Seven things the voices in President Buhari’s head said as he read the Independence Day speech

Voice 1: I would never forgive those who squandered oil money when the going was good.

Excerpt

We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999 – 2015, when our country happily returned to democratic rule.

However, in spite of oil prices being an average of $100 per barrel and about 2.1m barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered and the country’s social and physical infrastructure neglected.

We were left with no savings and huge infrastructure deficit.

Voice 2: If I can focus on these three agenda(s) security, re-balancing the Economy away from oil & fighting corruption, I am good for 2019

Excerpt: The APC Government’s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re-balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric.

The country must first be secured. The economy must be re-balanced so that we do not depend on oil alone. We must fight corruption which is Nigeria’s Number One Enemy. Our Administration is tackling these tasks in earnest.

Voice 3: Freedom of speech I can give, free & fair elections no problems but cessation from Nigeria is democracy taken too far

Excerpt:

In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded appreciable gains in political freedom. A political Party at the Center losing elections of State Governor, National Assembly seat and even State Assemblies to the opposition parties is new to Nigeria.

Added to these are complete freedom to associate, to hold and disseminate opinions.

…But like all freedoms, this is open to abuse. Recent calls on re-structuring, quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We cannot and we will not allow such advocacy.

Voice 4: You have an issue, come and dialogue. But to cede from Nigeria forcefully…. It means war

Excerpts: Government is keeping up the momentum of dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta to keep the peace.

At all events, proper dialogue and any desired constitutional changes should take place in a rational manner, at the National and State Assemblies

As a young Army Officer, I took part from the beginning to the end in our tragic civil war costing about 2m lives, resulting in fearful destruction and untold suffering. Those who are agitating for a re-run were not born by 1967 and have no idea of the horrendous consequences of the civil conflict which we went through.

 

Voice 5: I have done well in the fight against terrorism, I commend myself. See even  London struggling with terrorists

Excerpts:

On security, Nigerians must be grateful to our gallant Armed Forces for rolling back the frontiers of Boko Haram’s terrorism, defeating them and reducing them to cowardly attacks on soft and vulnerable targets.

Not even the most organized and most equipped police and security forces in the world can escape the menace of modern day terrorism, as we have seen in recent years in Europe and other parts of the world.

Voice 6: Everyone should just leave oil and go back to the farm, I myself am a farmer.

Excerpts: The Federal Government’s agricultural Anchor Borrowers Programme, which I launched in November 2015, has been an outstanding success with:

  • 92 billion released through the CBN and 13 participating institutions,
  • 200,000 small holder farmers from 29 states of the federation benefitting,
  • 233,000 hectares of farmland cultivating eight commodities, namely Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, soya-beans, Poultry, Cassava and Groundnuts, in addition to fish farming.

“I wish to commend the efforts of the Governors of Kebbi, Lagos, Ebonyi and Jigawa States for their support to the rice and fertilizer revolutions”

“With the abundance of rainfall last year and this year, agriculture has enjoyed Divine intervention”

“Since December last year, this Administration has produced over 7 million 50Kg bags of fertilizer….”

Voice 7: Phew, at least we are out of a recession

The country has recorded 7 consecutive months of lower inflation, Naira rate is beginning to stabilize, appreciating from N525 per $1 in February this year to N360 today. Broad-based economic growth is leading us out of recession.

Voice 8: I never thought fighting corruption in a democratic setting would be so hard. wish i can just arrest them  

We are fully aware that fighting corruption was never going to be a straightforward task. We expected corrupt elements to use any weapon to fight back, mainly judicial obstruction and political diversion. But we are determined to eradicate corruption from our body politics

To read the full Manuscript, click here.

Do you agree with the voices in president Buhari’s head?

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