Connect with us

Politics

JUNE 12 : Security and Welfare of Nigerians remain my Priority – President Buhari on Democracy Day

Published

on

President Buhari says he remains resolute to keep Nigeria as one indivisible entity. He added that he is committed to defending Nigeria’s corporate existence as a nation.

The president stated this during his nationwide broadcast on Saturday June 12 to mark the 2021 Democracy Day.

The President said the security and welfare of Nigerians are  his top priority.

Full Text:

Fellow Nigerians,

I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day. It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.

As with all democracies we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation-state to be reckoned with globally.

In the last two years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.

The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.

Once again, I want to render my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant servicemen and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.

I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our countrymen, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.

I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnapped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.

Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.
Fellow Nigerians,

When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with.

We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.

We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.

We are, at the same time addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.

Interventions led by the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.

In the Agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23billion in 2014 to US$0.59billion by the end of 2018.

Rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually.

This initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava. The government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

Several other initiatives, namely AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.

In the manufacturing sector the CBN – BOI N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention Facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.

The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90% to the GDP growth in Q1 2021.

Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021. This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government.

My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part. We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.

Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.

I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.

As at the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions. I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.

We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Fellow Nigerians, our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.

I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.

The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations.

We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian. Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy.

My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public-Private-Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy. These four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.

We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years. Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.

As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector.

Dear Nigerians, I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.

I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.
39. In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.

Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns. You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro-active measures put in place. Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed.

We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods.

During the pandemic, we disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID.

At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation.

In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.

Fellow Nigerians,When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.

In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population.

While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.

As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.

 

Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger. The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.

As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s Corporate existence.

In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.

I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.

My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.

I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.

Happy Democracy Day! God Bless us All, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Continue Reading

Politics

Issue Based Campaign: I Agree with Tinubu – Obi

Published

on

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, has thrown his weight behind the call by Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu for the campaign, whenever it starts, to be based on issues and not personality. Obi was reacting to the call by Tinubu, through his campaign organization, for the candidates and their supporters to base their electioneering on issues that would, in their words, “advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria”.

A statement signed by Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said the statement by APC advising candidates to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates,” exactly mirrored what Obi had propagated over the years.

He said if supporters were mindful of this, some articles published in some newspapers against Obi would not have been published, including those with offensive titles.

On the alleged fake Letter from the President of Ghana and the alleged request of 50 Billion Naira monthly payment, Obienyem said that while Obi was not bothered about their authenticity, it was wickedness to link them to his supporters, insisting that any publication from Obi’s group was always properly signed and the place it was coming from very clearly spelt out.

Obienyem also described as the height of mischief, the attempt to link his campaign to IPOB. In his words: “We know that things are not well in Nigeria. We know of the agitations in different parts of the country, our principal has always said what he would do with such organizations to stop their agitation and bring then back to Nigeria as one happy family. Rather than others say what they will do, they are here creating more problems by trying vainly and wickedly to link their follow contestants to some of those organisations.”

He expressed happiness that Nigerians knew the truth and that such gimmicks used to deceive them would no longer work.

Concluding, Obienyem said that right from Obi’s position as the Governor, he was not known for the habit of attacking people or building lies against others. Obienyem said Obi’s disposition was contrary to those of some of his opponents, whom, he said, actually originated most of those fake news, published them under false names and turned round to ascribe them to Obi or his supporters.

Continue Reading

Politics

Northern Christians Reject APC’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket

Published

on

** Say it is an agenda to Economically, Politically Marginalise Northern Christians

As Lawal, Dogara , others rally Northern Christians to reject Tinubu/Shettima joint Muslim-Muslim ticket

AHEAD of 2023 general and Presidential elections, Northern Christians have rejected in totality the Muslim/ Ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC that has produced Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the Presidential candidate and Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate, describing the action as an agenda to economically and olitically marginalise Northern Christians.

The decision which was taken Friday at Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja during the APC Northern Christians Leader Summit in conjunction with Christians from the north is a serious indication that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate Sen Shettima Kashim would face the herculean task convincing christains of northern extraction to vote for them in the 2023 poll.

The Christian leaders have vowed that no Christian would vote for the present arrangement of the APC

Speaking as the Chairman of the event which has Christians drawn from the Nineteen Northern States, former Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Engr Babachir Lawal who noted that the Muslim-Muslim ticket was an extension of the exclusion of christains from the scheme of things in the country, however stressed that the measure would disrupt the peace and social development of the country, he argued that the Muslim-Muslim ticket remains part of the subterranean plot to Islamise the country.

Babachir who gave a detailed reference of the marginalisation of christains in the APC NWC, Federal executive council (FEC), state and federal owned institutions of learnings in the country, charged christains in not only the north but the entire country not to be deceived the APC leadership on the Muslim-Muslim ticket since matters of religion cannot be divulge from the politics of the country.

He said, “We are not the ones that started this fight. APC started it. They should be ready to carry this cross. We are open to discussion with whoever discuss with chrustain community in good faith.”

On his part as the Guest Speaker, former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara  who spoke in the same vein,  described as “hogwash” the argument that the choice of Shettima was based on consideration of competence rather than his religious leanings.

According to Dogara,  notwithstanding his love for Tinubu, the argument that christians votes would not count as that of the Muslims lacks any logical basis as Nigerians irrespective of their religious leanings had ensured the emergence of former president Goodlick Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo in the past.

(Vanguard)

Continue Reading

Politics

I Didn’t Endorse Tinubu – Pastor Bakare

Published

on

The General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has refuted claims that he endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for 2023 elections, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Bakare who made the rebuttal in a statement debunking insinuations that he was working against the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on the Muslim-Muslim ticket by Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima.

In a recent post on Bakare’s Facebook handle, he described the aforesaid allegations as absolute lies.

“My attention has been drawn to the viral but concocted and ridiculous statements credited to me, by some unscrupulous writers and bloggers. Amongst other things, I was quoted to have said that the agitations by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), were ploys by the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to force a weak candidate on APC.

“In addition to this, I was alleged to have said that CAN wanted to lure APC into presenting a weak candidate. The spurious writers also alleged that I stressed that Christians are righteous people who behave like Christ, and that CAN are politicians who behave like PDP.

“As if the poorly strewn lies were not enough, I was quoted as saying that Tinubu is my candidate. Isn’t this the same Tinubu that I announced to all and sundry at the APC Presidential Convention that I was not stepping down for? He has suddenly become my candidate!

“I wish to state unequivocally that the statements are absolute lies. There was nowhere I granted anyone any interview, or preached on any platform, where I said the ludicrous statements. I challenge anyone who is in possession of the video or audio file of the statements to please put it in the public space.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I am a nation builder who will not in any way create real or imaginary division among the people of our great country, through the medium of political parties or religion.

“I therefore use this medium to ask everyone to disregard the alleged statements. The statements are not mine, and do not in any way represent my position. This is part of the lying propaganda of the mischievous ones seeking approval by deceit and at all costs. If the peddlers of this deliberate falsehood don’t desist from their highly condemnable acts, they will definitely have their day in court. Enough is enough“

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Sunrise Magazine. All rights reserved