President Muhammadu Buhari in the early hours of Monday, October 1, addressed Nigerians as part of the celebration of the country’s 58th Independence Day anniversary. The president in his speech talked about many critical issues concerning the nation.
Legit.ng in this piece extracts and summarises the major issues President Buhari talked about in his Independence Day anniversary speech.
1. The essence of freedom
President Buhari, in his speech, appreciated Nigeria’s 58 years existence as a sovereign nation and gave kudos to the “founding fathers who laboured so hard and sacrificed so much to build and bequeath to us this wonderful nation”.
2. The need to be more united ahead of the 2019 general elections
The president noted that this year’s Independence Day celebration is the last before the general election in 2019 and therefore used the opportunity to call on Nigerians to be more united ahead of the polls.
3. Security/Boko Haram
President Buhari said there “has been a steady improvement in the security situation in the northeast and restated his administration’s commitment to “ending the crisis and make the northeast safe for all”.
He commiserated with the victims of Boko Haram insurgents and their families and reiterated that his administration will not allow the deadly insurgents achieve their goals, which according to him, include “capturing territories, destroying our democracy and denying our children the right to education”.
4. Tribute to Nigerian soldiers and other security agencies
President Buhari in the Independence Day speech also paid tribute to the men and women of the armed forces, the police and other security and law enforcement agencies, who have been working under the most difficult conditions to keep the country safe.
He assured the security agencies of continued empowerment through professional training, adequate payment of entitlements and other welfare packages.
5. Economy/foreign investment
The president also gave an account of what his administration is doing to improve the economy. He stated that his government is “diversifying away from reliance on oil to increased manufacturing capacity, solid minerals development, and agriculture”.
President Buhari added that with his administration's economic reforms, there is now an enabling environment for local and foreign investment in Nigeria.
6. Niger Delta clean up
Oil exploration has over the years caused serious environmental problems for the people of the Niger Delta region of the country.
President Buhari said his administration is on course “to clean up polluted lands, restore hopes of the youths in the region and re-establish livelihoods, and strengthen their capacity to guarantee for themselves and for our country a brighter future”.
7. Herdsmen/farmers conflict
He also talked about the herdsmen-farmers conflict which is posing a great threat to the peace of the country. He restated his administration’s commitment to partner with relevant civil society organisations to find lasting solutions to the crisis.
8. Environmental degradation
President Buhari noted that Nigeria is one of the countries in the world most affected by environmental degradation which is a consequence of climate change. He stated his government's efforts to address the challenges, adding that he “will continue to mobilise international support for our efforts in this regard”.
9. Anti-corruption fight
The president also talked about corruption which is one of the cardinal programmes of his administration. He said his administration is “making progress in the fight against corruption and recovery of stolen public funds and assets despite vicious and stiff resistance”.
10. Infrastructural development
He said that despite the financial challenges his administration faces, he has been able to do “more with less in infrastructural developments”.
“Roads, railways, major bridges, schools, energy and power, air and seaports, welfare of serving and retired personnel both civilian and military including payment of legacy debt such as pension arrears, have been attended to,” the president said.
11. The roles of the Nigerian youths
President Buhari noted that the Nigerian youths play vital roles in the development of the country. He said that the youths are playing a central role in “Nigeria’s continuing progress and developments in all fields of our national endeavour –technology, agriculture, mining, engineering and especially the creative arts”.
The president said his administration is youth-friendly, recalling his support for the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill which he recently signed into law.
12. School Feeding Programme
He also talked about the school feeding programme in primary schools initiated by his administration. He said the programme is aimed at encouraging enrolment and attendance.
13. Social media
President Buhari cautioned that Nigerians should use the social media for knowledge and understanding rather than abusing the technology.
He said: “Never before have we faced such a challenge. We must all rise to the responsibility of shutting out those disruptive and corrosive forces that hide in today’s world of social media. We need critical minds and independent thinking, to question and question until we are satisfied we have the facts. Otherwise, all the progress we have made as a democracy since 1999 is at stake.”
14. Free and fair elections
President Buhari also expressed his commitment to conducting free and fair elections. He stated that he has committed himself many times to “ensure that elections are fully participatory, free and fair and that the Independent National Electoral Commission will be exactly INDEPENDENT and properly staffed and resourced”.
15. International relations
President Buhari said Nigeria remains “a responsible and respected member of the international community, playing active positive roles within ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations as well as all other regional and international organisations and institutions of which we are members”.
Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that Monday, October 1, 2018, was declared as a public holiday by the federal government, in commemoration of Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary.
The announcement was made on Thursday, September 27, by the minister of interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.).
How Nigerians celebrated the 57th Independence anniversary in Umuahia - on Legit.ng TV: