What Buhari Said At The APC NEC Meeting [Full Text Of Speech]

The elections have come and gone, the APC has won the battle, but lost the war. This is the paradox of democracy, and we shall see how we can manage it going forward.

I have already addressed you through the chairman, through the leadership of the party, through your excellencies, the governors and through our Senators and House of Representatives members.

The APC must not disappoint its constituency, thats the nation state. We have to convince our various constituencies that we are individually worthy of the sacrifices that they have made.

They stayed awake day and night, travelling all over the country and made sure as a party,we emerged victorious. What subsequently happened is human, and as human beings we are not perfect, but let our collective actions in this party prove that we have won the elections, the battle and we will win the war.

As for me as a president, I have to clearly understand the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria, the constitution of APC, and having tried three times and successfully lost three times and successfully ending up at the Supreme Court.

I think I have tasted the bitter disappointments and the sweetness of success.

What happened to APC must be given to God almighty. The opposition party, has ruled the country for sixteen years, with all the treasuries, literally in their pockets and all the coercing forces and their command, under their command they still meekly conceded defeat. We congratulate them for that.

I clearly understand the constitution from which INEC was developed with clear terms of reference and one of its important responsibilities is to register political associations as political parties, and whoever wants to participate in elective office as a Nigerian must seek a platform.that platform is the political party, hence, the superior state of the parties. APC has been damn lucky., if I can use that. The way the opposition parties realized, agreed and accepted that the only way through which we can be in the system is for us to come together. The ACN,the ANPP, the CPC, APGA and DPP wanted to come to participate fully in the negotiation,but they have court cases at various levels, and we suspected that if we allow them to participate actively in the negotiation for merger, there being in court can cause either delay or deny us registration.

So we persuaded our colleagues in APGA and DPP that please stay out of the negotiation, but when we eventually get the registration,they can join in block or individually.

Along the line, I assure you that nothing is done by impulse in our process to merger. There have been various committees, quite a number of you sitting here have been members of committees either leading them or being a member and we agreed. At some stage or the earlier stages,we agreed that nine people should form the interim committee, that’s the national chairmen of the parties, the secretaries and the treasurers . We thought we have done a wonderful work, so we sent our application. For the first time in this sixteen or twelve years of my participating actively , I thanked INEC for what they did to us; they sent back our application and said we must have 25 to 35 people to manage your interim if you get registration, and they must come from all the geo political zones. Why I thanked INEC in particular was because if it has been bloody minded, again ladies close your ears, if they have been bloody minded, they would have kept on raging until it was almost too late for us to get the merger. So they advised us and we sat down, we got I think 35 people to manage us and they are here personally, and on behalf of you now congratulate Chief Bisi Akande, it’s a pity he is not here, he led the interim party with dexterity and integrity. I respect his patriotism. When we got the APC name through the agreement of various committees of the respective parties, we started working from polling unit upwards, eventually we ended up in the convention which gave us the leadership of the party.

After that the election started, and again it started from the bottom top. I have gone to this extent because not all of us here participated in it and for you to reflect and thank the leadership of the party at various stages for going through all this, which is not easy. But God in his infinite mercy has helped by giving us acceptance. Let us not throw this success to the wind.

Let us as members of the APC no matter our personal differences get together and use the mandate given to us by this country. This is my personal appeal to you in the name of God. Whatever your personal interest or ambition, please keep it close to your heart and in your pocket. Let APC work, let the system work and let us have a government that will earn the respect of our constituencies.

My problem is the constituencies. I thank you very much for listening to me, and I thank the leadership across the board, and I appeal to you to please continue to work together.

Please accept the superiority of the party. I cannot confine myself to the cage or Sambisa forest and refuse to participate in NEC or BoT so i respect the superiority of the party.

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Full Text Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inaugural Speech

I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture.

Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.

I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation.

Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.

I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted. I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.

I thank all of you.

Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.

I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.

A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.

Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethenen should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.

I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.

At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.

In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.

Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.

Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.

For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.

Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.

However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.

My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.

The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.

This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.

Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.

Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.

The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.

No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.

Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.

Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life, Is bound in shallows and miseries.”

We have an opportunity. Let us take it.

Thank you

Muhammadu Buhari

President Federal Republic of NIGERIA and Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

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Full Text Of President Jonathan’s Remarks At The Presentation Of Handing Over Notes To The President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari

PROTOCOLS

1. I welcome you all to this occasion of the formal presentation of the Hand-over notes of my Administration to the in-coming Administration of the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

2. This event and tomorrow’s inauguration of a new administration are truly historic as it is the first time in the history of our nation that we are witnessing the democratic and orderly transfer of power at the Federal level from one political party to another.

3. The Hand-over notes which we now present, contain the governance philosophy, strategies, policies, programmes and activities of my Administration for the period – 2011-2015. Also to be found in the notes are the objectives, targets and implementation strategies, achievements and
challenges of our key policies, schemes, initiatives as well as the status of commitments and liabilities of the various MDAs.

4. As we hand over the affairs of the nation, it is appropriate to recall that at inception, in May 2011, we committed ourselves to consolidating national unity through democratization and good governance. Our assessment then, and our firm belief ever since, is that the unity of Nigeria, the
security, well-being, greater freedoms and opportunities for all citizens must remain the primary objectives of government.

5. The Agenda for National Transformation which we did our best to implement consisted of clear and consistent governance strategies, policies, plans, programmes and projects, in all facets of our national life. Emphasis was placed on human and state security, democratization, sound economic management, as well as structural and institutional reforms.

6. Our foremost concern was the unity of Nigeria. In keeping with that concern, we engineered a process that began with a review of issues outstanding from previous Constitutional Conferences by the Belgore Committee. After that, we widened political consultations through a
National Dialogue that was orchestrated through the Okurounmu Committee. These culminated in the all-inclusive National Conference which unanimously reaffirmed that Nigeria must remain united and indivisible.

7. The Conference also made resolutions and recommendations for serious constitutional, political and governance reforms, which we have forwarded to the National Assembly for appropriate legislative action. It is our hope that the incoming Government will accord the Report of the National Conference the very high priority that it deserves, as a genuine expression
of the will of our people.

8. The recognition that the starting point for good governance is the legitimacy of the government itself informed our commitment to promoting free and fair elections.

9. It also motivated innovations in the management and conduct of elections which we undertook. Hopefully, in the years ahead, those innovations will be properly and fully implemented so that Nigerians will be even more assured of the integrity of the electoral system and the legitimacy of any government that it produces.

10. To strengthen the social contract between the government and the governed, we institutionalized the rule of law as well as the independence of the legislature and the judiciary. We also promoted group and individual freedoms. As a result, there is vast expansion in democratic, social and economic space for all citizens.

11.Our nation and citizens faced many new challenges over the past four years but the greatest was the vastly increased menace of Boko Haram with their mindless terror, mass killings, utter ruthlessness, kidnapping of innocent children and other unspeakable acts of brutality.

12. We should all remember that Boko Haram’s emergence predated our administration going as
far back as 2002. The group however became extremely malignant with the killing of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf in July 2009.

13. It therefore became an urgent task for us to effectively confront the great threat Boko Haram posed to the security and well-being of our people. To do so, we overhauled and virtually reinvented our security architecture to confront Boko Haram and its insurgency. We re-organized our security apparatus. We re-equipped and fully motivated our forces.

14. Victory is now in sight and within our reach. However, the cost in blood of citizens and heroes; and the diversion of national treasure from urgent needs for development have been very high. While more than 500 women and children have been rescued from the clutches of Boko Haram thus far by our security forces, it remains my sincere hope and prayer that our beloved daughters from Chibok will soon be reunited with us.

15. I wish to thank the Nigerian people for their resilience and patience. I also wish to pay very special and personal tribute to all the men and women of our valiant armed forces and security agencies. Their sacrifice and dedication have brought us thus far.

16. While striving to overcome our national security challenges, we still gave necessary attention to economic development. Our goal was to achieve long-term economic growth and stability, improve the quality and quantum of infrastructure and enhance human capital development.

17. Our financial system reforms included the Treasury Single Account [TSA] that unified the structure of government accounts for all MDAs and thereby brought order to cash flow management; and Government Integrated Financial Management Information System [GIFMIS] was introduced to plug leakages and waste of resources. The Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System [IPPIS] weeded out *60,450* ghost workers in 359 out of 425 MDAs, yielding *N185.4 billion* in savings to the Federal government.

18. Improved Revenue Mobilization was achieved through improvements in the laws and compliance measures. In 2013 alone, these measures resulted in a 69% rise in Federal tax revenues from N2.8 trillion to N4.8 trillion. Also, Waiver Policy and Trade Facilitation were reformed to create a more rational regime. Our emphasis shifted to granting waivers to specific sectors instead of individual companies and the Sovereign Wealth Fund was established to provide stabilization from external shocks, provide funding for critical infrastructure and savings for future generations.

19. Our Financial Sector reforms addressed the issues of inefficiencies in the coordination and monitoring of the financial system. Our policies promoted transparency, better risk management, new banking models and payment systems. We established the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria as a resolution mechanism for toxic banking assets. We strengthened banking supervision and enhanced public confidence in Nigerian Banks.

20. Similarly, we undertook innovative reforms for job creation and repositioned the manufacturing, agriculture and housing sectors. Specifically, it was observed that over the years, job creation did not keep pace with economic growth. Thus unemployment, especially amongst the youth was assuming alarming dimensions.

21. To address this, my administration made job creation a key consideration for all programmes in the Transformation Agenda. Emphasis was also shifted towards empowering youths to become entrepreneurs rather than job seekers, through such initiatives as Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOU-WIN), Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), the SURE-P Technical Vocational Education and Training Programme (TVET) and the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP).

22. Manufacturing in Nigeria faces many challenges, including poor power supply, high cost of input, high cost of doing business, multiple taxation, poor infrastructure and lack of synergy with the labour market. To address these problems, we launched several programmes and initiatives including the National Industrial Revolution Plan and a new National Automobile Policy designed to boost domestic car production and expand existing capacity. Since then, five new private vehicle assembly plants have been established.

23. Agriculture is critical to national survival and yet the sector was besieged with many problems. By year 2010, Nigeria was the second largest importer of food in the world, spending about N1.3 trillion on the importation of fish, rice and sugar alone.

24. The reforms we introduced in agriculture dramatically increased local production of staple food and saved us vast amounts of money that we would have spent on the importation of food items.

25. To address the glaring inadequacy of critical national infrastructure, we focused on the Power Sector, Roads, Railways, Aviation, Ports and Harbours as well as on Water and Sanitation,
Information and Communication Technology.

26. My government introduced the Power Sector Roadmap in 2010. Since then, we have privatized the generation and distribution aspects in a most transparent process. Obstacles to the private sector investments in power supply were removed and we developed cost effective electricity tariff to make the sector more attractive. It remains our hope that the successor companies to PHCN and also the private sector will step forward with the necessary investment to make the power reform work.

27.The major challenge in the road sector in Nigeria is the high cost of building roads and it continues to rise. The other challenge is the fact that because of regular use, roads are one of the fastest depreciating assets in developing countries.

28. To address this, Government has developed the required legal and regulatory framework and created opportunities for Private Public Partnership (PPP) in road construction and maintenance.

29.From Ore/Benin Road, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway to the Kano/Maiduguri dualisation projects, we made concerted efforts to address age-long problems of delays in construction, design defect, neglect and ineffective maintenance. The construction of the historic Second Niger Bridge has also commenced, and on completion, it will open new and far-reaching opportunities for greater trade and interaction among our people.

30. In the Aviation Sector, our government developed a Master Plan to institutionalise safety and security, and to develop infrastructure at the airports and local airlines. We embarked on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 22 airports nationwide. Construction work on five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu are also on-going.

31.There has been a revolution in rail transportation. We rehabilitated the old narrow gauge network and ensured that it has served our people steadily for three years running with new coaches and improved expanded services nationwide.

32.We are in the construction stages of a new national network for standard gauge speed-train services, with the new rail line segment, from Abuja to Kaduna, successfully completed. In addition, we have initiated the process for the construction of an ultramodern coastal rail line that will run from Lagos to Calabar, with a link to Onitsha.

33. We have also successfully completed the dredging of River Niger, from Warri in Delta State to Baro in Niger State, and completed construction works for the Onitsha River Port. Other River Ports at Baro, Lokoja and Oguta, are at advanced construction stages. Working with the states and development partners, we have facilitated the process towards the development of two new deep sea ports at Lekki in Lagos, and Ibaka in Akwa Ibom. We have also implemented reforms to streamline the clearing regime in existing ports, increasing cargo turnover time and easing
business for all users.

  1. In the oil and gas sector, our local content policy has continued to empower Nigerian companies, particularly in technical and engineering projects. The Gas Revolution Industrial Park in Delta State is unprecedented in the subsector, and will not only deliver Africa’s biggest
    industrial park, but all the accompanying benefits to local industry and job creation.

    35. We recognized Human Capital as the most important agent for transformational development. Our reforms in this sector focused on Health, Education and Social Development and also on Women and Youth Empowerment and Social Safety Nets.

    36. In the Health sector, the comprehensive National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) of 2011 laid the foundation for widening access and improving the quality of healthcare with lower infant mortality rates and higher life expectancy for the populace. Our effective curtailment of the Ebola epidemic has continued to receive worldwide acclaim as an example in prompt and effective national disease management.

On our watch, guinea-worm has been eradicated from Nigeria and we are on the verge of wiping out polio entirely.

37. In the Education sector, our objectives are clear and precise. They emphasise expansion of access and the upgrade of quality. I am proud that we have widened access by establishing 18 more Federal Universities and other specialized polytechnics. We strengthened TETFUND and used it to boldly address the problems of inadequate infrastructure in the existing institutions.

38. I am particularly proud of our efforts with regards to Early Childhood Education and Out-of-School Children. We provided modern hybrid Almajiri Education Programme in the North, attended to schooling needs of boys in the South-East and ensured the construction of special girls’ schools in 13 States of the Federation to improve girl-child education. We expanded opportunities for open and distance learning and provided scholarships at all levels to help improve access to quality education for bright and promising Nigerians.

39. We have promoted gender-mainstreaming with commensurate priority and opportunities for our womenfolk, beginning with ensuring that not less than 30 per cent of key Federal appointments go to women. Other initiatives that we have taken include: the National Gender Policy, Establishment of Gender Units in Federal MDAs, Women Empowerment Training
Programmes, Micro-Credit for Women, Social Safety Net Programmes and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme.

40. My Administration has emphasized giving a free hand to our Anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). We preferred that they mature into strong institutions instead of being the images, the hammer and the anvil of a strong man. We must encourage them to abide by the rule of law and due process instead of resorting to dramatic or illegal actions orchestrated for cheap applause.

41. Beyond the very impressive records of enhanced convictions by statutory anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC and ICPC, our other strategy has been to fashion economic policies that deliver higher deterrence and frustrate concealment. In this regard, the Bureau of Public Procurement has played a central role and impacted strongly on the fight against corruption.

42. In Sports, we have improved our national performance in team and individual events. The disappointment of not qualifying to defend our African Football Championship was cushioned by a decent FIFA World Cup appearance, an Under-17 World Cup win in addition to other victories in other international football tournaments and the Paralympics. We have also encouraged excellence in other sports, apart from football, resulting in exceptional performance in international sporting events, especially in athletics.

43. Our foreign policy position remains strong. In October 2013, Nigeria was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the second time on our watch. Our country had only served in that capacity thrice before 2011, since independence in 1960. Our Administration also played a leading role in the resolution of security and political challenges in our sub-region, particularly in Niger, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Burkina Faso.

44. In addition, we increased engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora who contribute so much in remittances to their fatherland. Our Administration successfully encouraged more of them to invest in Nigeria and others to return home and join in the task of nation-building.

45. In summary, Your Excellency, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, our administration has done its best to intervene robustly and impact positively on key aspects of our national life.

46. There is no doubt that challenges still abound, but they are surmountable and overwhelming national transformation remains realisable, with continuity, commitment and consistency.

47. Nigeria is blessed with citizens that will always remain faithful, firmly committed to national unity, accelerated political, social and economic development.

48. As we hand over the reins of government, I believe that our nation is secure, our democracy is stable, and the future is bright. Let us all work together, and with greater resolve, continue to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.

49. May God Almighty continue to bless our dear country, Nigeria.

50. I thank you all.

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March For New Nigeria – Text Of Governor Fashola’s Address At The Progressive Governance Session

Protocols:

I want to thank all of you for taking time off your very busy schedules to be part of this session; especially a few days to the elections, which by all accounts could be historic and critical for the soul of our dear country.

Election is a referendum on the performance of the incumbent government and a decision whether to keep it in office or vote it out of office.

As Progressive Governors who are committed to Good Governance, this year’s 1st Quarter Progressive Governance Session is designed to present our assessment of governance challenges in Nigeria today as well as our proposals on what needs to be done to move our country forward, post- May 29, 2015.

The parameters of the referendum are defined by issues of national security, economic management, social issues and the like. So I will start by reviewing briefly the record of the current government and share with you what they say they have done.

Let me start with the Economy, and share with you a text message that I received from a Nigerian film maker in Nollywood on the 14th of March 2015.

This is what he said:-

 

“I will like to bring to your attention that there is a reliable information that our film has been pirated to be released in Alabaon Monday. I also want to confirm to you that the criminals committing this act are known and can be handpicked. There was a meeting with NCC last week where to our surprise they invited the so called pirates for negotiations and discussion on the previous works that they pirated. I am devastated sir and not sure what to do. Am not sure what you can do in your capacity as the executive governor of the State but I believe your approach to resolving issues in Ladipo could bring a lasting solution. This new development will not only bring a big set back to my business and the industry at large but will discourage a dedicated filmmaker like myself from going all the way in the name of being a Nigeria. Please do something sir”.

It must be clear to everyone that the greatest problem that people in the entertainment industry have is that their intellectual property rights are not being protected.

This is a law enforcement issue, rather than a cash solution that the PDP and its government has continued to proffer.

It is simple copyright law enforcement and the PDP simply does not get it.

 

Roads:

As far as roads are concerned, and they are critical to the economic development and prosperity of our people for the movement of people, goods and services, the record of performance offered by the Federal Government is that they have constructed 25,000 kilometers of road.

How true that is, is to be measured by the complaints of PDP Governors themselves, who say Federal roads in their States have been neglected.

How bogus this is, is the realization that the distance between Lagos and London is approximately 5,025 kilometers.

Has the PDP Federal Government constructed roads that go the distance of Lagos to London 5 (Five) times?

Is it possible to do this by a Government that has never had a capital budget of up to 40% in 6 (Six) years?

Housing:

As far as housing is concerned, please note that after being unable to account for $20 billion which is the equivalent of N3.3 Trillion at N165/$1.00 at the time the money was unaccounted for; after losing 400,000 (Four Hundred Thousand) barrels of oil per day for years, when oil was trading at $100 per barrel, meaning that we were losing $40,000,000.00 (Forty Million United States Dollars), the equivalent ofN6,600,000,000.00 (Six Billion, Six Hundred Million Naira).

Our country’s solution according to the PDP is to borrow $300 million from the World Bank in order to provide mortgage refinancing for all Nigerians.

What this means, is that every Nigerian must first buy a house with a mortgage loan, and then apply for his share of the $300 million as a refinancing facility.

That is the PDP model for housing.

I know that in Ogun State, there is a better model that places emphasis on housing construction in order to create jobs.

I can speak better about my State, where we are building public housing and allocating it to residents at a mortgage rate of 9.5% payable over 10 (Ten) years.

I know that construction is going on in no less than 25 sites, and we have not borrowed one kobo to fund this initiative.

It has been funded by tax payers’ money.

Jobs:

As far as employment is concerned, again their own service record is the place to look.

They say that they have created 2 (Two) million jobs. On a straight line analysis, this would suggest at least over 50,000 (Fifty Thousand) jobs in each of the 36 (Thirty Six) States and Abuja.

Simply ask yourself, how many people you know, who got those jobs. Were they part of the jobs in which people died while stampeding for employment in the immigration service?

Why is unemployment at 24% if this economy is working?

What I know is that between only (Four) construction companies over 5,000 (Five Thousand) workers have been laid off in this first quarter of 2015 and in the last two weeks at least 2,400 (Two Thousand, Four Hundred) bank staff have been laid off.

Security:

It is easy to summarize the security situation.

Thousands killed violently. Hundreds kidnapped routinely. 219 girls missing, citizens and even the Federal Government relying on alternative security, like ethnic militia to secure pipelines.

While all these happens, year on year, amounts close to N1 Trillion have been budgeted and expended on defence and security; yet there are unanswered questions of availability of equipment, while a new set of billionaires masquerading as security experts have emerged.

The answer of the PDP Federal Government and Mr. President himself is that General Buhari, who left office in 1985 did not equip the security forces.

Clearly the PDP forget that Nigerians remember that they have been in office for 16 (Sixteen) years, and President Jonathan has to account for 6 (Six) of those years.

They have killed Skekau, the supposed leader of the terrorist group at least 4 (Four) times.

During one of those killings for which they claim success, they signed a ceasefire with him; from which he quickly played his part by attacking more Nigerians.

After the 4th (Fourth) killing, there are now instructions to capture him.

Lies:

Ladies and gentlemen, there are two common denominators in the record of service of the PDP Federal Government.

The first is FAILURE and the second is LIES.

They have failed in their management of the economy and they have been untruthful about how bad the economy is.

These numbers are important. They dimension the real difficulty Nigerians are dealing with.

I expected that when the PDP Governors gathered in Lagos, on their poorly conceived mis-adventure, they would have spoken about these issues.

Instead, they were seeking to stop the use of Card Readers which their Government approved.

They forgot that they were the ones who approved the use of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).

They forgot that they postponed the elections because they said enough PVCs had not been issued.

Now that PVCs have been issued, should we not verify and authenticate eligible voters with the Card Readers?

  • We recognize the issues in the Nigerian State

 

  • We keep a track on them

 

  • We have made them the issues in the election as you will have heard from our Presidential candidate and his running mate
  • No amount of Goodluck can help the PDP escape from these issues.

 

  • Our candidates have kept the Nigerian electorate focused on the issues of jobs, security, and corruption

Our opponents urge that they are moving forward.

The question to ask is what their definition of forward is.

  • Moving the rate of exchange of the Naira to the dollar from N120 to $1.00 toN198 to $1.00 is not the way forward
  • Managing an economy where employers cannot keep people at work because of bad government policies is not the way forward
  • Unemployment is not the way forward. Employment is the way.
  • Inventory of imported raw materials trapped in the port is not the way forward to economic recovery.
  • Fuel queues arising from Government failure to pay importers is not the way forward.
  • Blaming the opposition for fuel shortage is not the way forward.
  • The largest economy in Africa that cannot generate electricity is not the way forward.
  • The avoidable loss of human lives, and the unresolved disappearance of 219 (Two Hundred and Nineteen) young girls is not the way forward.

It is the opposite of development. It is the opposite of industrialization. It is the opposite of job creation.

It is the way backwards.

It is not the way to continue.

Ladies and gentlemen, like Vision 2020, like the 7 Point Agenda, like the comparisons to Martin Luther Kings, Lee Kwan Yew, Nelson Mandela, Barrack Obama, and the Transformation Agenda, all of which have been abandoned because they are not true, it is obvious that our opponents in Government, have lost their way.

They are reading the Developmental Map of Nigeria upside down. So they do not know the way forward.

The Nigeria ship of State is heading in the wrong way because the captain cannot navigate.

This is the most important reason why PDP and the President must be voted out of power.

In 2011, President Jonathan made a total of 91 (Ninety One) electoral promises around power, security and the economy.

Majority of them remain unfulfilled.

Between then and now, he set up a total of 28 (Twenty Eight) Committees as his Government’s response to critical national issues such as Nuhu Ribadu fuel subsidy scandal committee, Steve Oronsaye harmonization of Government Agencies and Department Committee, Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on Abuja Parks and Zoo, Edem Duke’s Committee on Proliferation of Small Arms, Ibrahim Sambo Presidential Fact Finding Committee and PriceWaterHouse Coopers forensic audit of the missing oil receipts in the region of $20 billion.

The President has either forgotten or refused to either make public the reports of these Committees, or implement them.

The President resumed work only 6 weeks ago, because of elections.

Nigeria needs a full time President not a part time one.

General Muhammad Buhari will be a full time President, ready to work every day.

A full time President will re-set and re-direct this Nation and set her back on the right path.

That is the way forward.

The second major reason is that after 16 (Sixteen) years of start and stop, policy changes and no verifiable results, this country will benefit from a fresh pair of hands, that will have another look at the problems that have defeated the PDP for 16 (Sixteen) years.

We simply cannot continue on this road that has failed us, and expect different results.

A vote for change is the first step in the expectation of different and better results.

Instead of running on their record of service, the Party in power has chosen to become film makers, making one poorly scripted documentary after the other.

The tragedy is that after one year of TV propaganda dating back to March 2014, their bird has refused to fly. There is nothing to sell. The good governance road show died on arrival. And the captain was initially honest in Lagos to admit failure.

The PDP led Federal Government has no credible record to defend nor a roadmap to rectify the damage they have done to our body politic, our economy and all our institutions.

It is perfectly understandable that when you have an indefensible record like theirs, you resort to despicable diversionary campaign, the like we have not seen before.

We have demonstrated and must continue to demonstrate that there is a gulf of difference between the APC and the PDP, not only in our visions (if they have any) and in our policies, but that we are willing to engage with them in a transparent and accountable manner.

Our party, the APC has presented a year 2015 Election Manifesto, while the only known Manifesto of the PDP is dated 1999.

We are committed to reinventing governance in Nigeria in order to solve our socio-economic and political challenges.

We were farsighted when we established the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), where these kinds of questions and issues have constantly been interrogated through effective research, knowledge sharing, consultations and policies, at our quarterly fora.

So when the APC talks of change, what kind of change are we talking about?

How do we plan to redefine the concepts of leadership and responsibility?

The objective here is to demystify governance and restore ownership of the country to the Sovereign- the Citizens!

It means that we must be accountable to the sovereign for our performance and how responsive we are to their wishes and demands.

It means that the citizens will always retain the right to “hire and fire”.

It means that we must embed the Rule of Law, political and civil liberties in our political culture. The culture of unbridled impunity must come to a grinding halt!

APC does not believe that the Federal Executive Council should be reduced to a bazaar which merely awards contracts to leaders of ethnic militia posing as socio–cultural groups, to the detriment of constitutionally established institutions and in subversion of the procurement laws.

Were these contracts advertised? Where was due process here?

We are certain that this session will, in many ways, give more clarity and further insight into the kind of change APC represents.

The other presentations will amplify many of the issues I have addressed so far. While not underestimating the enormity of the challenges that will face an APC led Federal Government.

The APC is proud to have as its flag bearer, a patriot with the public stature and integrity of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who has unreservedly committed to this vision and mission as reflected in his Covenant with Nigerians and campaigns promises.

It is not by accident that teeming millions of Nigerians are showing their support effusively for Gen. Buhari.

What I have confirmed since the emergence of Gen. Buhari as our Presidential candidate, is that Nigerians still believe in the virtues of probity, selfless leadership and commitment to the greater good inspite of the 16 years of failed PDP government and leadership that they have been unfortunately saddled with.

For many years I have heard complaints about PDP’s dismal management of our national life.

Many Nigerians have expressed understandable frustration that PDP could not be defeated because there was no formidable opposition.

Our leaders have heard these frustrations. They have organized rather than agonise.

They have sacrificed their smaller parties and leadership role to deliver the first ever political merger in the history of Nigeria.

They will all vote for the APC, but they cannot elect the APC into Government. That is the duty of the Nigerian electorate if we must experience change, and save our country.

With the emergence of APC, PDP began to unravel.

With the mismanagement of its top leadership it began to dismember, losing its most vital parts; and making history for all the wrong reasons.

It is the first political party that I know that lost 5 (Five) Governors to the opposition without an election.

It later lost the Speaker of Parliament, and eventually its former leader and Chairman Board of Trustees.

The giant is tattering and about to fall.

For every goliath, there is a stone.

The APC is PDP’s stone and the people of Nigeria must rise like David to bring this plundering goliath down.

The merger was historic. But it will be more historic if Nigerians elect that merger to office.

The people of Nigeria will have taken power by doing so.

Let me underscore once more that while the APC is ready, willing and able to take on the huge tasks of regenerating our country once more, APC is humbled by the enormity of the challenges it has to deal with in the next few years.

Once more, let me re-affirm the commitment of the PGF to continue to provide the platform where our party, governors and other stakeholders will continually engage, reflect on critical issues and challenges, and more importantly proffer implementable policy options to address these challenges- indeed more than a talk shop!

It is now my privilege to invite you to listen to the presentation of our leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and the other panel presentations on “Sustaining Development in Times of Dwindling Resources”, to be followed by an interactive session among the participants.

God bless us all as we work to protect our democracy.

Thank you!

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Governor of Lagos State

March 23, 2015

 

Opinion expressed on this page is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com and/or its associates.

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