President Muhamamdu Buhari says he is happy he will soon leave, as his tenure gradually comes to an end.
He made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja, after the investiture of President-elect Bola Tinubu, as the Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, as Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
He said: “I have run a good race, I have finished my course. It is now time for another to take up the baton.’’
The investiture of the President-elect and Vice President-elect sets the pace for their swearing into office on Monday, May 29th, 2023, drawing a curtain on the eight-year administration of President Buhari, who served two terms, from 2015-2023.
The President congratulated both political leaders, who had served as Governor of Lagos and Borno States, respectively.
“I extend my warmest congratulations to the President-elect, on his well-deserved victory at the February 25th, 2023 Presidential elections. The Nigerian people have recognized your leadership qualities, political acumen, and passion to serve our great nation, and have entrusted you with the burden of governing our beloved country.
“I have no doubt that Nigeria will continue to thrive and achieve new heights under your leadership. You were the best candidate at the elections and Nigerians have chosen wisely.
“I equally extend my congratulations to the Vice President-elect. Your wealth of experience in governance, your unwavering commitment to the well-being of the Nigerian people, and your exemplary leadership during challenging times as Governor of Borno State, have made you a deserving candidate for this position. I have full confidence that you will serve our nation with utmost dedication and integrity.
“In accordance with the Honours Award Act, 1963, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, (LFN), 2004, Presidents/Heads of State receive the Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) while the Vice Presidents are awarded the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
“Today, with the authority vested in me, as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have conferred the National Honour of GCFR on His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu and that of the GCON on His Excellency Kashim Shettima respectively.” He stated.
President Buhari noted that Tinubu had the experience and capacity to lead the country, carrying on the legacy of his administration.
“President-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,” the President stated.
Today, with the authority vested in me as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I conferred the National Honour of GCFR on His Excellency @officialABAT, and the GCON on His Excellency @KashimSM. pic.twitter.com/L0RyRrK1ui
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) May 25, 2023
President Buhari expressed his deepest gratitude to Nigerians for their unwavering support and trust throughout his tenure, adding “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.’’
While examining some of the challenges before the incoming administration, President Buhari advised Tinubu to lead the country with wisdom, courage, and compassion.
President Buhari said the administration was faced with many challenges at inception and worked hard to tackle hydra-headed issues.
“This administration from inception has faced security challenges such as insurgency, oil theft, kidnapping as well as corruption which has eaten deep into the system.
“With 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.
“Despite 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.
“Our administration’s commitment and determination in infrastructural upliftment of Nigeria have remained unshaken,’’ he stated.
As part of his achievements, President Buhari noted that Second Niger Bridge, named President Muhammadu Buhari, had been completed and commissioned.
“I am happy to say that no administration in Nigeria’s 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 kilometres of roads across Nigeria.
“Ladies and gentlemen, despite the shortfall in the federal government’s 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.
“As we celebrate the monumental infrastructural strides achieved by this Administration, it is pertinent to acknowledge that these transformative endeavours have not only reshaped our physical landscape but have also paved the way for remarkable economic outcomes that reverberate across our nation.
“The 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,’’ he said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, reeled out the achievements of the administration in eight years and explained the three documents that were handed over, and the historic baton.