President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that he was afraid that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, might be mobbed over the execution of Trader Money, one of the programmes of the government to alleviate the suffering of the masses.
The president made this known on Monday when he hosted Osinbajo, ministers, Service Chiefs, heads of security agencies and chief executives of federal government agencies and institutions at the breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa.
The president who decried the level of poverty in the country while speaking on efforts of his government to alleviate the situation described the free school feeding and Trader Money as good programmes of his government.
He challenged the elite in the society to assist in alleviating poverty in the country.
Osinbajo was physically involved in the execution of the Trader Money programme
His words: “When I drive around the country, what upsets me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with torn 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 for initiating 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.
“But, culturally some of us are quiet merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others, we just keep on moving forward.
“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 initiatives. 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.’’
Speaking at the occasion, Osinbajo who thanked the president for hosting them irrespective of their religions differences said Nigerians should remain united.
He warned politicians trying to divide the people of the country along religious and ethnic lines to desist from that.
Speaking on Ramadan, the muslim fasting period, he said: “Mr President I must say that there are some reasons I had always looked forward to the Ramadan season. 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 of 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 it is auspicious that this particular 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.’’