Hajj Pilgrimage: Speaker Gbajabiamila, Aisha Buhari Meet In Mecca

 

Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and First Lady, Aisha Buhari, have met in Mecca where they are currently performing the hajj pilgrimage.

Photos of the meeting where share on the Twitter page of the Speaker.

His tweet reads:

With the First Lady @aishambuhari in Mecca. May Allah answer our prayers for unity peace and progress for our beloved country.

The First Lady was also in the holy land in May, when she and President Muhammadu Buhari performed the Umrah.

Below are photos from the meeting.

The Hajj

More than two million Muslims began the annual hajj Friday under sweltering conditions, as the Saudi hosts sought to deter politicisation of the pilgrimage against a backdrop of simmering Gulf tensions.

The hajj, one of the world’s largest annual religious gatherings, is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be undertaken by all Muslims with the means at least once in their lives.

It consists of a series of religious rites which are completed over five days in Islam’s holiest city and its surroundings in western Saudi Arabia.

“All of the arms of state have been deployed (and) we are proud to serve as ‘God’s hosts’,” said security forces spokesman Bassam Attia.

“We feel cleansed by achieving this pillar of Islam and meeting people from across the world. It’s marvellous,” said Mohamed Jaafar, a 40-year-old Egyptian pilgrim.

 ‘A golden opportunity’

“It’s an indescribable feeling. You have to live it to understand it,” said an Algerian in his fifties completing the pilgrimage for the first time.

“It’s a golden opportunity and moment,” said his female companion.

Built in a desert valley, Mecca is home to the Kaaba, a cube structure that is the focal point of Islam and draped in a gold-embroidered black cloth.

Muslims around the world pray towards the Kaaba, which is located in the Grand Mosque, and pilgrims walk around it seven times.

Earlier on Friday, worshippers took part in Friday prayers at the mosque.

Pilgrims from around the world then headed on foot or on buses to Mina, a rugged district of Mecca at the base of Mount Arafat, where the faithful will spend Friday night.

A total of “350,000 air-conditioned tents have been pitched” in Mina, a Saudi official said.

Cooling mist sprays were deployed across the area as temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Mobile clinics and ambulances were on standby along the route, while Saudi Red Crescent helicopters monitored the pilgrims’ progress from the sky.

“The whole world is here… being here in Mecca is the best feeling,” beamed Mohamed Barry, a pilgrim from Britain.

Saudi officials said that 2.26 million pilgrims had arrived in Mina by late Friday, of which 1.86 million were from abroad, the state-run SPA news agency reported.

On Saturday worshippers will climb Mount Arafat, also known as the “Mount of Mercy”, for hours of prayers and Koran recitals.

After descending, they will gather pebbles and perform the symbolic “stoning of the devil”.

That marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, marked on Sunday.

Pilgrims then return to the Grand Mosque to perform a final “tawaf” or walk around the Kaaba.

‘Politicising the hajj’

This year’s hajj takes place to a backdrop of Gulf tensions following a series of attacks on tankers, the downing of drones and the seizure of ships.

Riyadh blames regional foe Tehran for the attacks on commercial shipping, accusations Iran vehemently denies.

Despite the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries, some 88,550 Iranian pilgrims are due to take part in the hajj this year according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

As in previous years, Saudi authorities have been at pains to stress that the hajj is a religious event and have sought to prevent its politicisation.

Riyadh insisted its two-year embargo on Doha — which includes restrictions on Qataris travelling to the kingdom — would not affect the pilgrimage.

But hajj official Hassan Qadi acknowledged “very few Qataris have come to Mecca for the pilgrimage”.

Saudi Arabia’s hajj ministry accused Qatar of “politicising the hajj and creating obstacles for Qatari pilgrims,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The scale of the pilgrimage presents vast security and logistical challenges, with tens of thousands of safety officers deployed.

Riyadh faced strong criticism in 2015 when some 2,300 worshippers were killed in the worst stampede in the gathering’s history.

‘Attention IGP’, Aisha Buhari Demands Justice For Rape Victims

 

Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, has demanded justice for rape victims.

In a tweet on Sunday, she called the attention of the Inspector of General, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure there is no intimidation of victims in the administration of justice.

 

This comes after Singer, Timi Dakolo said “strange men with guns” had stormed his home, and the police had served him letters instituting a “false investigation”.

According to him, the development was an act of “institutionalised intimidation” following allegations of rape by his wife, Busola, against the Founder of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Pastor Abiodun Fatoyinbo.

 

 

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Our lawyers had told us to get ready for this letter. We have long been ready for this type of institutionalized intimidation and dirtiness. Investigating officials have frustrated as a result of underhand delay? Dirty bloggers are fabricating things that cover the truth , going to the IG’s people under dark to force this case to be posted to Abuja? Now this: a false investigation in Abuja when our own petition filed since June has not been answered and NO INVITATION HAS BEEN MADE TO THE ACCUSED IN A RAPE CASE????! NOT ONE MOVEMENT TOWARDS JUSTICE??? Rubbishing the legal and criminal system ? And sending a bus load of questionable armed “policemen” and shady men lying in wait to intimidate my wife and children today, forcing their way into my home? Is that how the REAL police delivers a letter ? This is best you can do? This is why all the hurting women and families havent come out with HORRIBLE THINGS DONE TO THEM???!! You picked the wrong one and you picked the wrong time. Nigerians are more awake than you think . I will fight for my wife and my children -it’s the promise I made with my life and one I intend to keep .I will defend them from the unrelenting attack of a weak man who thinks he can use money and power to cover for all of his crimes. Like I said ,we have since been ready . GIVE US THE FIRE, THEN WATCH ME WORK!

A post shared by Timi dakolo (@timidakolo) on


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Timi Dakolo Raises Alarm, Alleges Police Intimidation

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While the police confirmed in a statement on Sunday that they had served official invitation letters on Timi Dakolo and his wife Busola, they, however, said the letters were not synonymous with a Warrant of Arrest.

It further explained that “rather, it is a polite investigative tool used in eliciting information voluntarily from parties to aid police investigations”.

Now, I Choose To Be Called First Lady – Aisha Buhari

Aisha Buhari Thanks Nigerians for Supporting Husbands Administration

Mrs Aisha Buhari says she has chosen to be addressed as the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

She said this on Thursday at the presentation of awards to the former and current wives of Governors of the 36 states.

The event was held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Kano Anti-Corruption Agency Alleges Emir Sanusi Approved Emirate Spending

Mrs Buhari said the choice of her being addressed as the wife of the president was a personal decision she took when her husband wanted to take over leadership of the nation in 2015.

She explained that she later realised that her decision has caused confusion among governors wives whether they should be addressed as first ladies or wives of the governors.

“When my husband was elected newly I personally chose to be called the wife of the President.

“But, I realised that it causes confusion from the state as to whether the wives of state governors are to be addressed as the first ladies or wives of the governors.

“So, forgive me for confusing you from the beginning, but now I chose to be called the first lady, she said.

She added that this would take effect immediately.

The official Instagram and Twitter handle of Mrs. Buhari however still has the bio description that reads, Official Instagram Account Of The Wife Of the President, Official Twitter Account Of The Wife Of the President, as at the time of this report.

Aisha Buhari Asks NEMA To Step Up Efforts To Improve IDPs Living Condition

 

 

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to step up efforts to the living conditions of more than twenty-five thousand Internally Displaced Persons in Katsina.

At an event which held at the presidential villa in Abuja on Saturday, Mrs Buhari said that the people supported the present government massively in the recently concluded elections and deserve to be cared for, even as citizens.

The President’s wife commiserated with the displaced persons who were victims of the eight front line local government areas ravaged by the activities of armed bandits in the state.

She also asked security agencies in the country immediately come to the aid of the villagers before the bandits kill everybody.

The high-point of the president’s wife’s visit was the distribution of food items and other relief materials to the IDPs.

SIP: ‘290,000 People Have Benefited In Adamawa’, Uwais Replies Aisha Buhari

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on social investment, Maryam Uwais has said that the Federal Government’s social investment programmes (SIP) have not failed.

This Mrs Uwais said in reply to a claim by the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, claiming that the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government has failed to achieve its aim in Kano and most parts of Northern Nigeria.

Mrs Uwais said Aisha Buhari’s criticism of SIP, would have been able to track all beneficiaries of the project if she had access to available data.

“If she were to listen to the information that is out there, if she were to check on our data she would be able to track all the beneficiaries”.

Speaking on Channels Television, the presidential aide said about 290,000 beneficiaries from Adamawa, Mrs Buhari’s home state, are currently being paid under the investment scheme.

Uwais said Aisha spoke without the knowledge of available records on SIP, noting that 11000 graduates have been recruited and have been working in every local government in her (Aisha Buhari’s) home state.

She added: “We have non graduates 440, we started the school feeding program October 2018, we are in 1054 public primary schools, we have only scratched the surface in the sense that we do not have the sufficient funding to address.

“Yes, she may not have met them (Beneficiaries). But we are in 12 local governments for the cash transfer. And we are also in 12 LGAs for the loans. So, I think we have at least 290,000 beneficiaries directly that we are paying in Adamawa state,” Uwais said.

 

Aisha Buhari Criticises FG’s Social Investment Programme

Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has faulted the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government, saying the programme has failed to achieve its aim in Kano and most parts of Northern Nigeria.

Mrs Buhari mentioned this during an interactive session with women as part of the presidential inauguration ceremony at the State House in Abuja.

The wife of the President, who specifically mentioned the conditional cash transfer component, questioned the method used in executing the programme.

She also faulted the amount of money spent on the purchase of mosquito nets.

“They have spent $16 million buying mosquito nets. I did not get it, but maybe some people have gotten it. I didn’t get it. But I feel that, that’s my personal opinion, $16 million is enough to fumigate Nigeria,” she said.

Watch video HERE

Generally, Mrs Buhari did not agree with the method adopted for the programme.

She said, “I was expecting the social investment programme, N500 billion to be utilised in a different method; in order to achieve the aim. But I don’t know the method they used. Most of the Northern States did not get the money. I don’t know – my state didn’t get the money. I don’t know if your state got the money.”

Continuing with her criticism, Mrs Buhari explained that the programme worked well in some state and that for other states where it did not succeed, a different approach should have been used.

She added, “In my state, one local government benefitted from it, out of 22 local governments. I didn’t’ ask what happened and I don’t want to know.”

Although the wife of the President is concerned about the performance of the programme in her state, she suggested it was worse in Kano.
“For it to fail woefully in Kano is not a good sign,” she said.

Aisha Buhari Advocates Establishment Of Adamawa State Trust Fund

Wife of Nigeria’s President, Mrs Aisha Buhari

 

Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has advocated for the establishment of Adamawa State Trust Fund to uplift the people from recent ‘predicaments’.

The first lady made the announcement during a town hall meeting on Saturday, organised by her and some concerned citizens of the state.

She lamented the declining rate of school enrollment, performance and the high rate of unemployment, while urging that the development in the state should cut across every ramification.

READ ALSO: ‘Violence Benefits Nobody’: Buhari Reacts To Ethnic Clashes In Taraba, Adamawa

According to the first lady, the Trust Fund through which prioritized developmental projects can be financed and implemented will complement the efforts of government in achieving some of its developmental goals for the benefit of the people of the state.

“Today we have a state that has over the years, witnessed some developments in some areas and retrogression in areas that used to be our stronghold. For instance, education used to be our hallmark as a state some years ago.

“The declining rate in terms of educational school enrollment and performance, coupled with the growing number of unemployed youths also shows the gloomy future of our dear state.

“I would like to advocate for the establishment of Adamawa state trust fund through which prioritized developmental projects can be financed and implemented and checked as well,” she maintained.

Mrs Buhari listed the challenges facing the state of Adamawa to include rampant security challenges, inter-ethnic conflicts, poor educational enrollment of children in schools, poor functional healthcare system, annual flooding and continuous influx of displaced persons.

She proffered that; “Our hope and solution as a people, lies in our ability to join hands and form a coalition towards uplifting the state from its present predicament.”

She also used the occasion to announce her plan to establish a private university known as “Muhammadu Buhari University” in collaboration with partners from Sudan and Qatar.

Unveiling Of 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation Finalists In Photos

Special Guests at the unveiling of finalist at the 2019 Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF. Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, on Friday, unveiled finalists of its 2019 entrepreneurs drawn from 54 African countries.

The event which took place in Abuja had in attendance the Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, Wives of Governors of Kogi and Nasarawa State, and the founder, Tony Elumelu among others.

Over 3,000 applicants were selected for the 2019 cohort of the Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme.

READ ALSO: Aisha Buhari Says Private Sector Must Play More Active Roles In Enhancing Africa’s Development

Below are photos at the event:

 

 

Aisha Buhari Says Private Sector Must Play More Active Roles In Enhancing Africa’s Development

File Photo

 

Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, says the private sector must begin to play more active roles for the advancement of the African continent.

According to her, now more than ever, the contribution of the Private sector is needed to advance the economy of the continent.

She said this on Friday while delivering a keynote address during the unveiling of the 2019 entrepreneurship finalists of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Mrs Buhari believes that the programme will go a long way in fostering entrepreneurial development across Africa and in turn boosting the economy.

“Now more than ever, amidst slow recovery of the world economy, the contribution of entrepreneurship through small and medium scale enterprises cannot be over-emphasized.

Read Also: Tony Elemelu Foundation Unveils 2019 Entrepreneurs

“The Tony Elumelu foundation entrepreneurship programme will certainly foster entrepreneurial development across Africa, providing the much-needed funds, training and mentorship of commercial enterprises that promote social and economic change, support growing African businesses through dynamic programmes that provide capital and human resources to budding entrepreneurs,” she said.

Speaking on some of the key visions of the office of the Wife of the Presidient, Mrs Buhari maintained that it will continue to make efforts to reduce the rate of maternal and newborn mortality.

“On our path, we are active stakeholders in this sector and in recognition of this, the strategy vision behind the engagement of the office of the Wife of the President is to contribute to the acceleration of efforts to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths through advocacy and the strengthening of accountability mechanism in order to enhance the peace and development of Nigeria”.

Aisha Buhari Visits Victims Of Lagos Building Collapse

Aisha Buhari visits victims of building collapse in Lagos on Saturday. Source: Bashir Ahmad.

 

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Saturday visited victims of the Ita Faji building collapse at the Lagos Island General Hospital.

Her visit was confirmed by the Personal Assistant to President Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad.

During the visit, Mrs Buhari prayed to God to grant families who lost loved ones the fortitude to bear the loss, while also wishing the survivors speedy recovery.

The three-storey building located on Marcey Street of the Ita Faji area of Lagos caved in on Wednesday around 9:45 am.


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At least 24 victims, mostly children who were pupils of a primary school located on the top floor of the building, were, however, rescued from the rubbles.

Nine persons were confirmed dead as the rescue officials declared the operations concluded on Thursday.

Barely 48 hours after, a similar incident occurred in Oyo State, although all eight of the victims were rescued.

Buhari Arrives In Abuja From Daura

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Abuja from Daura – his home town in Katsina State, where he went to participate in the governorship and state assembly elections.

The President landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Tuesday, days after the conclusion of the elections.

Read Also: Gunmen Kill Policeman, Abduct Three INEC Staff In Katsina

He returned along with his wife, Aisha and they were both received at the airport by security operatives and top government officials.

Governorship Election: Buhari, Aisha Vote In Daura [Photos]

As the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections get underway across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Hajiya Aisha Buhari have cast their votes at Kofar Baru 003 polling unit, Sarkin Yara Ward 3, Daura, Katsina State.

Below are photos that captured scenes from Daura where the President and his wife cast their ballots.

READ ALSO: Primary School Containing Electoral Materials Set Ablaze In Benue