Friday, 22nd September 2023

I apologise for my difficult choices that caused pains, Buhari tells Nigerians

By Terhemba Daka and John Akubo (Abuja)
28 May 2023   |   11:00 pm
For the last time, Nigerians, yesterday, listened to President Muhammadu Buhari’s address as president, after eight years in office, as he appealed to citizens over some of the difficult choices he made that brought pain and suffering to Nigerians.


• Says he’s leaving Nigeria better than he met it in 2015
• Sani: Buhari weak in taking decisions, sets trap for Tinubu to make his failure look better
• Insurgents, bandits terrorised Nigerians under Buhari, says CBCN President
• Obi urges citizens to remain calm, law-abiding
• Justice shall prevail in fullness of time, LP insists

For the last time, Nigerians, yesterday, listened to President Muhammadu Buhari’s address as president, after eight years in office, as he appealed to citizens over some of the difficult choices he made that brought pain and suffering to Nigerians.

In his farewell broadcast, President Buhari also gave himself a pass mark, saying he is leaving Nigeria in 2023 better than he met it in 2015.
This is as he expressed grief that his administration was unable to rescue some children still in captivity, even as he said that he mourned with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones as a result of senseless brigandage and carnage.

Noting that the address was his last assignment as President, Buhari described the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, as the best candidate in the February 25 presidential poll.

Tendering his apology over policies that brought hardships to Nigerians, the outgoing President 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 apologise to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the overall good of the country.

“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.

“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.

“As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation. I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.”

Following President Buhari’s address where he claimed to have left Nigeria in a better condition than he met it in 2015, former lawmaker, Shehu Sani, has listed the failures of the outgoing president.

Sani, who represented Kaduna Central Senatorial District in the eighth National Assembly, said Buhari would not want Tinubu to do better than him.
He noted that Buhari is leaving behind a country without any economic direction, a failed security system, with over three million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), 366,000 refugees in neighbouring countries and a country not restructured.

He accused Buhari, among other things, of granting waivers to the rich and impoverishing the poor, closing the borders for those who import bags of rice on motorcycles and permitting those who use the ships.

“He built magical pyramids that disappeared after three days. He left incomplete projects with huge debts to service for decades. He enabled, enriched and reinforced a cabal for eight years. He appointed and retained failures and rewarded them with extensions. He was weak in taking decisions.

“He has no house in London but made London his home. He left behind record inflation, record devaluation, record unemployment, record fall in Gross Domestic Prodect (GDP), record figures of poverty and record plunder of state resources.

“He left behind a nation with 60 million people suffering from mental illnesses. He is leaving behind the health workers on strike. He set up traps for the next government in order to make his own look better.”

Also, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference Of Nigeria (CBCN), Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, has scored Buhari very low in his performance on security issues. He, however, commended the outgoing President on provision of infrastructure, especially completion of the Second Niger Bridge and approval granted the newly established Lux Mundi University in Abia State.

Ugorji, who is also the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Archdiocese, said: “Buhari did not achieve much in the fight against insecurity in our region and other parts of the country being terrorised at the moment by bandits and other criminal elements.

“When he came on board, he promised that he was going to battle insecurity and at that time, we had only Boko Haram in the Northeast but as he is leaving office today, we have not only Boko Haram but also banditry, Fulani herdsmen, kidnappers and unknown gunmen terrorising many communities in the country.”

Meanwhile, Eagle Square, venue for the presidential inauguration, has been given a facelift.

The 5,000-sitting capacity venue had undergone some level of renovation in the build up to today’s inauguration.
The venue had been adorned with Nigerian flags and flags of other countries, while some parts had been repainted. The Very Important Personality (VIP) pavilion was among parts of the square that was worked on.

The Eagle Square was constructed in 1999 to mark take-off of the Fourth Republic and had been the venue for presidential inaugurations since then. The square also served as a venue for other activities like Worker’s Day celebrations and political rallies among others.

Ahead of today’s swearing-in of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, as only the court of law will decide the actual winner of the poll in due course.

Peter Obi.Pix: Peoples Gazette

Obi, who spoke on the sidelines of an event in Kaduna State, yesterday, stated that the unity, peace and security of the country is paramount than any other interest, and as such, he called on all citizens to be law-abiding and work for the progress and development of the country.

“We must continue to live on the path of peace, religious harmony, ethnic harmony, coexistence, that is the most important thing for now.
“Let’s have a peaceful, quiet Nigeria where the government will concentrate on caring for the sufferings of the people,” the LP flag-bearer stated.

While noting that there are questions and issues with the last election, Obi, however, said citizens must live peacefully and be able to work and concentrate on facing the issues of Nigeria, which is insecurity, poverty, education and other very important aspects of the nation’s existence.

Accompanied by his running mate, Senator Datti Baba-Ahmed, Obi also tasked the incoming administrations at all levels to deal with issues of high youth unemployment, poverty and insecurity, especially in the North, adding that elected leaders must address such critical areas if the country must achieve progress and development.

Also, the Labour Party has urged its supporters and all Nigerians to continue to express their passion, emotions and frustrations within the confines of the law, saying that justice shall prevail in the fullness of time.

The party stated that when this happens, “Nigeria will regain the chance for a new direction, love and trust among our people and true national growth.”

In a statement signed by the party’s chairman, Julius Abure, on Sunday, the party faulted the election that produced Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the President-elect, claiming that it was marred by irregularities.

He said that despite varying serious reports of violence, malfunctioning electoral devices and other hindrances, the voters’ accreditation and voting process was fairly satisfactorily conducted.

He, however, lamented, “After counting of votes, a dark cloud engulfed the nation. It became clear that the correct password to transmit the Presidential Election results, electronically and instantly, from the BVAS to the INEC IREV, had been criminally withheld, contrary to specifications of the law and contrary to repeated emphasis, directives and promises to the nation by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and INEC officials.”

Abure alleged that votes “lawfully cast for the LP candidate were changed and reduced, and added to increase votes cast for Tinubu.”

Abure said the matter, which is now before the presidential petitions tribunal, will be pursued to a logical conclusion.