—Says he’s leaving Nigeria better than he met it in 2015
—Describes Tinubu as best presidential candidate in Feb.25 polls
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
As President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office tomorrow, he has appealed to Nigerians over some of the difficult choices he made that brought pains and sufferings to Nigerians.
President Buhari has also given himself a pass mark, saying that he is leaving Nigerians in 2023 better than he met it in 2015.
This is as he has expressed grief that his administration was unable to rescue some children still in captivity even as he said that he mourned with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones as a result of senseless brigandage and carnage.
These among others were contained in the President’s farewell speech to Nigerians as he bowed out of office after completing eight years in charge of the affairs of the country.
President Buhari in his speech described the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the February 25 elections and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the best candidate in the election.
Tendering his apology over policies that brought hardships to Nigerians, the outgoing President said, “In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologised to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country.
“Up-till now, I still grieve for our children still in captivity, mourn with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones in the days of the senseless brigandage and carnage. For all those under unlawful captivity our Security Agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed
“Our battle to ensure that all Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment has achieved considerable results. As I complete my term in office, we have been able to reduce the incidences of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and other criminal activities considerably.
“As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation.
” I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.”
He said the address was his last assignment as a democratically elected President of the great and well-endowed nation, with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people and a modest sense of fulfilment.
He said, “Today we mark and celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another in our steady march to improve and sustain Nigeria’s democracy.
“This year we witnessed the most keenly contested Presidential Elections since the first Republic and this demonstrates that our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election.
“We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we make in the electoral process, on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among Nations.
“Our democracy provides for, allows and encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices, enabling some candidates and political parties that did not agree with the results to go to court.
“Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our courts and join hands to build a better Nigeria.
“I salute the doggedness and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for believing in our judicial system by taking their grievances with the election results to court.
“In the course of the campaigns, we had argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better but we never disagreed or had any doubts that Nigeria has to be better.
“As your President, I call on all of us to bring to bear the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, the convictions of our beliefs to make Nigeria work better and together with one spirit and one purpose.
“To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past ten years – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world.
“You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher that I am leaving.
“You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well.
” The last eight years have been an exciting experience in my desire and commitment to see a Nigeria in which public goods and services are available, and accessible within a united, peaceful and secure nation.
“Fellow Nigerians, on the strength of your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I started this journey with a great deal of promise and expectation from you. I never intended to be just politically correct but to do the correct things that will make meaningful impact on the lives of the common Nigerian.
“This high expectation was not misplaced because, like the ordinary Nigerian, I had grown tired of watching the country progressively moving away from the path of correctness.”