President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to imbibe this year’s Ramadan’s key lessons of self-denial and sacrifice if the country must overcome its present challenges of insecurity, corruption and under-development inflicted on it by poor governance.
In his Eid-el-Fitr message to the nation, the president also responded to those accusing him of being slow in governance, saying although he shares their feelings that there is much work to do, things must be done carefully in order not to lose the opportunity provided to fix the country.
Buhari noted that being aware of the high expectations of Nigerians when he assumed office as president, he had been working “with utmost dedication to meticulously plan and tackle the many national challenges” that his party had identified and promised to resolve.
He said, “Although we have come to the end of this year’s month of Ramadan, I believe that a greater acceptance by Nigerians of its key lessons of self-denial and sacrifice will serve our dear country well as we strive to overcome our present challenges, undo the damage done by years of bad governance and accelerate the pace of national development.
“Reviewing our dire circumstances and the many missed opportunities of the past, some commentators and observers have said that this is Nigeria’s last chance to get its act together and finally begin to fulfill its God-given potential for greatness.
“While not going that far, I certainly believe that now, more than ever before, our country needs greater self-denial, sacrifice and patriotism from all of its citizens if we are to quickly recover from our numerous problems and start moving in a positive direction”.
The president said he fully understood and shared the thirst of his long-suffering compatriots for corruption-free government institutions that work efficiently to deliver visible development for the benefit of all citizens.
On the allegation that he was too slow, he said, “I also share the feelings of those who think that we should be moving faster. But I urge them and all Nigerians to trust that my commitment to real and positive change in our nation is as firm as ever.
“There is indeed much work to be done, but we must do it well and carefully to ensure that the great opportunity which we now have is not lost to the “business as usual” group who selfishly or shortsightedly prefer a status quo that panders to their personal or group interests.”
Admitting that the adverse effects of years of rot, corruption, inept and bad governance on the country were immense, Buhari noted, however, that they are “certainly not insurmountable.”
According to him, they can be rectified if all Nigerians “resolve now to place the well-being of our nation above all other considerations and work wholeheartedly with the present administration to achieve greater peace and security across the nation, and reposition our country for faster economic development and progress.
“This current period of our life as a nation offers us a great opportunity to break from the vicious triangle of insecurity, corruption and underdevelopment. We must collectively resolve to seize this opportunity and unite to confront our problems”, he added.
He, however, appealed that for him to succeed, he would need the continued support, understanding and patience of Nigerians.
Wishing Nigerians a happy Sallah celebration, Buhari said, “I greet and felicitate with you all, especially our citizens of the Islamic faith on this auspicious occasion of the 2015 Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.”