In his farewell address as President, Muhammadu Buhari expressed his apologies to Nigerians for the difficult choices he made during his eight-year tenure that brought about pain and suffering. He also claimed that he is leaving Nigeria in a better state than when he assumed office in 2015.
President Buhari expressed grief over the inability of his administration to rescue all children still in captivity and conveyed his condolences to the parents and relatives of those who lost loved ones due to senseless violence.
Highlighting that this address marked his final assignment as President, Buhari endorsed Bola Tinubu, the President-elect, as the best candidate in the recent presidential election held on February 25.
Addressing the hardships faced by Nigerians as a result of his policies, the outgoing President stated, “In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologize to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the overall good of the country.”
President Buhari expressed his ongoing concern for the children still in captivity and reiterated the commitment of security agencies to secure their safe release. He emphasized the progress made during his term in reducing incidents of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery, and other criminal activities.
As he prepares to retire to his hometown of Daura in Katsina State, President Buhari expressed his sense of fulfillment in initiating the process of Nigeria’s rebirth and expressed confidence that the incoming administration would expedite the nation’s progress towards becoming a great nation. He stated, “I am convinced that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.”
Former lawmaker Shehu Sani listed the failures of the outgoing President, highlighting the lack of economic direction, a failed security system, a large number of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and the absence of restructuring in the country. Sani suggested that President Buhari may not want Tinubu to outperform his own tenure.
Most Reverend Lucius Ugorji, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), scored President Buhari poorly in terms of security, while commending him for infrastructure projects such as the completion of the Second Niger Bridge and the approval of the newly established Lux Mundi University in Abia State.
The Eagle Square, the venue for the presidential inauguration, underwent renovations ahead of the event. The square, with a seating capacity of 5,000, has been a significant location for presidential inaugurations since 1999.
Ahead of Bola Tinubu’s swearing-in as President-elect, Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate, urged his supporters to remain calm and law-abiding, emphasizing the importance of unity, peace, and the country’s security. The Labour Party also called on Nigerians to express their emotions within the bounds of the law, expressing confidence that justice would prevail.
The concerns raised by Shehu Sani and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria highlight the challenges faced by Nigeria in areas such as security, economy, and social welfare. The incoming administration will be tasked with addressing these issues to ensure progress and development for the nation.[logo-slider]