â¢â¢Iâll not disappoint, Tinubu assures
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, gave himself a pat on the back, boasting that he had run a good race and it was time for him to pass the baton.
President Buhari spoke during the investiture of national honours of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) on President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima, respectively.
Besides conferring the national honours on the duo, Buhari also handed the Transition Documents as well as the symbolic Baton of Service over to Tinubu at the event.Â
The investiture of national honours, which took place at the State House Conference Centre, Presidential Villa, Abuja, was part of the programme of events of the 2023 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
President Buhari, who said he had done his part in steering the ship of the country to success and it is now time for him to pass leadership responsibility on to another who would continue with the task, expressed confidence that with Tinubu, Nigeria is in safe hands.
âI would like now to express my deepest gratitude to the Nigerian people for their unwavering support and trust throughout my tenure as President. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve this great nation, and I am confident that Nigeria is in capable hands as we embark on this new chapter.
âI have run a good race, I have finished my course. It is now time for another to take up the baton,â Buhari said.
The President congratulated both Tinubu and Shettima, who had served as governor of Lagos and Borno States, respectively.
President Buhari stated that Tinubu was qualified to lead the nation and continue the legacy of his administration.
âPresident-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you have a long and illustrious track record of public service, marked by your exceptional achievements in various capacities. Your transformative leadership in Lagos State, where you left an indelible mark in the areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare, and economic development, speaks volumes about your dedication to the welfare of the Nigerian people.â
Buhari expressed his deepest gratitude to NigeriansÂ for their unwavering support and trust throughout his tenure, adding, âIt has been an honour and a privilege to serve this great nation, and I am confident that Nigeria is in capable hands as we embark on this new chapter.ââ
While examining some of the challenges before incoming administration, President Buhari advised Asiwaju Tinubu to lead the country with wisdom, courage, and compassion.
President Buhari admitted his the administration was faced with many challenges at inception but he worked hard to tackle hydra-headed issues.
âThis administration from inception has faced security challenges such as insurgency, oil theft, kidnapping as well as corruption which has eaten deep into the system.
âWith the political will and support of many Nigerians, especially our dogged Armed Forces, insurgency, terrorism, and kidnapping have been reduced to their barest minimum while corruption has been tackled headlong.
âDespite the aforementioned challenges, our administration has made economic gains over the years. While acknowledging the turbulent times and global economic meltdown occasioned by the world oil crisis and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy has remained afloat and strong.
âOur administrationâs commitment and determination in infrastructural upliftment of Nigeria have remained unshaken,ââ he added.
As part of his achievements, President Buhari noted that Second Niger Bridge, named after him, had been completed and commissioned.
âI am happy to say that no administration in Nigeriaâs modern history has given so much attention to roads as we have done in the last eight years. In all, we have been able to construct and complete over 8,352.94 kilometers of roads across Nigeria.
âLadies and gentlemen, in spite of the shortfall in the Federal Governmentâs revenue, due to the weakness in the global economy that led to a drop in oil revenue, we have touched on all sectors of the Nigerian economy positively.
âAs we celebrate the monumental infrastructural strides achieved by this Administration, it is pertinent to acknowledge that these transformative endeavors have not only reshaped our physical landscape but have also paved the way for remarkable economic outcomes that reverberate across our nation.
âThe link between infrastructure and economic prosperity is undeniable. It is through the construction of roads, railways, bridges, and other critical assets that we unlock the true potential of our nation, leading to better communication, facilitating trade, and propelling economic growth.â
To avoid a repeat of our 2015 experience,â the President said an Executive Order No. 14 of 2023, had been signed, establishing the legal framework for conducting presidential transitions at the federal level.
He said the Executive Order establishes the Presidential Transition Council chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Ministerial Transition Teams headed by the Permanent Secretaries.
He explained that the primary responsibility of the two ad-hoc bodies was to ensure that every piece of information that will help a new administration get off to a speedy start was made available in a usable format and in a timely manner.
On the transfer of a symbolic baton to Asiwaju Tinubu, President Buhari said that the incoming government would continue with the race of advancing democracy and development.
âThis is a first in the history of our nationâs transition process. To preserve this remarkable history for generations to come, I have directed that the Baton be preserved in the presidential history wing of the National Archives and I hope that President-elect Tinubu and those after him will build on this traditionâ, he added.
â¢Expect knocks on your doors
Meanwhile President-Elect, Tinubu, has stated that he understands the honour given to him and his VP-electÂ and the magnitude of the task ahead.
Tinubu who nicknamed Buhari, Mr. Democrat, said he understands the magnitude of the task ahead, and urged Buhari to expect knocks on his doors whether he is in Daura or Niger Republic, assuring that he will not disappoint.
He said: âIt is a great honour for me to stand before you today, but let me first of all say thank you Mr. President. I can only call you Mr. Democrat. You have bestowed the nationâs highest on my Vice President-elect, Shettima, and me.
âOur deep thanks also for the Transition Documents, which clearly enumerated the efforts of the past eight years. The documents summarize the immense works of your administration. They consist an impressive and noteworthy scorecard. You have made history and no one can deny your contribution to our national development.
âYour devotion to progressive and democratic governance is unassailable. I stand here today, renewed in hope and dedication to our national greatness.
âI also feel full of pride that this moment is our moment and I know what it represents. This stately occasion is proof that Nigeria is a vibrant and true democracy. It confirms that our democratic path is right and nothing will deter us from sticking to it, I assure you.
âOur ways shall not be always smooth, yes, democracy is ârough and tumbleâ, hill and valley, yet we are imbued with faith in our purpose and believe in our collective ability to overcome the challenges that confront us.
âPresident Buhari, you have shown courage in taking tough decisions others avoided. One such decision is to recognize the injustice of the annulment of the 1993 election, to designate June 12 as a Democracy Day and to bestow the nationâs highest honour on late MKO Abiola.
âAs much as anyone could, you reached back into history to set the record straight and heal the festering wound. Thank you. The justice you did in this matter lends special meanings to today.
âThe people have put their trust in us, you have done your part Mr. President, now a great duty will descend on me. I understand the meaning of the honor given to me today and the magnitude of the task that awaits.
âWhether you go to Daura or Niger or anywhere, youâll expect knocks on your doors.
âWe are determined, as enumerated, on security, economy, agriculture, jobs, education, health and power, and in all sectors. We must make headway as youâve charted the course, the people deserve no less. You said so. I shall not disappoint you.â
Before the investiture ceremony, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Transition Council (PTC), had a detailed briefing on the transmitted Transition Documents, which he said included three documents.
According to him, the Transition Documents handed over to the President-elect by Buhari were basically made up of, one, briefing notes on each of the nine priority areas of the outgoing administrationâs focus, two, a compendium of the federal governmentâs priority programmes and projects and three, the status of policies implemented.
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