Outgoing Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that his administration made some tough policy decisions which caused Nigerians pain but were all for good of the country.
President Buhari, who stated this in his farewell address to the nation on Sunday, 28 May 2023, apologized to Nigerians for any pain his policies caused them within the eight years he spent in office.
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In the valedictory live broadcast, Buhari listed his achievements in infrastructure which drives economic growth such as construction of important roads and bridges linking cities, and completion of some power projects, among others.
He said: “In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologised to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country.
“Mindful of the need to ensure adequate infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed age-long projects and processes notably amongst which are the Petroleum Industry Act, completion of some power projects, completion of the second Niger bridge and various important roads linking cities and states.”
In the area of security, Buhari said his administration fought to a considerable extent to ensure that Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment by reducing incidences of banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism to a considerable level.
He called on Nigerians to remain vigilant and support security agencies in combating crimes in their communities.
“Up-till now, I still grieve for our children still in captivity, mourn with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones in the days of the senseless brigandage and carnage. For all those under unlawful captivity our Security Agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed,” Buhari said.
Buhari said he remained committed to his desire to rid the country of corrupt practices despite pushbacks, and according to him, considerable progress had been made.
“I did pursue this commitment relentlessly, in spite of the expected push back. I am happy that considerable progress had been made in repatriating huge sums of money back to the country and also taken over properties illegally acquired from our common wealth.
“To improve service delivery, we began the implementation of a number of reforms aimed at producing an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-oriented (EPIC) Federal Civil Service and the results are beginning to show,” he added.
The President who would hand over to the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, tomorrow, Monday, May 29, expressed joy that Nigeria’s democracy is growing.
He noted that 2023 presidential election was the most keenly contested one since the first Republic, a demonstration that “our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election.
“We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we make in the electoral process, on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among Nations,” the outgoing Nigerian leader stressed.
While pointing out that the democratic system encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices in court, he urged candidates and political parties that did not agree with the outocme of the last elections to accept whatever decision the court would give and join hands in working to move the nation forward.
He also appealed to Nigerians to remain peaceful and support the incoming government to address their needs.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our courts and join hands to build a better Nigeria.
“I salute the doggedness and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for believing in our judicial system by taking their grievances with the election results to court.
“In the course of the campaigns, we had argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better but we never disagreed or had any doubts that Nigeria has to be better.
“As your President, I call on all of us to bring to bear the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, the convictions of our beliefs to make Nigeria work better and together with one spirit and one purpose.”
Buhari described Tinubu, who won the 25 February election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the best among the candidates in the election and expressed his confidence that he would do well.
He said: “To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past ten years – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world.
“You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher than I am leaving.You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well.”
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