President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made a very deep, sincere assessment of the current security situation in the country, and concluded that only God could save the people from the hands of terrorists.
The President stated this when he hosted residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, who paid him the traditional Sallah homage at his residence in the Presidential Villa, noting that it was only God that could protect him from evil men.
As he recounted his experience at the Eid prayer ground along the airport road where he had joined thousands of Muslim faithful in observing the traditional Sallah prayers, he said he had difficulties trying to avoid teeming admirers who had wanted to have a handshake with him.
In apparent reference to the recent increase in suicide bombings across the country, the President noted that under the circumstances he had found himself, it would have been very easy for persons with bad intention to get at him despite the tight security, around him.
“Today, during and immediately after the prayers, I think I was bombarded by the youths who almost overwhelmed the security, and I had to hold tight to my gown to get to my car, I was advised to enter the car from the ADC side and I refused , I went across trying to hold my hand to the wild youths who wanted to see me.
“On an occasion like this, it shows that after what happened to President Ronald Reagan of the USA, it is only God Almighty that protects leaders,”Buhari said.
He added: “Because in a mob (situation) like this, anybody with a sharp knife can get access and do a lot of damage.
“So all the policemen that were deployed and soldiers since six o’ clock in the morning before I came out two hours later in the rains cannot protect you; only God protects.
“ I hope God will continue to protect us. Please convey my thanks and happy Sallah to all your families and relatives back, and I congratulate you on the privilege you have which is only you residents of the FCT that have the privilege to come and meet me and shake hands with me and take picture with me, other Nigerians are envious of
you if you don’t know it.”
The UNION observed that thousands of Muslim faithful had as early as 6am thronged the prayer ground to observe the prayers signaling the successful end of the month-long Ramadan fast.
The FCT residents were led on the homage by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of FCT, Engineer Obinna Chukwu, in the absence of a substantive Minister of the FCT.
Religious leaders of both the Muslim and Christian faiths were also part of the delegation.
Those who attended the event included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase and other top government officials.
-Tony Ailemen, Abuja