President Muhammadu Buhari on the early hours of Saturday, June 12, addressed Nigerians on the occasion of this year’s Democracy Day where he highlighted some of the key performances of his administration, security challenges among other issues.
1. On infrastructural development
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said his administration has recorded achievements under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
According to him, the infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones. They include The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.
2. On tackling insecurity in Nigeria
The president noted that every incident, however minor gives him great worry. He said, 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 his administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.
Buhari who said the issues were already being addressed, added that culprits would be brought to justice. He also noted that his administration is addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.
3. On eradicating poverty in Nigeria
Buhari said his vision to pull poor 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action, adding that it can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme.
He went on to note that Nigeria 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.
4. On state of Nigeria’s democracy
Buhari likened Nigeria’s democracy to other democracies in the world, stressing that it is not yet mature.
According to him Nigeria’s democracy is still “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.”
5. On post Covid-19 economic recovery plan
Buhari said the Economic Sustainability Plan – a rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed.
He added that 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.
6. Regarding ongoing constitutional amendment
Buhari said his administration is willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly, NASS.
According to him, ”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.”**
7. “I am ready to lay down my life for Nigeria.”
Buhari also vowed to defend the corporate existence of Nigeria as a single entity, stressing that he is ready to die for Nigeria.
According to him: “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.”