As the process begins for general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the more than 60 million Nigerian voters of the commitment to hand over a strong and repositioned West African nation.
The 79-year-old President plan to bequeath agriculture-led, diversified home-grown economy, stable democracy and revamped armed and security forces to the next administration that would come on stream by May 29, 2023.
In February 2023, presidential, governorship and legislative elections would be held nationwide.
As part of the preparation for the elections, the president is awaiting the re-transmission by the National Assembly, of the electoral amendment Act that provides alternatives of direct, indirect and consensus choice of candidates for selection of candidate of all 18 political parties for the February 2023 general elections.
President Buhari who came to power on May 29, 2015, spoke at a dinner in honour of the 2022 Committee of Business, Political, Media and Civil Society Leaders, said he was looking forward to completing his tenure in 2023 and to leaving a legacy for a united, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria with 24 years of uninterrupted democracy.
Assuring Nigerians that his administration will finish strong in the last lap of his tenure, the President said: ”I am gradually entering my final year in office. It is a period I intend to spend not only on consolidating on the achievements of the past seven years but also to leave a legacy for a united, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria.
”I take this initiative to mean that you all intend to collaborate with this administration in that direction.
”For those among you who are politicians, you must look beyond gaining power to how you can leverage public positions in the process of societal change. To the businessmen and women among you, there is great glory in public service.’’
He said he was delighted that Nigerian elite have woken up to the fact that the task of changing this society is a task for everybody whether in the private or public sector who should know of the enormous challenges facing the nation.
”We cannot retreat to our ethnic cocoons, nor can we continue to seek solace in our past. We must champion the idea of a Nigeria where every citizen would be proud to call their own. That is the charge before you.”
Expressing delight on the new consciousness by the Nigerian elites to work together with the political class and civil society to build a better Nigeria, President Buhari noted that building consensus around issues of the economy, national security, governance, and such other critical areas of national life is a sure path to the future we seek to build.
”As we all know, I have been very critical of the Nigerian elites, essentially because some of us have not always demonstrated that we can rise above personal gain, political partisanship as well as ethnic and religious differences when the situation demands that we all speak and or act as one in the interest of our country.
”There are also many among our elites for whom profit remains the only motivation for any and every enterprise.
”But now, I feel heartened that a more collaborative social enterprise model for resolving our common challenges is being forged.’
In the desire to finish strong in the next 16 months, he said that all hands should be on deck for the last lap to boost efforts against all forms of insecurity, equipping armed forces and strengthening the police.
”We are determined to continue the war against corruption and fight poverty, we remain focused on building an all-inclusive economic opportunity for all citizens. ”
Earlier, the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr Kayode Fayemi, said that Nigeria has a manifest destiny to protect democracy not just in Nigeria but also in our region.
The country must ensure that politicians adhered strictly to constitutional principles and expressed happiness that President Buhari has no body language that speaks on seeking a third term in office.
The governor Ekiti state in South West Nigeria , said Nigerians who have benefitted from the country in good time, serving in different capacities, have a duty to support the country.