Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari last night in Abuja pledged to hand over to the next administration a strong, diversified, agriculture-focused and repositioned national economy, a stable democracy and a revamped armed and security forces.
Speaking at a dinner honoring the 2022 Committee of Business, Politics, Media and Civil Society Leaders, the President said he looked forward to completing his term in 2023, leaving a legacy for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria with 24 years. of uninterrupted democracy.
Assuring Nigerians that his administration will finish strong in the final round of his term, the President said:
“A statement released by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity quoted Buhari as saying, ‘I am gradually entering my final year in office. It is a period that I intend to devote not only to consolidating the achievements of the past seven years, but also to leaving a legacy for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
“I take this initiative to signify that you all intend to collaborate with this administration in this direction.
“For those of you who are politicians, you need to look beyond gaining power, to how you can leverage public positions in the process of societal change. For men and women of There is great glory in public service among you.
“The question that should always be most important is: how do we leverage our trade endowment for the greater good of our country?
“I am delighted that members of the Nigerian elite have realized that the task of changing this society is a task for all of us, whether we are in the private or public sector. Knowing this, we have enormous challenges as a nation, but they are not beyond our ability to overcome if we take a new approach.
“We cannot retreat into our ethnic cocoons, nor continue to seek solace in our past. We must uphold the idea of a Nigeria where every citizen would be proud to call their own. waits.”
Welcoming the new awareness of Nigerian elites to work with the political class and civil society to build a better Nigeria, President Buhari noted that building consensus around issues of economy, national security, governance and other critical areas of national life is a sure path to the future we seek to build.
“As we all know, I have been very critical of the Nigerian elites, basically because some of us have not always demonstrated that we can rise above personal gain, partisanship political as well as ethnic and religious differences when the situation demands that we all speak and/or act as one in the interest of our country.
“There are also many among our elites for whom profit remains the sole motivation of any business.
“But now I feel encouraged that a more collaborative social enterprise model for solving our common challenges is being forged.
“I must commend this initiative and its organizers. This is the kind of spirit that I have always advocated because this is what we need at this time as we seek to build our society for peace, security and prosperity through dialogue while reducing the gap between rich and poor.”
Regarding the activities of the Committee, the President acknowledged that he was aware that the participation in their inaugural meeting on Sunday cut across a wide section of society in the public, private, civil society and youth sectors.
The president praised the group for rising above all ethnic and religious divides for the common good, calling the feat “fantastic”.
The Chair, who said he wished the group had met sooner, advised them to try to accommodate a few additional interests at their next meeting as they dig deeper into our national challenges and come up with workable solutions and sustainable for the near, medium, and long term.”
“We want to finish strong over the next 16 months and ensure that everyone is on deck for the final round. We are redoubling our efforts against all forms of insecurity, equipping our armed forces and strengthening the police.
“We are determined to continue the war on corruption and fight poverty, we remain focused on building an inclusive economic opportunity for all citizens.”
The president told the meeting that despite the huge problems inherited from taking office nearly seven years ago, he can look back with satisfaction that this administration has kept faith with the people and has done well even in the midst of dwindling resources for reasons that are far beyond our control.
“But we probably would have done even better if we had the support of most of you who are here today, know that while the government comes and goes, the country must stay and thrive.”
President Buhari took the opportunity to wish the best to politicians over dinner interested in elective positions in the 2023 polls, saying that “there is nothing better than experience when it comes to leadership”.
Responding to concerns raised by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State over the resurgence of military coups in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso in August 2020, September 2021 and January 2022, respectively, the President said that he firmly believed that “Nigeria has come through this stage for good.”
Regarding the political situation in some West African countries, Fayemi said:
“We believe that Nigeria has a clear destiny to protect democracy not only in Nigeria but also in our region. But in doing so, we must ensure that our politicians strictly adhere to constitutional principles and I am glad that the position of our on leaders running for a third term is well known.”
Giving more information on the functioning of the Committee, Governor Fayemi said that Nigerians who have benefited the country in due time, serving in different capacities, have a duty to support the country.
“What the Committee has tried to do is develop an elite consensus on security and economics,” he said.
He said the Committee would leverage the President’s consistent leadership, relentless passion and patriotism to ensure a smooth transition, while ensuring that the achievements of this administration are sustained and continued for the benefit of the country.
“Here we have PDP and APC leaders and we hope that when we finish this work, what we present to the president will be devoid of partisan stains. It comes from people who want Nigerians to succeed.”
Group organizer and chairman of THISDAY/ARISE Media Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, said Nigeria was facing a “historic transition like no other”, and with the crisis across Africa and at home, the 2022 Committee emerged to “defend the national interest”. “
“The 2022 Committee was set up to defend Nigeria in times of crisis and in times of transition we must defend the national interest,” he said, noting that the members of the group were carefully selected from among the business community, investors, governors, the security sector and seasoned statesmen.