The President spoke yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, while receiving leaders of thought from Adamawa State, led by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri.
President Buhari said: “I am delighted to receive your delegation today. Adamawa is home away from home to me, as you are all aware. Therefore, this meeting is more or less a family gathering.
“I am pleased to hear your remarks, specifically focused on issues around education and health. These areas remain priorities for this government, especially as we strive to achieve social inclusion and collective prosperity for all Nigerians.
“Many of the issues confronting our nation today, especially in the areas of insecurity and corruption, are directly or indirectly linked to the decades of under-investment in education and healthcare.
“At the Federal level, we are doing our best to address these issues. But the Federal Government cannot do it alone. We need the state and local governments to do their part. This is not about politics; it is the reality.
“Today, majority of Nigerians are below 20 years. And it is projected that our population growth rate will remain amongst the fastest in the world. This means any plans we have today must take into account the needs of tomorrow.
“I have taken note of your requests and recommendations. We shall review and act accordingly. I would suggest, however, that you make a formal, written submission to my office in due course.”
The President expressed condolence to the governor and the people of Adamawa State over the death of his father, Alhaji Umaru Badami.
He prayed for the peaceful repose of his soul.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Governor Fintiri, who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the state needs the support of the Federal Government in agriculture, human development and roads.
The governor stressed that many Federal roads in the state had become dilapidated.
He said the focus of his administration was on security, education, infrastructure development, among others.
Fintiri said: “We have given a very serious attention to security, health, infrastructure and education, agriculture and human development.
“I want to see that our youths are completely emancipated, empowered so that we don’t have the youth restiveness, which culminated in the Boko Haram menace.
“When I assumed office in Adamawa, I met a serious challenge of youths in criminality, which was nick-named ‘ASILA’. Today, they are no more. So, these are serious areas of concern. I have given it a serious attention and it’s working well.
“Kidnapping has reduced drastically. You hardly hear people being kidnapped again in Adamawa. This is as a result of the collaboration we have with the security agencies and the support we have been giving them to ensure that they curb criminality and criminals in the state.”
On why he led a delegation of the people to see the President when his state was considered a stronghold of the opposition PDP, he said his concerns were about governance and the welfare of the people and not politics or elections.
Fintiri said: “Today, we are not talking about election; we are talking about governance. Really, we have come to see Mr President, and if you see from the cream of the personalities we came with, they cut across party lines and ethnic nationalities.
“We look at ourselves first as Adamawa and secondly, the problems that concern us, and we have come to where they would be solved. By God’s grace, we have made our cry loud and it would be solved by Mr. President.”
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