President Buhari marks first year in office, counts achievements

Ben Adam Shemang

President Muhammadu Buhari is a year old in office having been sworn in on May 29, in 2015.

Rather than roll out the drums with pageantry, it is was marked with a broadcast to the nation on radio and television.

He praised Nigerians for resilience and belief in democracy

“We affirm our belief in democracy as a form of government that best assures the active participation and actual benefit of the people despite the many years of hardship and disappointment the people of this nation have proved inherently good, industrious tolerant, patient and generous”, he said.

The president lamented the dwindling fortunes in the oil sector as the prices have continued to fall thereby affecting the country very badly in terms of development and emphasized that the past governments never saved enough for the rainy day such as this moment the country is witnessing

All the same the president still said he stood by his campaign promises of providing security, fight corruption, and providing employment to Nigerians.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was given the freedom to pursue corrupt officials and the judiciary was alerted on what Nigerians expect of them in the fight against corruption . on the economy, in particular foreign exchange and fuel shortage our plan is to save foreign exchange by fast tracking repair of the refineries and producing most of our requirements at home and by growing more food in Nigeria and mainly  rice, wheat and sugar we will save billions of dollars in foreign exchange and drastically reduce our food import bill.”

Niger Delta

The president said prompt actions would be taken to curtail the sabotage activities going on in the Niger Delta area apart from cleaning up the environment in this oil producing area.

On the Niger delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme Report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the Delta Communities. Re-engineering the Amnesty programme is an example of this . The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not disrupt us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems” .

Even when the president is ready to dialogue with communities leader, he still believes in the usual carrot and stick method of resolving the crisis as he anded this warning to the militants “if the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.”

President Buhari said that the programme known as Labour Intensive Farming Enterprise his be a tonic in revamping the country’s economy as it gears towards an inclusive economic growth, more so, farming would be intensified.

The President singled out women for praise for the  commitment to food security “in this respect I am pleased to announce That the government will shortly be launching the National Women’s Empowerment Fund, which I have approved to provide N1.6b in Micro-finance loans to women across the nation to assist in rehabilitating the economies of reral communities, particularly those impacted by the insurgency and conflicts”

Security

The Nigerian leader paid glowing tribute to the security personnel in the country who are working so hard to ensure there is peace. “I would like to pay special tribute to our gallant men and women of the armed forces who are in harm’s way so that the rest of us can live and go about our business in safely. Their work is almost done, the nation owes them a debt of gratitude

The President promised Nigerians that every effort would be put in place to ensure that the 218 Chibok schoolgirls abducted two years ago are released

The happy president ended his address to the nation thus: “Fellow citizens let me end on a happy note. to the delight of all, two of the abducted Chibok girls have regained their freedom. during the last one year, not a single day passed without my agonizing about these girls. our efforts have centred around negotiations to free them safely from their, mindless, captors. we are still pursuing that course. their safety is of paramount concern to me and I am sure to most Nigerians. I am very worried about the conditions those still captured might be in. today I re-affirm our commitment to rescuing our girls. we will never stop until we bring them home safely. As I said before, no girl should be put through the brutality of forced marriage and every Nigerian girl has the right to an education and a life choice”.