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Buhari's First Media Chat>>>>Read How It Happened Minute by Minute

A day before new year President Muhammadu
Buhari has finally hosted his first media chat at the Aso
Rock presidential villa in Abuja today, December 30.
The president has very often been blamed for disclosing
his biggest moves to foreign rather than Nigerian media.
Now things have changed. Read how it happened,
minute by minute:

21.00 The first media chat has finished. Thanks for being
with us.
20.59 “Please ask your colleagues to do more investigative
journalism, so the people know the truth,” Buhari in his
last words addressed journalists.
20.58 The president speaks on Biafra issue: “Why does it
have to worry me, when I have militants of all kinds, Boko
Haram and etc.
“The question is, who marginalised them (Biafra
20.57 “You want people who stole N50 billion to be
granted bail to go to London when we have 2 million
IDPs in camps?” – President Buhari continues.
20.56 Buhari’s answer: “DSS disobeyed court orders,
people got legitimate bails from courts, and they are still
being held. It’s due to atrocities they committed. They go
against the country, and you expect them to jump
bail? The one we are calling ‘Kanu’ he has two passports,
he brought equipment. Do you know Kanu brought in
sophisticated weapon into the country, there’s treasonable
felony case against him.”
20.55 “Are you not worried about Kanu?” the journalist
asked the president.
20.51 President Buhari answering questions from Kayode
Akintemi, Ibanga Isine, Ngozi and Mannir Dan Ali.
20.50 “The standard of tertiary institutions is really poor, I
don’t want students sitting on windows to take lectures,”
Buhari answers the question on tertiary institutions from
20.49 One more round of questions from journalists (the
panel) is expected.
20.47  Buhari continues: “We will look into the students
already in school to be able to use their Master Card
Debit/Credit cards abroad.”
20.45 “We may have to send the young unemployed youth
seeking N5k fee to farm to earn the money” – PMB
20.44 On N5,000monthly, Buhari says: “When my people
have been quoted, how can I come here and say
20.43 The president further answers on minimum wage: “I
cannot answer the question of 18 thousand minimum
wage, now and the federal government will not touch that.
The federal government will not touch minimum wage.”
20.40 “The Judiciary is a seating dock we need the police
and other arms to take cases to them its unfair to blame
the judiciary,” Buhari added.
20.39 “Those making the allegations would have to prove
it,” the president says.
20.37 Nigerians ask what Buhari’s government will do with
corrupt judges.
20.36 “We are not depending on debt, we are renegotiating
with those who agreed to build infrastructure for us.
Nigeria is not borrowing to fund the 2016 budget but
renovating with creditors to build capital projects,” Buhari
20.34 The question is: “How would the president respond
to criticism of plans to borrow to fund a part of the 2016
20.32 President Buhari answers first question from Twitter.
20.30 “I turned down a N400million car proposal the cars I
have are good enough for 10 years.” Buhari
20.29 “The question of parastatals earning money,
spending it and giving government the change will stop.” –
20.27 Nigerians are expected to send in their questions via
twitter, using the hashtag #askbuhari
20.26 “Who checks the National Assembly? After
hesitating… the president says: “The judiciary.”
20.25 President Buhari speaks on 2016 budget. “I think I
will use veto power to stop the national assembly from
using N47 billion to buy cars.” – Buhari. He continues that
he will review N3.6b for BMW cars scandal. “I turned down
a huge bill for vehicles, but I know we need some vehicles
for foreign visitors.”
20.23 “The policy on foreign currency withdrawal cannot
be lifted because the money is not there. A N100bn goes
to the National Assembly for transport allowances alone,”
the conversation continues.
20.19 “The change is in the TSA.”
20.18 The conversation moves to the questions on change
– the slogan of Buhari during the presidential campaign.
The interviewer asks: “What has changed?”
20.16 “We had 42 ministries, with 42 perm secs. We had
to cut them to 24 and asked some to go,” he continues.
20.15 “Fashola was not made a super minister for nothing.
The issues associated with power which will take time, will
be answered. He added that government is looking at
different means of generating power.” President Buhari
20.14 Question: What is the president’s understanding of
job creation? And what was he thinking when the decided
to make Fashola minister with three portfolios. What was
the president’s vision for him?
20.11 He continues: “Our priority is to get our local
refineries working, to reduce cost. The cost of petrol is so
low, you don’t have to subsidize it.”
20.10 “By the end of next quarter, we might stop subsidy. I
hope that our refineries can be functional,” Buhari states.
20.09 “Our first priority now is to get our refineries
working,” he says.
20.07 The president being asked: “Are you considering
putting a stop to the issue of subsidy?”
20.06 On the issue of people being unable to withdraw
hard currencies, PMB says: “I will ask the Governor of the
Central Bank. Those who want to import rice and
toothpick should go somewhere else to get foreign
20.04 “Our priority is for welders, barbers, building our
roads & railways, not rice and expensive textile wears,” the
20.02 “But Mr.President would you support the
devaluation?” The answer from Buhari: “If you devalue the
naira, against what? Against the dollar, sterling, yen,
dutch? I need to be convinced about devaluing the Naira.
We are importing including toothpick!”
19.59 “Insecurity, downturn of petroleum are very
unfortunate incidents in this country,” Buhari continues.
19.58 “There are 45 accounts in NNPC alone. We
introduced the Treasury Single Account so that we can
know what comes in and goes out.”
19.57 “I don’t support devaluation,” the President says.
19.55 Buhari answers on naira devaluation issue. “Should
we be looking at devaluing naira?”
Buhari speaks to journalists.
19.53 The next portion of questions is on economy.
19.52 “When I say Boko Haram had been defeated
technically, we have weakened capacity for conventional
attacks” – Buhari.
19.51 “People die, it’s very serious. Hijab will have to be
banned if this (female suicide bombings) continues,” the
president says.
19.50 Is banning hijab an option or not?
19.49 The interviewer asks about the Boko Haram
deadline. “Can you say whether the war has been
‘technically’ or otherwise won?”
19.48 Last question on security and the next subject
19.47 Another question for Buhari: “Who would you be
expecting the report of the Shi’ites’ killings from?”
19.46 “The President of Iran spoke to me about it and I
told him as a government, we have a system. I am
awaiting the report of the military,” Buhari says.
19.45 “I don’t want to speak about it in detail now,” the
president continues.
19.43 Both the president and interviewers avoid giving
names: “ When it (clashes with Shiites in Zaria) happened
in the state (Kaduna), the governor (Nasir El-Rufai) was
visiting the area, ” Buhari.
19.41 The conversation moves to the confrontation
between the army and the Shi’ia sect, and its similarities
with the start of the Boko Haram insurgency.
19.38 The president says he has money to take care of
IDP’s and he wants to settle the kids in schools/
communities. His words: “We are determined to resettle
Children transported across the country as a result of
19.37 Buhari says the Boko Haram victims are orpharned
and Dangote, Danjuma have donated.
19.36 President Buhari speaks also on IDPs, he stated that
there are about two million IDPs in the country, especially
in Borno state.
19.35 “Do we have any intelligence that the girls are alive?
No credible information. Working with Chad, Niger and
Cameroon. Boko Haram kept shifting them around,” Buhari
19.34 “Are you sure the girls are there and alive?”
19.32 The president continues: “Some supposed leadership
wanted to make contact, but we insisted on identifying the
leadership of the so called Boko Haram.”
19.29 “I have answered questions on Chibok Girls and we
know so far from our attack on Sambisa that the girls are
not intact. We are more than willing to negotiate to free
the girls without compromising our National Security,” he
19.28 The next question comes: “On Chibok girls and
technical defeat of Boko Haram, when are we bringing the
girls back? ”
19.27 “My ministers must make sure they declare their
assets, that is a constitutional requirement,” President
Buhari says that any person would go to court if he or she
to be found guilty. “I am going to make sure that nobody
is above the law.”
19.26 Buhari seems to be a bit annoyed, or even angry.
Buhari hosts media chat
19.25 “Nigerians to know progress of the anti-corruption
war by end of 1st quarter of 2016,” the president
19.22 “When I was being harassed, I told people that I had
declared my assets four times. I mentioned which banks I
borrowed money, the number of cars and all they were all
deposited at the ministry of justice. If they cannot produce
the documents that I declared, they should also answer
questions on documents of public officers. ” the Nigerian
leader says.
19. 21 “When do you intend to make full declaration of
your assets?”
19.19 Buhari answers: “ I have said that I will defend every
property of Nigeria. We are appealing to countries to
please cooperate with us.”
19.16 “How long are you willing to go in this fight against
corruption?” the journalist asks the next question.
19.15 “We have to be very sure of the documents we get.
We have to cross check records. I have confidence in the
way EFCC and ICPC are structured now,” Buhari added.
19.11 The next question is “What we have now is an
iceberg, and I am just wondering is there no way to rejig
19.09 Buhari continues: “Money has been recovered but
whatever has been recovered, we have to remain in court.”
19.08 “Under whatever circumstances we cannot pre-judge
what the court would do,” President Buhari.
19.07 KayodeAkintemi: “Who are the people that the gov’t
claimed have returned money and how much have they
returned? ”
19.06 “We are taking the people suspected of corruption to
court. We cannot comment. We want Nigerians to be
patient,” the president says.
19.05 Buhari answered: “We are doing quite well. We have
some documents where Nigerian crude oil were lifted
illegally and proceeds diverted into personal accounts”
19.04 And the first question. Nigerians very love you. You
are the man of integrity. You were elected on the promise
to fight corruption.The honeymoon is over how do you
think we are doing with the fight against corruption?
19.02 Kayode Akintemi of Channels TV, the anchor of the
chat, welcomed Mr. Buhari and introduced his colleagues.
19.00 All eyes on President Buhari as media chat begins.
18. 45 Garba Shehu, special adviser on media and publicity
says that Nigerians can participate in the discussion on
social media by using the hashtag and also mentioning
President @ MBuhari .
Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, announced in
statement that Buhari intended speak on current national
issues on December 30, 2015. Some of the biggest
challenges Nigeria is facing now are the Boko Haram
insurgency, failing economy, war against corruption etc.
The announcement was met with mixed feelings. While a
lot of Nigerians welcomed the idea, others took the
opportunity to start asking the president about the victims
from the supposed army/Shiite clash, while some were
asking for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the acclaimed
leader of the IPOB.