President Buhari Apologizes for Hardships, Expresses Confidence in Nigeria’s Future in Farewell Address

Outgoing President Buhari Leaves Office, Praises Nigeria's Democratic Progress and Acknowledges Challenges Faced

In his final address as the democratically elected President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari offered his apologies to the Nigerian people for the hardships caused by certain decisions made during his eight-year tenure. However, he expressed his conviction that he is leaving the nation in a better state than he found it.

President Buhari Apologizes for Hardships, Expresses Confidence in Nigeria's Future in Farewell Address
Muhammadu Buhari

In a broadcast delivered this morning, President Buhari expressed gratitude to God, appreciation to the Nigerian people, and a sense of accomplishment. He emphasized that the nation had embarked on a journey of reformation and believed that the incoming administration would accelerate Nigeria’s progress towards becoming a great nation.

President Buhari paid tribute to President-elect Bola Tinubu, whom he referred to as his “brother, friend, and fellow worker” in politics over the past decade. He congratulated Tinubu on realizing his dream of placing Nigeria among the leading nations of the world. Buhari expressed confidence in Tinubu’s abilities and his commitment to excellence, fairness, and the desire for Nigeria to attain global relevance.

The following is an excerpt from President Buhari’s address:

“My fellow Nigerian brothers, sisters, and friends of Nigeria,

“Today, in my final assignment as the democratically elected President of our great nation, I address you with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people, and a modest sense of fulfillment.

“We celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another, further solidifying and advancing Nigeria’s democracy.

“Our democracy has witnessed the most keenly contested Presidential Elections since the first Republic, demonstrating that our democratic processes are improving and becoming more entrenched with each election.

“As a nation, we must continue to build upon and sustain the progress we have made incrementally in our electoral system, to ensure that Nigeria rightfully takes its place among the community of nations.

“Our democracy allows for seeking redress for perceived injustices, which enabled some candidates and political parties to challenge the election results in court. Regardless of the outcomes of these cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decisions of our courts and unite to build a better Nigeria.

“I salute the determination and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for demonstrating faith in our judicial system by pursuing their grievances through the legal process.

“Throughout the campaign, we argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better, but we never doubted that Nigeria had to be better.

“As your President, I call upon all of us to harness the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, and the conviction of our beliefs to build a better Nigeria together, with one spirit and one purpose.

“To my brother, friend, and fellow worker in the political arena for the past ten years, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I congratulate you on realizing your dream of propelling Nigeria among the leading nations of the world. Your tireless efforts have been crowned by divine grace. I have no doubt that your commitment to excellence, fairness, equity, loyalty to our country, and desire for Nigeria’s global relevance will guide you as you lead our country to even greater heights.

“You are the best candidate among all the contestants, and Nigerians have made a wise choice.

“During the past eight years, my desire and commitment have been to witness a Nigeria in which public goods and services are accessible within a united, peaceful, and secure nation.

“Fellow Nigerians, with your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I embarked on this journey with a great promise and high expectations. I did not intend to merely follow political correctness, but rather to do what was right and make a meaningful impact on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.

This high expectation was not misplaced because, like every Nigerian, I had grown weary of witnessing our country deviate from the path of righteousness.

To ensure the resilience of our democracy and the accountability of our elected representatives, I leave behind an electoral process that guarantees the validity of votes, fair and transparent elections, and a significant reduction in the influence of money in politics. This empowers Nigerians to elect leaders of their choice.

We have already witnessed the positive outcomes of these reforms, as they provided a level playing field where candidates without political godfathers or access to vast resources defeated their well-funded opponents.

Our economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies we implemented to navigate global economic downturns. We all remember the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2022. Our swift response to the pandemic became a global best practice.

Furthermore, we enhanced the livelihoods of the poor and rural Nigerians, ensuring food security and creating opportunities for women to earn a living. We supported young men and women in urban areas to utilize their skills productively. The private sector proved to be a strong partner in building a resilient and sustainable economy, as evidenced by numerous successful projects across various sectors.

Revamping the economy required making difficult choices, some of which led to temporary hardships. I sincerely apologize to my fellow countrymen for the challenges they faced, but these measures were necessary for the greater good of our nation.

Recognizing the need for robust infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed long-standing projects such as the Petroleum Industry Act, power projects, the Second Niger Bridge, and vital road networks connecting cities and states.

Our relentless battle against corruption, which has consistently impeded our progress as a nation, yielded substantial results. We successfully repatriated significant sums of money and recovered properties illegally acquired from our common wealth.

To improve service delivery, we initiated reforms aimed at creating an efficient, productive, incorruptible, and citizen-oriented federal civil service. The early signs of progress are evident.

On the international stage, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow, with notable Nigerians occupying leadership positions in renowned global bodies.

Our democracy thrives on the principles of separation of powers, and I express my appreciation to the National Assembly for their patriotic role as a check on the executive arm of government.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the countless Nigerians who supported and encouraged me throughout this remarkable journey of moving Nigeria forward.

I will never forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term. I continue to pray for you and for Nigeria’s prosperity.

As I return home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have initiated the rebirth of Nigeria by taking crucial initial steps. I am confident that the incoming administration will accelerate our progress toward realizing Nigeria’s destiny as a great nation.

I am proud to say that I am leaving office in 2023 with Nigeria in a better state than it was in 2015.

Thank you all, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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