Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed delight at President Muhammadu Buhari’s recovery and return to the country after his medical leave in the United Kingdom.
In a statement by his media office, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said every well-meaning Nigerian should be happy with the President’s recovery.
According to him, a healthy and stronger Buhari would be able to concentrate more vigorously on the task of implementing his campaign promises to Nigerians.
He explained that President Buhari’s recovery is good news for the country and Nigerians because “it would reduce the needless conspiracy theories surrounding his health and long absence.”
Noting that the task of governance is so enormous that the country should celebrate the return of the President, the Waziri Adamawa advised Nigerians to help the President succeed “by focusing on issues that unite us rather than those that divide us, and thereby distracting the President from attending to the tasks at hand.”
The former Vice President also cautioned politicians against the promotion of hate politics for selfish advantages, adding that “a situation where Nigerians perceive one another as enemies rather than brothers who should be united by their common interests is unhealthy and inimical to our democracy.”
He urged all Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliation, to continue praying for the President to succeed in the larger interest of the country.
Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has suggested new strategies for President Buhari saying he has significant changes to make.
With less than two years to the next general elections, and after spending months away for health reasons, El-Rufai, a close ally of the President, believes he must change the way he operates.
Speaking during an interview with Channels Television, an excited El-Rufai said:
“Personally, I am very excited and very relieved that Mr President is back. Politically, of course, it raises Nigeria’s stability significantly and I’m sure (that) from Monday, you will see even how the markets will respond,” he said.
“For us in the APC and for many of us that are beneficiaries of Buhari’s political ascendance, this is a time of great happiness and gratitude to almighty God for bringing him back safely and well as well.”
The governor also believes this is a time for the President to be more cautious and restrategize to deliver on his campaign promises. When asked what he expects of the President going forward, Governor El-Rufai said:
“I still believe that the President needs to be measured in his work hours. I would not want him to work between 12-18 hours a day as he used to. I think the traffic into his office and residence needs to be curtailed so that he would have more time to reflect.
“We have less than two years to deliver on most of our promises so I expect the President to refocus, make some administrative adjustments, (and) prioritise the three areas that he has always promised Nigerians.”
The three areas, according to the governor are the war on corruption, the diversification of the economy and the war against the Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity.
With regard to the war against corruption, Governor El-Rufai does not think things have gone according to plan and there is the need to “refocus the war against corruption”.
“We’ve been losing lots of cases in the courts. I think there is need to refocus work on that and bring back the anti-corruption war on track fully,” he said.
In diversifying the economy in earnest, state governments have to be given bigger roles to play.
“The efforts to diversify the economy should continue in earnest – and, here, I believe the 36 state governments have a major role to play because Nigeria consists of 36 states and any improvement in the business environment must begin from the 36 states, not just Abuja,” the governor said.
After an upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in recent months, Governor El-Rufai believes more attention is needed to finally defeat the terrorists.
“Boko Haram has resurged in the absence of the President. Now that he is back, I expect more focus on the war against Boko Haram – to finish them off, whatever is left of them and to make Nigeria safer,” he said.
Now that President Buhari is back in the country, the Kaduna State governor is confident that he will move quickly to address the issues and fulfill his promises.
“We are very optimistic that these issues will be the ones Mr President will look at among other things, and bring back our country on track towards progress and as we prepare towards 2019 beginning from next year,” El-Rufai said.