Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:16 am
President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerians Thursday morning to roll out the drums in celebration of the country’s 55th year of independence from the British colonialists, despite the hardship that the citizens are going through.
He said the nation had failed to realise its full potentials because of one factor: its inability to exploit the commodity called “unity of purpose”.
“We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not there yet because the one commodity we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress.
‘‘Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.
‘‘Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate.”
For the umpteenth time, Buhari paid tribute to former President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat in the March 28 election.
“We have witnessed this year a sea change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system.
“Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President (Goodluck) Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences,” he said.
He assured Nigerians that his government was not persecuting anybody but said all must be ready to account for their deeds.
“I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me”, he said.
“We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view, to join me in working for the nation.”
He spoke about his government’s efforts to address the salary crisis in the states;
“At an early stage, the Federal Government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.”
The President also spoke about the delay in announcing ministers and forming a cabinet.
“Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. We received the handover notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over. Consequently, the (Ahmed) Joda Transition Committee submitted its report on the reorganisation of Federal Government structure after studying the handover notes.
“It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalised the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.
“Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course.”