- The President is greeted warmly during his first visit to Lagos
- ‘I’m working on ideas to alleviate hardship,’ Tinubu says.
Politicians fighting for cabinet appointments have temporarily relocated to the Ikoyi axis of Lagos Island to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir with President Bola Tinubu, who landed in Lagos yesterday after visits to France and the United Kingdom.
President Tinubu left Abuja on Wednesday for France, where he attended the Financial Pact Summit on “A New Global Financing Pact,” and then to London for what his aides described as a private visit.
His plane landed at the presidential wing at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos at 5:08 p.m., but he did not exit until 5.14 p.m. He was greeted by hundreds of All Progressives Congress (APC) members who had waited for him for several hours.
Lagosians lined the route from Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) to greet President Tinubu’s convoy as it made its way from Ikeja to his private residence in Ikoyi.
This is President Buhari’s first visit to Lagos since becoming Nigeria’s 16th President on May 29, 2023.
When President Tinubu arrived at the Presidential Wing of the MMA, he was greeted warmly by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Acting Inspector-General of Police Olukayode Egbetokun, National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, Senators and Representatives from Lagos State, as well as party officials.
The Nigerian Army’s 81 Division, along with members from the Nigerian Navy and Air Force, formed a guard of honour for him, while the standing troupe of the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture entertained guests.
President Tinubu expressed gratitude to Nigerians for the warm welcome he received in Lagos.
According to a statement signed by Dele Alake, a Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy, he is expected to join other Muslim faithful for Eid prayers today at the Obalende Eid Prayer Ground, located in Dodan Barracks, the old headquarters of the Nigerian government.
Hotels and flats around Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, where Tinubu’s private residence is located, according to sources close to the President, have been fully booked since it was revealed that the President will spend his Sallah holiday in Lagos.
The presidency had already announced that President Tinubu would spend the two days designated for the vacation in Lagos on Wednesday and Thursday. Though insiders say he may not return to Abuja until Monday, his private mansion has become a sort of Mecca for politicians clamoring for appointments.
It was also learned that the final list of ministerial nominations has not been finalized since numerous interest groups are still working feverishly to persuade the President why they should be considered for the new government.
“I can tell you that the President will submit his ministers’ names to the Senate within the next two weeks, and I can assure you that there will be more women and youths in the cabinet than Nigerians have ever seen before,” the insider said.
It has also been reported that the Progressive Governors Forum has submitted the names of some recent governors to reflect their interest in the next cabinet.
Former governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna State), Ikedi Ohakim (Imo), and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) are among those who could join the President’s administration. Former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike is also said to be on the list.
It was also reported that Florence Ajimobi, the late former governor of Oyo State, is being considered for appointment, as state governor Seyi Makinde was said to have nominated Joseph Tegbe, who lost his senatorial contest to represent Oyo South.
Meanwhile, President Tinubu has urged Muslim faithful in the country to remember to exhibit compassion to their fellow humans as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, reminding them to consider those who are less fortunate.
This came as he noted that the country is facing significant difficulties, particularly with a failing economy and simmering security issues.
“While I recognize all of these, I want you to know that they are not insurmountable.” I’m working with my team on solutions all hours of the day and night.
“Let us strive to multiply good deeds among our fellow Muslims and others by assisting and supporting the weak and vulnerable in our communities.” “We demonstrate the values and virtues of our faith by doing so,” Tinubu said in a statement.
He stated that the occasion, which marks the end of religious activities spanning the first ten days of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, is a celebration of sacrifice and entire obedience to Allah, as typified by Prophet Ibrahim’s remarkable action.
According to the President, there is no higher feeling of obligation in history than Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrificing of his only son, Ismail, as a sacrifice to Allah.
“The best way for us to set an example is to conduct ourselves in relation to our fellow citizens and in our duties to our beloved country.”
President Tinubu asked Nigerians to “imbibe and manifest the values inherent in the life of Prophet Ibrahim, namely complete devotion to Allah, tolerance, patience, perseverance, selflessness, love, and compassion.”
“We have begun with the decisions made thus far to reform our economy and remove all impediments to growth,” he stated.
“As we face today’s challenges, we must look ahead with vigor and Renewed Hope, confident that tomorrow will be better and brighter.”