Journalism of Courage

Buhari, on independence day, says administration has created a better Nigeria

He said: “I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams”.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday made his last Independence anniversary speech to the nation, scoring his administration high contrary to the apologetic posture of his wife on the parlous socio-economic and security situation in the country.

He said: “I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams”.

But Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, on Friday humbled herself and offered profuse apologies on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for its failings and imperfections in the last seven years.

Specifically, Buhari apologized to Nigerians for the insecurity that has pervaded the country in the last seven years and the harsh economy.

Buhari’s wife gave the down-to-earth public apologies in Abuja at a Special Juma’at prayer and public lecture commemorating the country’s 62nd Independence Anniversary.

Persecondnews recalls that Aisha is reputed for her honest verdicts and assessment of Buhari’s government particularly its ministers.

The theme of the lecture is: “Shura: The Islamic Foundation of True Democracy”, held at the National Mosque Conference Hall.

“The regime might not have been a perfect one, but I want to seize this opportunity to seek forgiveness from the Ulamas and Nigerians in general. We all need to work together to achieve a better Nigeria.

“Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as you may be aware that this government is making its exit and perhaps witnessing the last anniversary of the regime, I pray for Nigerians to pray for a successful election and transition programme,’’ she said.

Noting that the depreciation of the naira and the continuous drop in the foreign exchange rate had taken serious tolls on the nation’s economy, Buhari said it has caused hardships and difficulties for Nigerians particularly in education, health, and their day-to-day activities.

“Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, it is also noticeable that our naira is being evaluated and the foreign exchange rate has affected our economy causing a lot of hardship and difficulties in terms of education, health and other day-to-day activities of our citizens.’’

On the security challenges facing the nation, the first lady noted that the efforts by the armed forces and the police were becoming successful and wished them more successes in their onslaught against insurgents and bandits across the country.

However, in his broadcast to mark the 62nd Independence anniversary, the President expressed concern about the pains Nigerians are going through in the wake of security and economic challenges facing the country.

Buhari admittedly said he shared the pains Nigerians are going through and assured that their resilience and patience would not be in vain as his government continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

“At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges.

“We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results,” he said.

Buhari also seized the medium to address the eight-month-old strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which had shut down public universities since February 14 this year and appealed to them to call off the action and return to classrooms.

Restating the commitment of his administration to bequeath a worthy electoral legacy to the nation, Buhari said: “As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognize the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face

“We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.

“I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call on the striking ASUU members to return to the classroom while assuring them that I will deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.

“This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

”He also emphasised that he and his cabinet in the last seven years plus have been able to turn Nigeria around for the better.”

He added: “I address you today, with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a high level of appreciation to all Nigerians whose tremendous goodwill gave me the opportunity to provide leadership for our great country at one of the trying times in her history.

“Conscious that today’s address would be my last on an Independence Day as your President; I speak to the millions of Nigerians, who believed in me, propelled and stood by me in my quest to bequeath a country where all citizens have equal opportunities to achieve their lives desires in a peaceful atmosphere.

“I am honoured to say that my story in the annals of Nigeria’s history is no household secret. My various attempts, failures and eventual success in being elected as a Democratic President in 2015 was made possible by the majority of Nigerians.

“When you elected me, I readily acknowledged that the tasks before me were daunting but surmountable because of the growing national consensus that our chosen route to national development was democracy.

“This democracy was to be anchored on a clear understanding, application and the principles of separation of powers supported by a reformed public service that is more effective.

“I then pledged to Improve the Economy, Tackle Corruption and Fight Insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

“To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination.”

The President said he was mindful of the task before him and his team, adding “we took some time in settling down and we re-positioned the Economy by providing strategic interventions in core areas at both the Federal and Sub-National levels.”

“One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

“We strengthened the Institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.”

On the challenges facing the country, he said: “Fellow Nigerians, in the past few years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our Nation.

“However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges. It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

 

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