Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2019

Rising tempo as Buhari winds down

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Activities in the Presidential Villa have assumed an upward swing even as President Muhammadu Buhari winds down his first term in office. In a few days time, precisely on May 29th, the President will be sworn in for his second term but government activities have taken a frenetic turn.
The last two Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings presided apiece by the President and his vice are indicated that Buhari’s administration is not slowing down on its activities and should this be maintained, Nigeria will witness extraordinary development in the Next Lavel.
Last week’s FEC chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, lasted till 10:30 pm with ministers in attendance. There was a break between 7:30 and 8pm for the ministers to refresh just as the Vice President used the period to attend to other state matters in his office.
At this prolonged FEC meeting, over 30 memos were presented by the ministers with several officials from the ministries, departments and agencies thronging the Villa to provide insights and information before the Council. The Briefing Room was filled to the brim with bureaucrats waiting into the night to defend their proposals at the FEC.
The FEC meeting which held last week Thursday ordinarily ought to have been postponed because Osinbajo was in Lagos attending to state matters until 4 pm when the Council meeting commenced. Apart from this, Osinbajo has always been busy in his office mostly into the night attending to state matters so much so that most of his aides and civil servants in his office keep murmuring for being overworked.
Since the President returned from his private visit to London, there have been flurry of activities and long meetings with strategic stakeholders in the Villa. The FEC he chaired on Wednesday was unusually long as the Council equally attended to over twenty-five memos presented by the ministers.
The FEC, which normally starts by 11am and and ends by 3 pm on a normal day, did not end until 10:30 pm on Wednesday with two intermittent recesses within.
The increase in the tempo of government activities in the Villa indicates that the President must have resolved to meet a set target as he winds down his first term in office. Several ground breaking projects were approved by the Council while bureaucrats are being debriefed on the performances of their MDAs.
Also yesterday, the security meeting which normally lasts between two to three hours took a different dimension as it lasted for over four hours. The meeting which had all the service chiefs in attendance started by 11am lasted till few minutes to 4pm.
The security situation, which has taken a frightening dimension with the activities of kidnappers across the country, were discussed. With the daring criminals poking their fingers into the President’s eye by daring to kidnap his kinsman in Daura, and causing panic across the country, the service chiefs must have been set on their toes to ensure that security improves in the country.
It is however pertinent to point out that contrary to expectations, politicians known for lobbying for positions are rarely seen in the Villa this time. Evidently, this is supposed to be the time for lobbyists and notable politicians to throng the seat of power to curry the President’s favour ahead of the compilation of ministerial list.
But the President may have shut the door against such men for him not to be distracted from delivering on good governance. Even the ubiquitous National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has yet to pass through the corridor to see the President this week.

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