Here are the highlights of President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on Nigeria’s Independence Day:
October 1st continues to envisage freedom, thanksgiving, reflection, re-dedication, celebration, & remembrance for all Nigerians
Buhari spoke about the journey from 1999 to 2015 when Nigeria returned to democracy when its infrastructure and society were deserted
He said, “the APC Government’s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re-balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric,” & spoke about a future Nigeria being independent of an oil economy.
“We must fight corruption which is Nigeria’s Number One Enemy.”
He spoke about the progress made in political freedom i.e. freedom to associate, to hold and disseminate opinions. “But like all freedoms, this is open to abuse.”
He made references to IPOB saying that Nigeria can’t allow a dismemberment of the nation.
He spoke on his previous service as an Army Officer and said that those who wanted a re-run have “no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict.”
He said that the Government is still in dialogue with Niger Delta Forces to keep the peace.
He said that Nigerians must be grateful to our gallant Armed Forces for fighting Boko Haram’s terrorism & thanked the neighbouring countries and international community for their support.
He spoke on Operation Lafiya Dole’s mobile strike teams in the North East.
He said, “the Government is working round the clock to ensure release of the remaining Chibok girls, as well as other persons in Boko Haram captivity. Government will continue to support the Armed Forces and other security agencies to fight not only terrorism, but kidnapping, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers violence and to ensure peace, stability and security in our country.”
Buhari then spoke on the economy & elaborated on the FG’s Anchor Borrowers Programme as an outstanding success across various states.
He said, “With the abundance of rainfall last year and this year, agriculture has enjoyed Divine intervention.” He then elaborated on the various agricultural & power generation advances made.
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He spoke on the additional support of N1.642 trillion made to states via State Excess Crude Account loans, Budget Support Facility & more.
He spoke on the Government’s N500 Bn Special Intervention Programme via the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, N-Power Job creation & more.
Buhari then went on to speak on the menace of corruption: “We are fully aware that fighting corruption was never going to be a straightforward task. We expected corrupt elements to use any weapon to fight back, mainly judicial obstruction and political diversion. But we are determined to eradicate corruption from our body politic.”
He elaborated on the ways the Govt has fought corruption by empowering prosecutors, assembling detailed databases and recovery of stolen funds.
He also spoke on multi-lateral cooperation agreements on criminal matters with friendly countries & the increasing cooperation from the Judiciary.
He praised the National Assembly for refocusing on its oversight committees adding that they should ensure swift passage of enabling corruption laws.
He added, “But fighting corruption is a bottom to top operation. I call on all Nigerians to combat corruption at every turn. By not asking for and refusing to accept a bribe, by reporting unethical practices or by blowing a whistle, together we can beat corruption.”
Buhari ended with these words: “As we enter the second half of our term of office, we intend to accelerate progress and intensify our resolve to fix the country’s challenges and problems. Thank you and a happy holiday to all of you. God bless our country.”