President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday night that he is upset by the poor living condition of Nigerians, especially the less-privileged in the society.
The president said this when he hosted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, ministers, service chiefs and heads of security and top government to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.
“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite we are all failing because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are,” he said.
The president frowned at the inability of the Nigerian elite to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged in the society in order to ameliorate the pathetic situation.
He said the federal government had already introduced people-friendly programmes like the School Feeding and Trader Money to alleviate the hardship being experienced by the less-privileged across the country.
He commended the vice president for successfully managing the school feeding and trader money programmes
“I welcome the vice president’s initiative of the School feeding programme. If you check in your localities the enrolment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day. This is the position of this country. But, culturally some of us are quiet merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others we just keep on moving forward.
“This `market money’ I warned the Vice-President I don’t like him to be mobbed, especially the way I see hefty women coming and confronting him, he should be very careful. These are very good initiates.
“Initially, I was quite reluctant but I must admit that they are very good programmes and they endear this government to a lot of poor people because of these N5,000 or N10,000 being given to them as loans.
“They are fantastic programmes and I have to admit quite honestly that the Vice-President was ahead of me by insisting on them. But he knows me if he insists I will say `okay go and do what you like.’ He did it and I’m very pleased as he is being very successful,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of those at the event, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo thanked the president for inviting them, both Muslims and Christians, to the breaking of fast with him.
He said regardless of ethnic and religion affiliations, Nigerians must continue to be their brothers’ keepers and must work towards building a united nation.
He also condemned the attitude of politicians who are bent on dividing the people along ethno-religious lines.
“I must say that there are some reasons I had always look forward to the Ramadan session. But some of those reasons are now being seriously challenged. The first of those reasons is that during the Ramadan meetings are usually very short. But, unfortunately last Wednesday Mr President seemed to have destroyed that very good notion by taking us through the longest FEC meeting in the history of the Federal Executive Council.
“So, we shouldn’t expect anymore that meeting will necessary be short during the Ramadan. The second is that some of my friends are far less troublesome during the Ramadan. People like Lai Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Adamu Adamu they are usually very well behaved during the Ramadan. But I’m not even sure that that is true anymore.
“So, I think that all we can truly expect now from the session is possibility what it was meant to do which is to remind us of some of our responsibilities to ourselves as brothers and to our fellow men/women especially our roles as leaders. I think is auspicious that this particular Ramadan falls at the eve of the new term in office,” he said.