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Buhari meets, smiles with Saraki at last!
Buhari and Saraki sharing a smile

Buhari meets, smiles with Saraki at last!

After three months of keeping away from each other President Muhammadu Buhari and Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki have finally met-and it was a fitting way for the Nigeria to celebrate its 55th Independence Anniversary.

The meeting which occurred at a Change of Guards/Independence Day Parade held on the grounds of the Presidential saw both men smiling and exchanging banters throughout.

Buhari signing the anniversary register

Buhari signing the anniversary register

The duo has met twice since the controversial election for the Senate presidency, at the last Eidel- Fitri prayer in Abuja and the APC National Executive Committee meeting. However, yesterday’s meeting was the first time the president and Saraki would be meeting inside Aso Rock, not only since the contentious election, but since the Senate president’s trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets..

At yesterday’s ceremony, Buhari and Saraki who sat near each other. There were obvious attempts by the duo to present an air of cordial relationship despite the undercurrents of the raging disagreement between them. Yesterday’s ceremony, which witnessed the change of guards by the Guards Brigade, is holding for the fifth time in the villa since former President Goodluck Jonathan shifted the event away from the Eagle Square in 2011 after a bomb attack at the venue in 2010. In an interview with State House reporters, Saraki said despite the nation’s challenges, its future was bright.

He said the National Assembly, under his leadership, would continue to make laws that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians so ensure the realisation of the expected change the people voted for. According to him, it would not be business as usual in the new dispensation.

“I am hopeful and confident that the future is very bright. In the next few years, things will be even better. “It will not be business as usual. We will ensure that the National Assembly will be people-oriented and will make laws that will make impact on Nigerians,” he added.

In his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, expressed the hope that Nigeria would achieve progress under Buhari. He said Nigeria was on the right path of development, adding: “We will make it by the grace of God. We are on the right path

President Buhari cutting the 55th Anniversary cake with top government officials

President Buhari cutting the 55th Anniversary cake with top government officials

Before the commencement of the colourful ceremony, both Saraki and Dogara took the salute after inspecting the parade mounted by two battalions of the Guards Brigade before proceeding to take their seats. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also took the military salute before the arrival of Buhari at 10.05am for the kickoff of the event.

During yesterday’s ceremony, Buhari presided over the change of guards and ceremonial military colours by the Guards Brigade. The Guards Brigade is a special unit of the military specifically charged with the responsibility of the security of the president, his family members and the seat of government, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It is made up of four battalions. The presidential change of guards involves foot and arms drill, rhythmic and calculated steps and checking of weapons to ensure they are clean and that rounds of arms are not left in them. The ceremony also involved the colour party, comprising the national and regimental colours.

There was also 21-gun salute in honour of Buhari. Then the president, who was later accompanied by Saraki, Dogara and the service chiefs, signed the anniversary register at the event. He was also led to cut an anniversary cake after releasing white pigeons to signify peace.

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