By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Surprise greeted the faces of most people at the national mosque in Abuja who felt disappointed over the absence of the president-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari at the special Friday service to mark the beginning of a week long activities of his inauguration next week.
Journalists who were invited to cover the ceremony had gathered but to the chagrin of everyone, Buhari was not sighted anywhere around the crowded mosque.
No official reason was given for his absence at the mosque.
Vanguard correspondent was later to read from an online news medium, Shaharareporters that Buhari jetted out of the country to the United Kingdom, UK, in early hours of Friday morning without prior knowledge of most of his aides.
It later became obvious that the president-elect was not available when former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar stepped out in the mosque and said he was Buhari’s representative at the special service.
Speaking, he said “I’m here with some of the governors that accompany me to represent the president-elect who is unavoidable absent. The prayers have gone on very well. We are grateful for all the support and corporation of all Nigerians. We have prayed to have a successful transfer of power on the Inauguration Day which is on the 29th of May this year insha Allah.”
Meanwhile, in his sermon earlier, the Deputy Chief Imam of Abuja Central Mosque, Dr. Muhammad Kabir Adam said that public office and position was a trust given to people by God.
According to him, anyone given a position of trust should lead with the fear of God even as he prayed for God’s guidance, protection and blessing upon Nigeria.
He said: “The central massage of today is on trust. When Almighty Allah gives someone position in whatever kind, that position is a trust. So, the massage today is that everybody should fear Allah in managing the affairs of the trust that was giving to them by him.
“We pray to Allah to protect this country, shower his blessings on this country and also pray to Almighty Allah to guide our leaders. Let them lead with justice and let them do all they could do to make sure that common man of this country lives a good life.”
As at 7:15 pm when this report was filed, Vanguard had not received official comments from Buhari’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu who when called promised to issue a statement as to what led to the absence of the president-elect at the 2015 presidential inauguration service.
It will be recalled that the last public function Buhari had was the receipt of the interim report of his transition technical committee and the Nigerien president, Mahamadou Issoufou who paid him a congratulatory visit in Abuja on Thursday evening
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