President Muhammadu Buhari has frowned at the inability of the Nigerian elites to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged members of the society.
Speaking when he hosted Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies and Institutions to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja last night, President Buhari said what upsets him when he drives around the country is the level of poverty he sees. He said:
“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 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.”