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Buhari To Nigerians: ‘We’ve Opportunity, Let’s Take It’

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President Buhari ..... yesterday

President Buhari ….. yesterday

….Pledges To Tackle Boko Haram, Corruption, Unemployment 

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari peered into the future yesterday as he took the reigns of power and saw a great opportunity to make Nigeria work again. And he urged all Nigerians to seize the moment with him.

“We have an opportunity. Let us take it,” he said in his inaugural speech shortly after taking the Oath of Office as President, Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Buhari, resplendent in a cream flowing gown, with a matching cap, spoke in measured tones, sometimes characteristically sternly to the audience that transcended Nigerians at home, abroad and friends and foes all over.

For 20 minutes, Buhari deliberately seemed to emphasise every aspect of his points in the 1,856-word speech.

He drew occasional applause, but seemed more intent on proceeding in a business-like manner, portraying a man with a lot in his mind.

At exactly 10.50 am, Buhari who was accompanied by his wife, Aisha, was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, amidst thunderous applause by thousands of his supporters, who thronged the Eagle Square venue of the epoch-making event and its environs in Abuja.

On hand to witness the event were former President Shehu Shagari, who was overthrown by Buhari in a military coup on December 31, 1984, as well as former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, who in turn ousted Buhari on August 27, 1985.

Also in attendance were former Heads of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Buhari’s swearing-in was preceded by that of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, accompanied by his wife, Dolapo, who was administered both the Oath of Office and Oath of Allegiance at exactly 10.35 am by Justice Mohammed.

Amid chants of Baba Oyoyo, Buhari, who was decked in a cream agbada and cap to match, was chauffeur-driven round the square to acknowledge cheers moments after he was handed over the paraphernalia of office by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

It was followed by a warm handshake between Buhari and Jonathan, who gave a smile and a goodbye wave to both local and foreign dignitaries that came from far and near to witness the dawn of a new era under an All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration.

In his inaugural address, Buhari, who thanked Jonathan over his display of statesmanship for conceding defeat after the conduct of the general election, noted that the occasion underlined the resolve by Nigerians to entrench democratic culture in the country.

Assuring that he would leave no stone unturned to address the problems of corruption, insecurity, dearth in infrastructure and youth unemployment, he pledged to govern Nigerians with all sense of equity and fairness.

Ruling out the possibility of embarking on a witch-hunting mission, he pledged to ensure an end to the menace of Boko Haram and perennial fuel shortages in the country as soon as possible.

Acknowledging that the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, he assured that his administration would invest heavily in ongoing projects and programmes in the oil-rich region.

Thanking the governments and people of Cameroun, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria, he disclosed that he would relocate the Command and Control Centre of the armed forces from Abuja to Maiduguri in a bid to nip in the bud the activities of the terrorists group.

APC chieftains who graced the occasion included former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Chief Ogbonnaya Onu; Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu; Chief Bisi Akande; and the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

President’s Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe); Yayi Boni (Benin); Ellen Johnson-Sirlieaf (Liberia); Mouhamadou Yousoufu (Niger); John Dramani Mahama (Ghana); Faure Eyadema (Togo); and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, were among foreign dignitaries who witnessed the occasion.

There were also captains of industries. They included Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jim Ovia, and former head of the poverty alleviation scheme, Mr. Magnus Kpakol.



3 Comments
  • Paddy8

    Kudos to the new government and President Buhari.In the short term, issues that need immediate attention are:Fuel,electricity and national security.Medium term is social justice- poverty alleviation. One of the key issues is to boost agriculture- particularly in the North and build a huge stockpile of food grains.Fortunately Nigeria is endowed with a lot of fertilem lands and rains- almost 5 months a year -which many countries in the world cannot boast of. Sadly, due to lack of water storage facilities such as lakes, canals as well as acute shortage of electricity, agriculture operations are not done.If these issues are resolved,Nigeria can not only be self sufficient in food but also export food to the entire Africa.One immediate way to kickstart agro operations is to provide LPG based small engines also powered by solar panels to entire Nigeria so that farmers can use these engines to pump ground water/dig wells.There are several other ways also to plan this. Nigeria has lot of gas and fortunately lot of sun.The will was lacking last fifteen years and now I am sure the will is back. Nigeria can!!

  • vic

    YES, MR BUHARI, YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, TAKE IT TO MAKE LIFE LIVABLE FOR THE POOR, VULNERABLE AND THE FORGOTTEN. DISTINGUISH YOURSELF FROM THE PAST DISMIL NIGERIAN LEADERS.

  • Rational

    The photo accompanying this article is so poignant. Solider Come, Soldier Go it really is. The new president is only missing his military garbs and the picture will be complete. So in a country of roughly 170 million people, the best we can come up is an old soldier? I wish Pres. Buhari goodluck and good health.