As President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office today, he has apologised to Nigerians over some decisions he took that brought pains and sufferings to the citizenry.
However, Buhari, who will hand over to President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, today, gave himself a pass mark, saying he is leaving Nigeria better than he met it in 2015.
This was even as he regretted that his administration was unable to rescue some children still in captivity and said he mourned with parents, friends and relatives of all those who lost loved ones as a result of senseless brigandage and carnage.
Buhari said these in his farewell speech to Nigerians as he bowed out of office after eight years in charge of Nigeria’s affairs.
The out-going president spoke amid high expectations and demands as Tinubu takes over, with the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, outlining reasons Tinubu must restructure the country without delay.
This was as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, scored Buhari very low in tackling insecurity but commended him on infrastructure, completion of the Second Niger Bridge and approval of Lux Mundi University, with Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, describing Buhari as Nigeria’s worst president.
Also, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, counseled Tinubu not to rush into removing subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, commonly known as petrol because of its socio-economic implications as the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, asked Tinubu to get prepared for challenges with Labour because Buhari did not conclude most industrial disputes.
Tendering his apology over policies that brought hardships to Nigerians, Buhari 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 apologise to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the overall 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 fulfills its destiny to be a great nation. I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.”
Buhari urged Nigerians to capitalise on the power of unity by working together in one spirit and purpose.
Buhari said, “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 10 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.