Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a sincere national healing that will eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are hardly in existence.
In his nationwide broadcast on Thursday, 1 October 2020, to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, Buhari noted that healing is necessary, as the nation has consistently focused on “contrived fault-lines” that have been “allowed unnecessarily to fester.”
“We need to begin a sincere process of national healing, and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are,” he said.
He lamented that institutions such as the civil service, police, the judiciary, and the military all suffered from a general decline. Buhari urged Nigerians to continue to do the right things to promote unity and understanding among the diverse ethno-religious groups in the country, so as to achieve the desired goals of nation-building. “We are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities.
“Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another. Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great nation we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment, and encourage ourselves to do what is right and proper, even when no one is watching.
“Let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the 60 years on the clear understanding that, as a nation, we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the sufficient grace of God, we shall come through current transient challenges,” he said.
He expressed optimism that Nigeria will achieve its set goals if citizens collectively pursuing the nation’s aspirations together.
“I’m convinced that if we pursue our aspirations together, we will be able to achieve whatever we desire. It has been demonstrated, time and time again, that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields,” he said.
Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of Nigerians at home has resulted in globally recognized endeavours.
“Together, we can change our condition for the better and, more importantly, together, we can do much more for ourselves and for our country,” he said.
He noted the public health challenges of working to contain the spread of COVID-19, the significant drop in foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues, due to a 40 percent drop in oil prices and a steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 percent drop in government revenue.
Accordingly, in the last three years, Nigeria has introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy. Further, the measures seek to support the weakest members of society in the shape of Tradermoni, Farmermoni, school feeding programmes, job creation efforts and agricultural intervention programmes.
“No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going, in spite of the disproportionate spending on security,” he said.