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Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is thankful for the improved rainy season in the country in the last two years, admitting that he would have run away from the country if there was no rain.

Buhari said this on Monday when he received the National Council of Traditional Rulers led by the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad SAbubakar III, in Aso Villa, Abuja.

He said, “We are lucky this year that last year and this year the rainy season is good. If it were not good, I must confide in you that I was considering which country to run to. But God answered the prayers of many Nigerians. The rainy season last year was good and this year with the report I’m getting is good. We thank God for that otherwise there would have been a lot of problems in this country.”

Buhari said the mismanagement of resources over the years was responsible for the current economic hardship.

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The President said that he would continue to pursue programmes that would improve the lives of Nigerians.

Earlier, the Sultan of Sokoto, while thanking God for bringing Buhari back, urged him to act fast.

He said, “We will continue to preach peace and stability, justice, transparency and accountability and anti-corruption.”

Speaking for the South-West, the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunnusi, also thanked God for the safe return of Buhari.

Ogunwusi said, “From the South-West we thank God for your life and we pledge to support you from our communities because we are closer to our people. We will continue to preach to our people that we should continue to foster peace in our country, we will continue to caution our youths against hate speech.

“We cannot leave the development of the country all to the government but we have to work hand in hand. We assure you that we support all your initiatives.”

Speaking for the North-West, the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the traditional rulers identified with Buhari’s commitment to national security.

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Speaking for the South-South, Jaja of Opobo urged the President to quickly fix the economy.

He said, “We know there is tension here and there but as traditional rulers, we don’t eat politics. The economy has to be fixed. Coming from the region that produces the mainstay of the economy, even though the country will soon diversify the economy, before we diversify let’s protect the one that we still have. We are pleased to work for peace and stability of the region so that we can all see the benefits of the commodity.”

The Gbom Gwom Jos, Jacob Gyang, who spoke on behalf of the North-Central, also thanked God for bringing the President back to celebrate Sallah with fellow Nigerians.

He told the President that at least 20 people were killed in Plateau State on Friday

Gyang said, “Few days ago just when we thought peace had returned to Plateau, it was truncated with the attack on Ancha village in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State, leading to 20 deaths.”

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He commended Buhari for ordering the security agencies to fish out those responsible for the attacks and the reasons for the attack.

Speaking for the South -East, Chairman of South-East Traditional Council, Eberechi Dike, said, “Our hearts are full of joy that you are back. You shook our hands when you came in and that shows you believe in one Nigeria. We prayed for you and you are back. We prayed for you because your agenda for Nigeria is good. “As your children when we cry it is for you to ask us to stop crying that you will fix whatever is making us cry like the bad roads.”

Speaking for the North-East, the Lamido Adamawa, Muhammadu Musdafa, said Nigerians were happy to have the President back.