The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday took his successor and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on a familiarisation tour of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari and Tinubu arrived at the Press Gallery at around 1:18pm shortly after observing Jummat at the Aso Villa Mosque.
“This is the gallery where you will be meeting members of the press,” Buhari told Tinubu as both men emerged from the waiting room of the Aso Chambers.
This came barely 24 hours after the President conferred upon Tinubu the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger on Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, at the State House Banquet Hall.
On Thursday, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo took Shettima on a tour of the VP wing of the State House.
Both leaders exchanged documents ahead of the official handover of power on Monday, May 29, 2023.
However, the President-elect prayed for good health to lead the country.
“May God help me to carry the burden, to face the challenge, and keep me in good health to fulfill the dream and aspiration of millions of our people,” Tinubu said after observing the Friday Jumaat prayers at the Presidential Villa mosque and touring the premises with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Tinubu said his goal was to, amongst other things, “kill corruption”.
“That is a covenant that you have to really pursue. Other than that, why are you in politics? My own is not identity politics. It’s not hunger or poverty politics. I have followed a man who has integrity, character and courage to say ‘Nigerians we need to change and change we have to. Change our mindset, kill corruption in our society,” he added.
Tinubu urged Nigerians to support the All Progressives Congress’s change agenda.
He also spoke on his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda to revamp the economy, tackle security and poverty reduction, and what generally Nigerians should expect of him.
Earlier, Buhari conducted the incoming President around his office building and other affiliated offices including the Executive Council Chamber, Tea Room and the State House Banquet Hall.
Buhari however said it was an honour and privilege to serve the nation as he wished the incoming President success.
Tinubu had joined the President for Juma’at at the Mosque as part of programmes to mark Monday’s inauguration.
According to a statement by Tinubu’s media officer, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Buhari invited the President-elect to join him in his last public prayer session at the State House Mosque.
Among those who observed the Juma’at with them were former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.); Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba, and some other presidential aides.
The statement added, “Muslim prayers and interdenominational Christian service were scheduled for Friday and Sunday respectively. While the two events were billed to hold at the National Mosque and the National Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, similar prayer sessions were planned all over the country.
“The events will climax on Monday, May 29 when the former Lagos governor takes the oath of office as the 16th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. At the well-attended prayer session at the National Mosque, President-elect Tinubu was represented by vice-president-elect, Senator Shettima.
“At both mosques, Imams prayed for the success of the incoming administration and supplicated for Allah’s guidance for Tinubu and his deputy to steer the ship of the country to a greater destination. They also admonished Muslim faithful to constantly remember their leaders and the country in prayers as enjoined by Islam.”
Keyamo hails President
Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has hailed the Buhari regime, saying it did its best for workers between 2015 and 2023, even though some labour unions have accused the regime of treating workers poorly.
Keyamo, who spoke in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said, “President Buhari raised the minimum wage and did not downsize the civil service despite two recessions and the Covid-19 pandemic. He also ensured that civil servants were not owed salaries.”