“I dare say that the path of honour that President Goodluck Jonathan chose will not be forgotten and that, on that score, history will be kind to him.”
This was the verdict of the former Nigeria Vice President, Atiku Abubakar when he spoke at a Gala night to usher-in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
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I am really excited to be here for this Gala Night, part of the activities marking the handing over of power from an out-going government to an in-coming one. As many commentators have said since our recent elections and in the various remarks today, this is truly a historic day for our country and, indeed, Africa.
After going through tough election campaigns, amidst the numerous challenges facing our country, we were able to pull off largely peaceful and credible elections. And, today we went through a peaceful transition from one government of one political party to another of another political party. For us in Nigeria, and indeed most of Africa, this is a big deal. Our democracy is the winner. Nigeria is the winner.
I heartily congratulate our new President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on their election and their assumption of office today. I also congratulate and thank all those who made his election possible, and those who have worked so hard to ensure the success of today’s events.
I congratulate President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his service to our country and for helping to deepen our democracy by going through with the transition that took place earlier today. I dare say that the path of honour that he chose will not be forgotten and that, on that score, history will be kind to him. Mr President, I wish you good rest and goodluck in your future endeavours.
I thank the various countries that have been represented at today’s events, and especially those that have, over the past years, stayed engaged with Nigeria’s democratic process. I thank you for your attention to and support for Nigeria’s democratic development and for coming to celebrate with us today.
True, a new government has taken over today. Expectedly, expectations are extremely high. Reading through some of the expressed expectations and watching the excitement on our people’s faces, you would think that all our challenges are supposed to be met today or tomorrow at the latest. Of course, things are not that simple. Enormous challenges lie ahead. The new government will need time and diligence to take stock of the existing reality that it meets, to find the right people, plan properly and source the resources needed to begin to meet those challenges. And it will need the support of all. We will need to be patient and cooperate with the government.
As the new government ponders and goes through this difficult process, it should not forget that Nigeria is a diverse country and that our diversity is our strength. It will be important to be as inclusive as possible not only to take advantage of the diverse talents scattered across the country but also to accommodate all stakeholders in the governance project. These will promote a sense of belonging and worth by all and ensure needed peace for our continued growth and development.
Once more, I congratulate Presidents Buhari and Jonathan. I thank you all for coming. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This is a goodwill Message by Atiku Abubakar, GCON, former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the Gala Dinner to mark the Hand-over of Power to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja on May 29, 2015. [myad]