Saturday, June 16, 2018 7:44 am
The National Assembly on Friday pledged its loyalty and commitment to President Muhammadu Buhari and prayed that God would bless him with additional tolerance for him to continue to tolerate its members as his `children’.
The Senate President Bukola Saraki made the pledge when representatives of residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) paid Sallah homage to the President at his official residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Saraki, who was represented by Deputy Senate leader, Sen. Bala ibn Na’allah, said the National Assembly would keep supporting the vision of the Buhari administration for a greater Nigeria.
According to him, no administration since 1999 has received more cooperation from the legislature like President Buhari.
““Mr President, I have the authority of each and every member of the Senate and the House of representatives to wish you a blessed Eid-el-Fitr in 2018 which we are celebrating today
“”And I have the authority of each and every one of us to equally pledge our loyalty and commitment to work with you for the betterment of this country and to wish you more strength; to wish you more health and most importantly Mr President to add additional degree of tolerance for you so that you tolerate us as your children.
““Mr President let me seize this opportunity to say, for the record, that from 1999, when we started our democratic experience, to date no president and I repeat, `no president and I say for the third term `no president has received the amount of cooperation from the National Assembly like you contrary to what is outside there.”
The senator also thanked the president, on behalf of the National Assembly, over his decision to revisit and address the unresolved issue of June 12, 1993 presidential election, which was presumably won by late MKO Abiola.
President Buhari had on June 6 in a statement declared that henceforth, June 12, be observed as Democracy Day in Nigeria and that some heroes of democracy be given national honours.
The president fulfilled this promise on Tuesday when he conferred on late MKO Abiola the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (Posthumous), Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe and late Gani Fawehinmi were also conferred with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.
”May I on behalf of the Senate and the House of Representatives again thank you for that bold steps you have taken in addressing the unresolved issue of the June 12.
”You might have underestimated the effects of that singular act. But I will tell you sir, you have achieved more than 75 per cent of what South Africa did with the Truth and Reconciliation Committee with this singular act.
”You may not understand sir, but I’m sure in near future you will understand the value of that singular act.
.”Along that line, may I on behalf of the National Assembly implore our religious leaders to begin to think along the line of uniting this country.
“God has brought together, we do not have any alternative, as far as we are concern we should continue to live as brothers and sisters.”
Responding, President Buhari called on all Nigerians to work towards salvaging the nation from the shackles of past wrongs by sharing in the collective vision for a greater Nigeria and contributing individually to realise the goal.
He urged all citizens to embrace the reality that Nigeria must exist and continue as one nation, noting that the country needed all its human and material resources to succeed.
“We have no other country than Nigeria. We may as well stay and salvage it together,’’ he said.
President Buhari told the gathering of religious leaders, traditional rulers, security chiefs and top government officials to start expanding the frontiers for development by sensitizing their “constituencies’’ to work harder for the collective good of the country.
He said: “Please try to persuade your constituencies to work harder for the greatness of this nation,’’ he added.
President Buhari said Nigeria had a peculiar advantage of being blessed with enormous human and material resources, noting that the potentials could be turned around for the greater good of everyone.
The President, who disclosed that he could not fast last year due to ill health, said he was able to fully participate in the spiritual exercise this year, as the benefits were not optional for any healthy Muslim.
In his remarks, the Minister of FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello, said the Ramadan provided an auspicious opportunity to pray for the nation, and the wellbeing of the President and his family.
President Buhari also received women groups led by his wife, Aisha, President of the National Council of Women Societies, Dr. Laraba Shoda, and former Deputy Governor of Plateau, Pauline Tallen.