President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation on Independence Day regarding addressing several issues from Nigeria's potential and ending with a call-to-action.
Nigeria's Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation to mark the Independence Day anniversary.
Here are the points he made:
1. Our numbers are a blessing: Being the 9th most populous nation and the most populous black nation, also being blessed with vital natural resources like arable land; water; forests; oil and gas; coastline; and solid minerals, the President said we have all the attributes of a great nation.
According to him, the reason we aren't great yet is because "we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress."
Also, he talked about us appreciating the fact that we are still together as a country.
2. The Former President Jonathan deserves some credit: Speaking about the growing strength of our democracy, the President said that, the fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system.
He also commended former President Goodluck Jonathan saying, "whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences."
3. Buhari is not a monster: The President reiterated again like he has been doing since his inauguration, that he bears no ill will with anyone for past events.
He said, "Nobody should fear anything from me, he said in his speech. We are not after anyone," he said, adding that, "people should only fear the consequences of their actions".
5. Nigerians will not be let down: In his speech, the President said consultations were made with his VP and other key stakeholders, to work on the method for solving the major problems.
He said, “I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections and since then."
6. The coalition against Boko Haram is stronger than ever: Speaking about his tour of the five countries in the coalition against Boko Haram, he talked about how it was in a bid to marshall the nations to defeat the terrorists.
"I met also the G-7 leaders and other friendly presidents," he said,in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram."
He also said, “our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run."
7. The improvements felt are signs of good things to come: Buhari mentioned that the improvements in power supply in the first few months is "moderately encouraging".
"Government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost-effective way."
He also highlighted the improvements in the supply of petrol and kerosene the country.
8. There's a cleanup going on at the NNPC: Still on signs of improvement, Buhari said preliminary steps are being taken to sanitize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
He said, “those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped."
9. The true goal is to clean the entire system: The President talked about the clean up that was required following the gross mismanagement and squandering of resources.
He also made reference to the way the Federal government addressed the salary arrears issues in many states.
“At an early stage, the federal government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest," he continued, "the APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the debtor states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.
9. Order is more vital than speed: Here, the President mentions that Nigerians need to be more patient with the process of selecting new ministers, saying impatience is not a virtue. He also explained why he delayed in the appointment of his cabinet.
10. Change begins with the people: He concluded with the change agenda saying,
“I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for CHANGE. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behaviour in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens."