#NigeriaAt55: President Buhari’ independence day speech

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“October 1st is a day for joy and celebrations for us
Nigerians, whatever the circumstances we find ourselves
in because it is the day, 55 years ago; we liberated
ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our
long march to nationhood and to greatness.

“No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop
us from honouring this day. Let us remind ourselves of
the gifts God has given us.
Our Creator has bequeathed to us Numbers – Nigeria is
the ninth most populated country on the planet. We have
in addition arable land; water; forests; oil and gas;
coastline; and solid minerals
“We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not
there yet because the one commodity 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.

“Countries far less endowed have made greater economic
progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.
“Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an
achievement we should all appreciate and try to
consolidate. We have witnessed this year a change in our
democratic development.

“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.
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.

“As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will
against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear
anything from me. We are not after anyone.
People should only fear the consequences of their
actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her
political view to join me in working for the nation.

“My countrymen and women, every new government
inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what
Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a
recitation of problems inherited.
“Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President,
senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, 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.

“As you know, I toured the neighbouring countries,
marshalled a coalition of armed forces of the five
nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also
the G-7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an
effort to build an international coalition against Boko
Haram.

“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.
“That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft
targets such as I.D.P. camps is indicative of their
cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security
and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable
places.

On power, 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.

“In the meantime, improvement in the power supply is
moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of
petrol and kerosene to the public has improved
throughout the country. All the early signs are that
within months the whole country would begin to feel a
change for the better.


“Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and
improve its operations so that the inefficiency and
corruption could be reduced to a minimum.

“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.

“In addition to NNPC, I have ordered a complete audit
of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN,
FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the
nation. Prudent house-keeping is needed now more than
ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil
prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But
what counts is not so much what accrues but how we
manage our resources.

“We have seen in the last few years how huge resources
were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC
government is embarking on a clean up, introducing
prudence and probity in public financing.

“At an early stage, the federal government addressed
the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation
capable of degenerating into social unrest. 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.

“Fellow Nigerians, there have been a lot of anxiety and
impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of
ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our
government set out to do things methodically and
properly. We received the handing over notes from the
outgoing government only four days before taking over.
Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted
its Report on the reorganization of Federal Government
structure after studying the hand over notes. It would
have been haphazard to announce ministers when the
government had not finalized the number of ministries
to optimally carry the burden of governance.

“Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for
ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to
the senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due
course. Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital
than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after
consultations get far better results. And better results
for our country is what the APC government for CHANGE
is all about.

“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.

“Happy Independence Celebrations. Long live the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.”

Posted by @stee_vane

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