unwavering commitment to support and campaign for only the All Progressives Congress candidates in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, according to a statement by Mr Shehu, on Wednesday.
According to Mr Buhari, he remains a “disciplined soldier” of the APC and will, in all the coming elections, support only those candidates fielded by the party and no other.
The Nigerian leader also warned defected party members and some others who are still in court against official candidates of the APC that they were on their own and ”nobody outside the party should link what they are doing to him.”
APC standard-bearer Bola Tinubu had hailed Buhari’s decision only to support party candidates in the 2023 elections. While speaking in Abuja, Mr Tinubu praised the president as he received APC National Working Committee members at the Tinubu/Shettima campaign office on Saturday. He described Mr Buhari as a bold, strong leader for taking the stand.
On Wednesday, Mr Buhari presided over the Federal Executive Council virtual meeting in the State House, Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also joined the meeting physically for the first time since he underwent surgery following an injury he sustained while playing squash.
Mr Osinbajo, who underwent a surgical operation on July 16 at the Duchess International Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, had been attending FEC meetings virtually from his official residence in Abuja while recuperating from the surgery.
The council approved N43.6 billion for the construction and reconstruction of roads in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe and Bauchi states.
It also approved N11.1 billion for reconstructing an intra-city road in Lagos and N718 million for security services and surveillance of the Abuja light rail transportation.
He also congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, on his 66th birthday on Wednesday, joining family members, friends and Muslim Ummah in celebrating with the spiritual leader.
He noted with delight that the Sultan had continued to champion the cause of peace and unity in the country by regularly counselling institutions, professionals and public servants to abide by acceptable standards.
The president hosted Holm Keller, the executive chairman of KENUP Foundation and representative of the CEO of BioNTech, the mRNA vaccine patent holder, in Africa, on Thursday.
At the meeting, Buhari welcomed the exploratory interactions between Nigerian biomedical scientists, officials of the federal ministry of health and BioNTech company to support the production of messenger RNA vaccines in Nigeria.
He expressed confidence that the interactions between the parties would be productive, leading to collaborations at many levels. This will be from clinical trials to research and development of new vaccines and eventually support vaccine manufacturing facilities in the country.
The president concluded the week on Saturday by extending sympathies for the sea-like flooding of Pakistan, the worst natural disaster in the country’s history.
Floods had damaged half-a-million homes, affecting about 30 million people and killing above 1,000. The floods had washed away hundreds of roads, bridges and other infrastructure.
According to the Nigerian leader, Pakistan and its population were in Nigerians’ thoughts and prayers as they confronted this humanitarian disaster of epic proportions.
He appealed to the United Nations and other aid agencies to take urgent steps to assist people without shelter and food and the millions who required urgent humanitarian relief.
Source: Peoples Gazette.