Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu says there is great hope for the nation.
He made the declaration in his inaugural speech, after taking his oath of office as the 16th democratically elected President of Nigeria.
Addressing Nigerians on Monday from the Eagle Square Abuja, where he was sworn in, Tinubu said the country has gone through a lot but life shall be better for citizens.
He said: “The day is bright and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation. As a nation, we have long ago decided to march beyond the dimness of night into the open day of renewed national hope.
“In its over 60 years of history, Nigeria has endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble, but for its resilience and strength of its diversity, the country has remained intact.
“To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.”
The President stated that the smooth transition from Muhammadu Buhari to the Bola Tinubu-led administration speaks volumes about the desire of Nigerians to sustain democracy.
“The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be,” he said.
This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/n1B23nuERL
— Bola Ahmed Tinubu (@officialABAT) May 29, 2023
President Tinubu solicited the support of all Nigerians to move the country forward.
“I appeal to you to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality,” the President stated.
Furthermore, he enjoined citizens to bury political differences and join him on a new journey of healing, nation-building and economic prosperity.
He said: “Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never break us.
Instead, we stand forth as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the Black Race.
As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, NIGERIA SHALL EXIST.
“Over six decades ago, our founding fathers gave bravely of themselves to place Nigeria on the map as an independent nation.
“We must never allow the labour of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality. Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.
“Today, let us recommit ourselves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.”
President Tinubu who was symbolically dressed in the national colours of green and white, charged Nigerians to not allow the opportunity for a greater development of the country to slip away.
“Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.
“The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.
“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your President, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all,” President Tinubu said.
The President described the election that brought him to power as tough but fairly won and dedicated his victory to the country with a promise to do his all to advance its progress.
“This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria,” he said.
He explained that though he fought hard to win the February 2023 Presidential election, the win does not make him any more Nigerian than his opponents, who he pledged to relate with as compatriots.
“The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic,” he said.
The President praised his opponents in the election for toeing the line of peace by seeking redress in court.
“They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore. They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law,” he added.
On the economy, President Tinubu said his administration would target a higher GDP growth and significantly reduce unemployment.
He promised to offer budgetary reform that would stimulate the economy without engendering inflation.
“Industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency and electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike.
“Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved. We will encourage states to develop local sources as well,” he said.
On security, he said it will be a top priority and more funds would be invested in the sector.
“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence. To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE.
“We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide better training, equipment, pay and firepower,” he pledged.
He also pledged to tackle unemployment, in line with his campaign promise of one million new jobs in the digital economy.
He said: “Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.”
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by world leaders and diplomats.
Also present were former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon, former President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as well as serving and former Governors and many more.