Nigerians besiege airport as Buhari returns, APC, Saraki, governors, others welcome President


President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to a tumultuous welcome by some Nigerians. The Nnamdi Azikiwe International was overwhelmed by a crowd of well-wishers who trooped to the airport to see the ailing President return to the country. He has been away to London, United Kingdom for 103 days where he has been receiving treatment for a yet to be disclosed ailment.

Buhari arrived the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at exactly 4.36pm, and was received by top government functions including Chief of Staff, National Security Adviser, ministers, governors and some Permanent Secretaries.

The President inspected a special Guards of Honour mounted by the personnel of the Guards Brigade, and proceeded to the Presidential Villa. 

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, told State House correspondents at the airport that the return to the country was not influenced by the “OurMumuDonDo” protests. 

“The return of the President has nothing to do with the protest. It is about continuing with the work he started. Some of us knew about his return some days back. Remember that the acting President held on effectively and they will continue the work together. We left the work of announcement with the managers of the acting President,” he said. 

Dozens of government officials expressed happiness that the President returned back home safely and in good health. 

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said “everybody is happy,” adding that “we are pleasantly surprise that he is back. His return will be a moral impact, when a father returns you will see a difference.”

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors Forum said the President’s return would rejuvenate the polity and the economy.

Also speaking, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi state said “the impact of his return is huge.”

“If you look at the stock exchange you will see the impact. Not that Professor Osinbajo did not do a good job while the President was away, but now that he is returning you will see the impact on the economy,” he said. 

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state and chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) said said the President’s return would have a serious on the economy and security of the country.

On his part, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state said socio-economic activities in the country would pick up “now that the number one decision-maker is around.”

Meanwhile the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for what it described as “his competent leadership in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari,” even as the party welcome the return of the Presidential.

A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling APC, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the party welcome President Buhari back home to the country after his medical vacation to the United Kingdom.

“The Party thanks the Vice President, His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his competent leadership in the absence of President Buhari and especially commends him for his effort to unite the country and drive the recovery of the national economy.

“The APC also thanks all Nigerians who had prayed ceaselessly for the speedy recovery and safe return of the President, assuring them that the APC-led Federal Government is poised to fulfil all the electoral promises the Party made to Nigerians.”

Also, President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari back to Nigeria.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki thanked God for the safe return and recovery of the President, and reaffirmed the commitment of the National Assembly to continue working alongside the President in achieving objectives aimed at improving the standard of living of Nigerians and overall development of the country.


“I thank Almighty Allah for bringing President Muhammadu Buhari back whole, hale and hearty,” the Senate President said, “When we met just two days ago, it was clear that Mr. President would soon be coming back home. In this regard, on behalf of all the Senators, I welcome him back to the country.


“We must also commend Professor Yemi Osinbajo, our Vice President, who, as Acting President, held the forte in Mr. President’s absence.


“Now that President Buhari has returned home, both branches of government, the executive and the legislature, must continue to sync our policy and legislative objectives to strengthen our economy through the diversification of our revenue streams; creating opportunities for more private sector participation in the economy; and creating access to capital for MSMEs and would-be entrepreneurs. We must also tackle the unemployment problem head-on. We can only do this, working together.


“Moving forward, over the next few weeks, I am sure I speak on behalf of all the Senators when I say that we look forward to considering the Virement request by the Presidency which is before the National Assembly, and working towards the early presentation, consideration and passage of the 2018 budget.


“May the Almighty Allah continue to bless our nation, and give our President, Muhammadu Buhari, the strength and wisdom to lead us successfully” the Senate President said.

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