Farewell Speech: President Buhari apologises for “temporary pains, sufferings” inflicted on Nigerians

Farewell Speech: President Buhari apologises for “temporary pains, sufferings” inflicted on Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his farewell speech to the nation, apologised to Nigerians for the temporary pain and suffering caused by some of the measures implemented by his government.

While acknowledging the difficult choices made to revamp the economy, he assured the nation that these measures were taken for the overall benefit of the country.

Buhari emphasized that Nigeria had emerged stronger under his administration, stating that the economy had become more resilient due to the implementation of various strategies.

He highlighted the successful response to the global economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, considering it a global best practice.

The president further noted that efforts had been made to uplift the poor and rural populations, providing them with increased opportunities to earn a living.

Additionally, he emphasized the support given to young men and women in urban areas to utilize their skills productively.

Buhari highlighted the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the private sector, leading to an influx of turn-key projects across various sectors of the economy.

In his farewell address, President Buhari expressed confidence that he was leaving the country in a better state than when he assumed office, emphasizing the resilience and progress achieved during his tenure.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Full Speech reads;

I address you today in my last assignment as a democratically elected president of a great and well-endowed nation with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people, and a modest sense of fulfillment.

Today we mark and celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government in our steady march to improve and sustain Nigeria’s democracy.

This year we witnessed the most key-layer contested presidential elections since the first republic, and this demonstrates that our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election.

We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we made in the electoral process on an increment basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among nations.

Our democracy for all allows and encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices and even some candidates and political parties that do not agree with the results to go to court.

Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our court 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 doubted 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.

To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political sector for the last 10 years, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I congratulate you on the realization of your dream, which was fulfilled by abundant passion to put Nigeria among 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 confidence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant will come through for you under God’s guardians as you lead our country to levels higher than I am leading.

You are the best candidate among all the contestants. Have chosen well. The last eight years have been an exciting experience in my desire and commitment to make Nigeria in which public goods and services are available and accessible within a united, peaceful and secure nation.

Fellow Nigerians, on the strength of your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I started this journey with a great deal of promise and expectation from you.

I never intended to be just politically correct, but to do the correct thing will make meaningful impact on the lives of the common Nigerian.

This high expectation was not misplaced because, like the ordinary Nigerian, I had grown tired of watching the country progressively moving away from the path of correctness. To ensure that our democracy remains resilient and our elected representatives remain accountable to the people, I am leaving behind a process which guarantees that votes count, results are credible, elections are fair and transparent, and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum, and Nigerians can elect leaders of their choice.

We are already seeing the outcome of this process as it provided an even playing field where persons without any political godfather or access to money depend on other well-resourced candidates.

The Nigerian economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure that our economy remains afloat during cases of global economic downturns. You will all recall the supply chain disruptions and economic downturn that is a world witness between 2020 and 2022 COVID-19 pandemic.

The darkness of our response to the pandemic still remains a global best practice. Furthermore, we increased the ability of the poor and rural Nigerians to earn a living, provide more food for millions in our villages, and give our women opportunities to earn a living.

Young men and women in urban centers were also supporting their skills into productive use.

Our administration also provided an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in businesses for which their return on investment is guaranteed.

The private sector proved a strong partner in our drive to build a resilient and sustainable economy as evidenced by the growing number of turnkey projects in various sectors of the economy.
In developing 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 apologize to my fellow countrymen. But the measures were taken for the overall good of the country. Mindful of the need to ensure adequate infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed age-long projects, notably among 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.

Our battle to ensure that all Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment has achieved considerable results. As I complete my term in office, we have been able to reduce the incidences of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery, and other criminal activities considerably.

To sustain the gains made so far, I call on all Nigerians to be more vigilant and support the security agencies by ensuring that our values, defined by the Newer Brothers Kifa, govern our actions.

Up till now, I still grieve for our children in captivity, mourned 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 a lawful captivity, our security agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed.

Fellow Nigerians, you know how dear the desire in my heart to live is of corrupt practices that have consistently diminished our efforts to be a great country. I did pursue this commitment relentlessly, in spite of the expected pushback.

I am happy that considerable progress has been made in repatriating huge sums of money back to the country and also taking over properties illegally acquired from our Commonwealth.

To improve our service delivery, we began the implementation of a number of reforms aimed at producing an efficient, productive, incorruptible, and citizen-oriented federal civil service, and the results are beginning to show.

On the international scene, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow as exemplified by notable Nigerians occupying headship and leadership positions in renowned world bodies. Our democracy is built on and continues to thrive on the principle of separation of powers.

The leadership and members of the National Assembly deserve my appreciation for their patriotism, which did not detract from their roles as a check to the executive arm. I also want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to our fellow Nigerians who provided their support and encouragement to help me navigate the exciting journey in moving Nigeria forward.

I cannot and will not forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term of office. I am constantly praying for you and for Nigeria to thrive in peace.

As I retire from the cabinet state, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria rebirth by taking the initial critical steps, and I am convinced the incoming administration will quicken the pace of this work to see a Nigeria that fulfills its destiny to be a great nation.

I am confident that I am leaving with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015. I thank you all and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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