President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday night, disclosed that he warned his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, to always stay safe to avoid being mobbed during Trader Moni disbursement in markets across Nigeria.
He said this at the breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he hosted top government officials.
Buhari, who said he was upset with the level of poverty in the land, challenged the elite to do something very urgent to ameliorate the pathetic situation.
“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.
“So, I welcome the Vice-President initiate 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.
“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.
Vice-President Osinbajo, who spoke on behalf of the members of the cabinet, said that regardless of ethnic and religion affiliations Nigerians must continue to be their brothers’ keepers and must work towards building a united nation.
On the Ramadan period, Osinbajo said: “Mr President 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 (end of) Ramadan falls at the eve of the new term in office.
“So, it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves over the core mandates which is the welfare and security of majority of our people,’’ he said.