President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly, notifying it of his return to office.
The Nigerian leader returned to the country on 19 August, after spending 103 days in London on medical vacation.
In his letter dated August 21, 2017, he told the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, that he was resuming office.
The letter stated in part: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 21st August, 2017, after my medical follow-up in the United Kingdom.”
President Buhari had left for London on May 7, 2017, and handed the reins of government to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who functioned as the acting President.
“I am pleased to be back home,” he said.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) August 21, 2017
He however warned that he would not allow “irresponsible elements to start trouble” in Nigeria.
“When things get bad, these elements would run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood”, he noted.
President Buhari said that he kept in touch with events in Nigeria during his stay in the United Kingdom and thanked Nigerians for their prayers.
He noted that Nigerians were robust and lively in discussing their affairs.
“But I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.
“This is a step too far.”
Making an indirect reference to the call for secession of the South East, he said Nigeria’s unity was long settled.
“In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura.
“Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.
“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable.
He said that every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.
“This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.
“The National Assembly and the National Council of States are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse,’’ he said.
He said that there was the national consensus that it was better to live together than to live apart.