October 23, 2018
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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to focus on what unites them and promised to work tirelessly for the country’s unity.


The President said this in his Independence Day anniversary address to the nation on Monday.

As the country turns 58, the President believes it is on the right part, despite challenges, with much worth celebrating.

“As we celebrate the 58th Anniversary of our independence, we know we are on the right path. Although we have our differences, they count for far less than the values, virtues and common aspirations that unite us as a nation,” he said.

“We have so much for which we should be grateful, and in which we should rightly take pride. Our journey is not finished but we have come a long way.”

READ ALSO: President Buhari’s Full Independence Day Speech

During the speech, the third Independence Day address by the President since he rose to power in 2015, he spoke about several issues, including security, the economy, social development, environmental degradation, and the 2019 general elections.

He also pledged to work towards achieved a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria where all can succeed.

“I want to assure you that as President, I will continue to work tirelessly to promote, protect and preserve what really matters: a united, peaceful, prosperous and secure Nigeria, where all, irrespective of background, can aspire to succeed,” President Buhari said.

‘Youths Play A Central Role’

As his first term draws to a close, President Buhari who is seeking another term in office stressed that progress has been made in the war against insurgency, the herdsmen/farmers crisis, diversifying the economy and more with youths at the centre of the drive.

He said, “At the forefront, have always been our youths. They have been at the vanguard of the struggle for independence. They fought in the war to keep the country united. And it was they who kept alive the struggle for democracy and human rights in our country at times when these were at risk, especially following the June 12th, 1993 election and the historic 2015 election process.

“Even today, our youths play a central role in Nigeria’s continuing progress and developments in all fields of our national endeavour – technology, agriculture, mining, engineering and especially creative arts. Together, we are building a more diverse, inclusive and self-reliant economy.”

As a result, the President said his administration had, in the past three years, introduced many policies and programmes targeted at youth development and youth empowerment.

“We support the ‘not too young to run’ legislation aimed at giving the youths greater say in our national politics and governance,” he said.

“The school feeding programme in primary schools is aimed at encouraging enrolment and attendance. We are building on what we have already introduced to support schools and universities to which funds have recently been released for the upgrade of facilities, training programs for our entrepreneurs, and rehabilitation schemes for victims of terrorism and human trafficking.”

Although the President hailed the impact of technology, he warned disruptive and corrosive forces bent on misusing the social media.

‘Steady Improvement’ In Security

After years of fighting an insurgency that has left thousands dead and displaced millions in the North East, President Buhari informed Nigerians that the country’s armed forces and security agencies have been recording steady improvement.

“There has been a steady improvement in the security situation in the North East. We remain committed to ending the crisis and make the North East safe for all,” he said.

For those who fell victims to Boko Haram, the President vowed to prevent the terrorist group from achieving its evil goals.

He said, “Our thoughts and prayers are always with the victims of the Boko Haram’s atrocities and their families. Beyond that, we know that the goals of the Boko Haram terrorists include capturing territories, destroying our democracy and denying our children the right to education. We will not allow them to succeed.”

President Buhari reserved special praise for members of the Nigerian Armed Forces and other security agencies who have battled the terrorists and defended the country.

He noted that the brave men and women had been “working under the most difficult conditions to keep the country safe”, and many of them have made the supreme sacrifice”.

“As their Commander-In-Chief, I assure these our gallant men and women that I will continue to empower them by deepening their professionalism and providing all the necessary force multipliers and enablers required for them to prevail on the field,” he added.

“I am looking into all reported cases of inadequacies in relation to their entitlements, their welfare and those of their families.”

Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency, the President also provided an update about the herders/farmers clashes, which has also ravaged communities, displaced thousands and left hundreds dead.

“The age-long conflict between herders and farmers that was being exploited by those seeking to plant the seeds of discord and disunity amongst our people, is being addressed decisively,” he said.

“We will sustain and continue to support the commendable efforts by all including civil society organisations, local and states governments and our traditional and religious leaders in finding durable solution to this problem.”

As part of efforts to solve the problem, President Buhari said the Federal Government was working with countries in the region facing similar challenges.

He, however, warned that those behind the violence and killings won’t go unpunished and urged Nigerians to reject ethnic or religious coloration to the conflict.

He said, “I must warn that the perpetrators of murder and general mayhem in the name of defending or protecting herders or farmers will face the full wrath of the law. Meanwhile, we urge all peace-loving Nigerians to reject any simplistic portrayal, at home or abroad, of this conflict as either religious or ethnic-based.”

Things Of The Past

Concerning the country’s economy, which had slipped in an out of recession under his tenure, President Buhari explained that the objective was diversification and blocking leakages.

He said, “We are diversifying away from reliance on oil to increased manufacturing capacity, solid minerals development, and agriculture.

“We are making progress in the fight against corruption and recovery of stolen public funds and assets despite vicious and stiff resistance.

“The shameful past practice, of the brazen theft of billions of Naira is no more. Shady oil deals and public contracts that were never delivered have become things of the past.”

After more than three years of implementing his plans for the economy, the President believes there are positive results for Nigerians to see.

“Consequently, and this is very evident across the country, we have done more with less in infrastructural developments.

“Roads, railways, major bridges, schools, energy and power, air and seaports, welfare of serving and retired personnel both civilian and military including payment of legacy debt such as pension arrears, have been attended to,” he said.

Other aspects of the economy that the President is happy about is the business environment, the stability of the naira and the inflation rate.

He said, “There is now an enabling environment for local and foreign investment in Nigeria. We are building a rules-based system – a level playing field that is free from fixers and intermediaries.

“This is the cornerstone to help genuine investors and honest consumers, and the platform that will allow for the real reforms that we intend to deliver over the coming years.

“We are gradually strengthening the economy with a stable Naira and falling inflation rate. We are building an economy that is moving away from over-reliance on oil. Consequently, we have witnessed a massive return to farms and seen bumper harvest, despite recurrent floods across the country.”

He attributed the progress listed to “collective pursuit of a common vision through hard work and dedication, after the missed opportunities and disappointments that followed the return to democracy in 1999.”

Sunday Akinseye

is the Lifestyle Editor at dkmngr. he is a blogger, and social media addict.