Published on May 24, 2016 Greenbarge Reporters
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians “with the highest sense of responsibility” that this rough moment in the life of Nigeria, will fizzle away, like a candle in the whirlwind.
Buhari, who spoke to the fellow Nigerians today, on the removal of fuel subsidy and the consequent increase in the price of same, said that he was speaking from the depth of his heart.
In a broadcast speech titled: “Your Sacrifices Not In Vain” with sub title: “I am touch but insist on reduction of the price hike,” the President said that he had chosen to speak to Nigerians directly, whom he described as “my loving country men and women.”
He reassured Nigerians that they would not make these sacrifices in vain, noting that the agony they are going through is telling.
“I know it. I feel it. I share it. But I assure you, as the President of this great nation, that swore to uphold integrity and honour, Your sacrifices will not be in vain. I assure you with the highest sense of responsibility that this rough moment will fizzle away, like a candle in the whirlwind.
“I have chosen this moment to address you, the poor and the rich, the artisan, the cobbler, fishermen and herdsmen, haggling market women, the able and the physically challenged. I speak to the young and the old; I speak to men and women, armed and defenseless people alike. I speak to the people I swore to protect and defend: I speak to you, fellow Nigerians.”
Part of the text of President Buhari’s speech goes thus:
“From the depth of my heart, I choose to speak to you directly, my loving country men and women. First, let me thank you for your perseverance, your courage, your sense of duty and the sacrifices you commit every day, every hour and every minute. On this day, I want to assure you again, that you have not made these sacrifices in vain. The agony is telling. I know it. I feel it. I share it. But I assure you, as the President of this great nation, that swore to uphold integrity and honour, Your sacrifices will not be in vain. I assure you with the highest sense of responsibility that this rough moment will fizzle away, like a candle in the whirlwind.
I have chosen this moment to address you, the poor and the rich, the artisan, the cobbler, fishermen and herdsmen, haggling market women, the able and the physically challenged. I speak to the young and the old, I speak to men and women, armed and defenseless people alike. I speak to the people I swore to protect and defend: I speak to you, fellow Nigerians.
You will recall that last year, you gave me the mandate to lead Nigeria. I feel proud about the sacrifices you made, the scorching sun that you defied and the agony of waiting to cast your votes, and in some cases, standing for several hours in order to save the country that was already heading for a shipwreck. It is now one year that I stepped on this throne, after you gave me the opportunity to lead Nigeria. I cherish this and I thank you.
Fellow country men and women, today, I stand before you to tell you the truth and nothing but the truth. No doubt, your living experiences through the past years are enough to tell you about the situation in which the country was left in my hands. I want to tell you that since we began this journey, what has kept us going is faith; the faith we have in God, the faith we have in you, derived from the confidence you have in me.
I met a country that was comatose, like an aged woman, bleeding from mindless gang rape. The treasury was mindlessly looted, the external reserves plundered. In return, government officials and their collaborators bought mansions abroad, for themselves, their children, their mistress, their aides and even their children yet to be born. It was history’s most malicious onslaught on a decent people. It is regrettable that the consequences on social security, utility services and livelihood of Nigerians remain enormous. The population of the poor and vulnerable has increased tremendously. States’ economies are on life support, almost at the point of death; many of them can no longer meet their obligations and some face the risk of total collapse. There is a particular state that received allocations from the Federal Government, barely enough to pay for diesel needed for a whole month, not to talk of workers’ salaries. Jobs and opportunities for you have shrunk.
In fact, workers’ salaries have not been paid for several months in some states. Pensioners continue to wallow in abject poverty in the twilight of their years; the conditions of our public hospitals nose diving into disrepair, the morale of unpaid workers remain at an all time low. Without salaries, how will parents pay the school fees of their wards? Without the required FG allocations, how will states meet their obligations to the teeming population of expectant people? The fact is that state resources have diminished. The price of oil in the international market has compounded the plight of our people.
Please note that for the past one year, I have preoccupied myself with recovering these stolen funds kept in some of the darkest secret recesses of Islands and in Europe. By the last count, we are likely to recover the equivalent of half of Nigeria’s entire one year budget or more, from the accounts of people once voted to lead Nigeria and their cronies. Apart from recovering the looted funds, it has come to a point that we also need to make sacrifices to see the greater future that lay ahead. You are not going to make the sacrifices alone. I will make sacrifices. My wife will make sacrifices. My children will do the same. My personal expenditure will be cut. My state-supported finances will be drastically reduced. Half of my monthly salary will go to Children Charity Organisations across the 36 states.
My country men and women, I must tell you, we have at hand a key decision. I’m very sorry; this will at first hurt you. But on the long run, you will realize that having a lovely new baby requires come inevitable painful labour. It is on this note that we have taken the rational though painful decision to increase the price of oil from 87 naira. I expect you to be in shock or even embarrassed. I was shocked when the idea was first mooted, but I’m convinced that with a decent and morally upright leadership, I assure you once again, that this sacrifice will not be in vain.
I believe that all the over 150 million Nigerians may not know me personally, but at least your massive support for me during the last Presidential election was an indication that you have some good knowledge of my person. I say again: I will NEVER STEAL your money. I will also NOT ALLOW YOUR MONEY TO BE STOLEN. I will use your money judiciously. I will plough this money into great and remarkable ventures that will uplift Nigeria up from her state of economic stupor. I will bring hope from despair. I will put an end to your cries and your unending affliction. I will challenge and daunt tour tormentors.
I have given directives, which I’m sure you know my aides will firmly adhere, to roll out palliatives. I will create more jobs. I will rekindle the transportation system, build our long neglected roads, create millions of jobs, rekindle our long suffering railways, our public hospitals, our environment, our bridges, our agrarian sector and above all make life more abundant for you the owners of the country on whose behalf I am here to serve, in a honest and passionate manner. I assure you fellow country men and women, Your sacrifices will not be in vain.”
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