Abuja Residents Besiege Buhari At Praying Ground
HUNDREDS of Abuja residents overwhelmed security men deployed in the National Praying Ground along Airport Road, to see President Muhammadu Buhari. The residents defied early morning rains to troop to the praying ground to offer supplications at the end of the Ramadan.
In fact, the President publicly acknowledged the show of love for him by the masses when he played host to a select group of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents who came to pay the traditional homage to him. He said the incident shows clearly that no matter the level of security, the protection of every leader is in God’s hands.
The FCT delegation, which was led by the Permanent Secretary of the FCTA, Engineer Ibinna Chukwu also included the Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Ustaz Mohammed Kabir Adam; FCT Chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigerian, (CAN), Dr. Israel Akanji; the Primate of the Anglican Church, Archbishop. Nicholas Okoh and his Catholic counterpart, John Cardinal Onayeikan ; the FCT Chairman of the Traditional Council and Ona of Abaji as well as the Senator representing FCT in the Senate, Philip Tanimu Aduda, among others.
As early 6 am yesterday, gaily dressed residents started trooping to the various praying grounds scattered in and around the FCT, despite the early morning showers. Even the presence of large security agencies who conducted thorough checks did not deter the residents from going to perform their religious obligations.
The President, who was joined by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and some of his family members, thanked the FCT delegation for the visit.
Narrating his experiences to his guests, the President enthused: “Today,(yesterday) during and immediately after the prayers, I think I was bombarded by youths who almost overwhelmed the security, and I had to hold tight to my dress to get to my car. i was advised to enter the car from the ADC’s side and I refused. I went across trying to show my hand to the wild youths who wanted to see me.
“On an occasion like this, it shows that after what happened to the (former) President (Ronald) Reagan of the USA, it is only God Almighty that protects leaders, because in a mob like this, anybody with a sharp knife can get access and do a lot of damage. So all the policemen that were deployed and soldiers since 6a.m before I came out two hours later in the rains, cannot protect you only God protects.
“I hope God will continue to protect us. Please convey my thanks and happy Sallah to all your families and relatives back at home. And I congratulate you for the privilege you have. Only you residents of the FCT have the privilege to come and meet me and shake hands with me and take pictures with me. Other Nigerians are envious of you if you don’t know it.”
On his part, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, while speaking with State House Correspondents after the visit, appealed to Nigerians to continue to work with the police and other security agencies to ensure that Nigeria is secure. He added that security is not for law enforcement agencies alone. “I urge Nigerians to collaborate with Nigeria Police Force in terms of giving us useful information with the internal security issues we are dealing with. We cannot cover all the security space so we require collaboration from members of the public to be able to deal with it,” he said.
While appealing with FCT residents to be security-conscious and be their neighbours’ keepers, Arase appealed to them to avoid offering alms to street beggars, noting that besides defacing the city, their activities could encourage the breakdown of security as being experienced in some parts of the country.