PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari delivered his last New Year message to Nigerians as their leader.
The message was the president’s eighth New Year’s address since taking office on May 29, 2019, following his unprecedented and historic victory over the incumbent Chairman Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking on various topics, ranging from the economy, security, infrastructure and anti-corruption campaign to the nation’s nascent democracy and the need to further cement the country’s fragile unity, Buhari said he offered the best to the country.
“I offer my own personal congratulations, taking into account the various opinions and interpretations of our executive legacies.
“I welcome and accept both praise and criticism in equal measure, secure in the conviction that I did my best to serve our beloved country Nigeria and I pray that the next president will also take up the baton and continue the race to do Nigerian. one of the main countries in the world at the end of this century”, affirmed the President.
Describing his speech as a farewell, Buhari said his eight-year term of four years each “must necessarily come to an end.”
Buhari reiterated his pledge to ensure free, fair and credible elections when Nigerians go to the polls in February and March 2023 to choose a new president and other leaders.
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He called on citizens, especially the electorate and politicians, to behave in an acceptable manner before the law.
The president promised to ensure that anyone who tries to undermine the electoral process will face the full weight of the law.
He also called on citizens to support security agencies with intelligence to help in their operations against criminals and others whose activities threaten the peace and unity of the country.
Buhari bragged about the ability of his government success against insurgency in the Northeast, banditry in the Northwest, and the general defeat of criminals by security forces throughout the country.
According to him, more than 82,000 insurgents with their families surrendered to the Nigerian army.
He pointed to the resumption of the Abuja-Kaduna train attacked this year by insurgents as one of the successes recorded by his government.
Achievements of the #EndSARS protest
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The president explained that the October 2020 #EndSARS protests across the country were paying off with expected reforms in the Nigerian police force.
The reform, he pointed out, is based on the Presidential Vision for the Police in the country.
He said that his government framed the vision in a roadmap that transcends the mandate of his administration, and the vision is based on six principles, namely:
- Building trust and legitimacy.
- Leadership, Responsibility and Supervision.
- Technology and digital media d) Community Policing and Crime Reduction.
- Training and education of officers.
- Funding, Welfare, Welfare and Safety of Officials.
“This reform program is in its pivotal phase, but it has registered notable successes in improving police welfare and pay.
“Other gains have been the continued training of 500 police cadet trainers to allow for a better training regimen for the first batch of 10,000 new cadets from 2022 with an additional 10,000 set for 2023.”
He said the government was providing police with equipment, welfare and other requirements to make them compete with their peers around the world.
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Buhari pledged to focus on maintaining and building economic growth through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the goal of national food self-sufficiency.
He said that the government also prioritized the construction of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the maintenance of the increase in non-oil GDP.
The President identified Nigeria’s Start-up Act as a big step in boosting job creation and supporting the entrepreneurial drive of the country’s youth.
He said that despite the negative effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, the nation had managed rising global inflation and subsidized energy costs to protect households.
the ICIR reports that with five months remaining to the end of his government, the president promised to consolidate the delivery of key strategic priorities under the “SEA” (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption) agenda in which he came to power in 2015.
On security, he said the government would continue to engage, roll back and dismantle the operations of internal and external criminal and extremist groups waging war against the nation.
The president said the government’s “ongoing infrastructure revolution” will see it hand over key national projects in energy, railways, highways, ports and technology.
The President affirmed that of 117 convictions in 2017, his government achieved 3,615 convictions in corruption cases as of December 31.
Describing the effort as a record in the fight against corruption in the country, the president reaffirmed his promise to rid the country of all forms of corruption.
the ICIR reports that while many Nigerians view Buhari’s nearly eight years of leadership as a huge failure, others believe he gave his best as he said.
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