“Elected officials are servants, not masters. They govern at your discretion. The authority is yours to grant – and it is yours to take away,’’ so declares President Muhammadu Buhari as he commemorates the first year anniversary of his second term in office.
He said contrary to the age-long practice of deifying those in authority as masters, power actually resides with the people as elected officials remain in office at their behest.
Buhari recalled that the election campaign had been hard fought and Nigerians in their millions gave him their mandate in the election with a distance of nearly four million votes or 15 per cent of the total votes cast over his closest opponent, Ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The mandate the people of this country gave was decisive…it was then – and is today – a mandate for change.
“Day by day, step by step, the President and his team are making the change that Nigerians have demanded,’’ the president said in a statement by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity and emailed to Persecondnews.
Buhari assured Nigerians that the mandate for change remained relevant and would be steadily followed to improve livelihoods.
He noted: “For many years Nigerians have yearned for something different: less of the corruption and immoral greed of those who once governed; more decency in public life and fairness, and a chance to succeed.
“Nigerians yearned for improved security and end to terrorist bombings and for long-delayed infrastructure.
“Since last year, President Buhari strived to implement the plan you endorsed with your votes. He has overseen an increase in foreign investment; construction of new roads, bridges and rails, and put structures in place to improve employment, and accomplished the diversification of the national economy through a massive growth in agriculture.
“The President secured the long-overdue return of taxpayers’ monies from overseas, stolen in the 1990s, and put this to use in supporting citizens in dire need.’’
On coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures implemented to stem and halt its spread, Buhari said he realized the burden so many citizens were carrying to make ends meet and the suffering they endure, assuring “this too shall come to pass.’’
The President, however, restated:“We are bolstering our capacity to contain the virus. Soon, when we overcome our present troubles, the work to build Nigeria will start anew. And as we do, we find ourselves before the gates to a new, post-Covid world.
“Thanks to reforms in governance, our war on corruption and the hard work and trust of the Nigerian people, we are better positioned as a nation than ever before to seize new opportunities that await us to trade, build, make and export with the world.’’
Buhari expressed appreciation to the people for their wisdom and determination for change, saying “we go forward, together.’’