Connect with us

Politics

Buhari’s democracy day speech

Published

on

Share

Fellow Nigerians,

I join you all today to commemorate and celebrate our Democracy Day.  It is a celebration of freedom and a victory for one people, one country and one Nigeria.

2.    As with all democracies we will always be going through improvement processes in our desire to reach the goal of a mature democracy, a strong, evolved and integrated nation state to be reckoned with globally.

 3.    In the last two years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of testy challenges that would have destroyed other nations especially relating to our collective security.

 4.    The indefatigable CAN DO Spirit of the Nigerian has sustained us and would keep pushing us to put these challenges behind us.

 5.    Unfortunately some of these challenges came in the shape of violent outrages leading to the loss of lives of many of our dear compatriots and the destruction of some of our infrastructure, including those devoted to improving our democratic processes.

 6.    Once again, I want to render my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of our gallant service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty and as a sacrifice to keep Nigeria safe.

 7.    I extend the same condolence to the families and friends of our country men, women and children who were unfortunate victims of such senseless arsons, kidnappings and murders.

 8.    I also share the pains of families and direct victims of ransom-seeking, kidnaped victims who went through unimaginable trauma in the course of their forced imprisonment.

 9.    Let me assure my fellow citizens that every incident, however minor gives me great worry and concern and I immediately order security agencies to swiftly but safely rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

 Fellow Nigerians,

 10.  When you elected me as your President in 2015, you did so knowing that I will put an end to the growing insecurity, especially the insurgency in the North East, but the unintended consequences of our scattering them in the North East pushed them further in-country which is what we are now facing and dealing with.

11.  We will, by the Grace of God put an end to these challenges too.

 12.  Unfortunately, like in most conflict situations, some Nigerian criminals are taking undue advantage of a difficult situation and profiteering therefrom with the misguided belief that adherence to the democratic norms handicaps this Administration from frontally and decisively tackling them.    

13.  We are already addressing these obstacles and we will soon bring some of these culprits to justice.

14.  We are, at the same time, addressing the twin underlying drivers of insecurity namely poverty and youth unemployment.

 15. Interventions led by Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria driving economic growth over the past 6 years are targeted mostly to the agricultural, services, infrastructure, power and health care sectors of the economy.

 16.  In the Agricultural sector, for instance, the Anchor Borrowers Programme resulted in sharp decline in the nation’s major food import bill from $2.23billion in 2014 to US$0.59billion by the end of 2018.

17.  Rice import bill alone dropped from $1 billion to $18.5 million annually.

 18.  This initiative supported local production of rice, maize, cotton and cassava. Government financed 2.5 million small-holder farmers cultivating about 3.2 million hectares of farmland all over the country and created 10 million direct and indirect jobs.

19.  Several other initiatives, namely AgriBusiness/Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme, the Non-oil Export stimulation Facility, the Targeted Credit Facilities operated across the 774 Local Governments.

20.  In the manufacturing sector the CBN – BOI N200 billion facility financed the establishment and operations of 60 new industrial hubs across the country, creating an estimated 890,000 direct and indirect jobs.

21.  The CBN’s N50 billion Textile Sector intervention facility increased capacity utilization of ginneries from 30% to nearly 90%.

22.  The Economic Sustainability Plan – our rebound plan for the COVID-19 pandemic developed in 2020 is currently being executed. The plan is primarily focused on the non-oil sector, which has recorded phenomenal growth contributing over 90% to the GDP growth in Q1 2021.

23.  Though marginal we have recorded GDP growth over two quarters; Q2 2020 and Q1 2021.  This is evidence of a successful execution of the ESP by the Federal Government.

24.  My vision of pulling 100 million poor Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years has been put into action and can be seen in the National Social Investment Programme, a first in Africa and one of the largest in the world where over 32.6m beneficiaries are taking part. We now have a National Social register of poor and vulnerable households, identified across 708 local government areas, 8,723 wards and 86,610 communities in the 36 States and the FCT.

 25.  Our conditional cash transfer program has benefited over 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households comprising more than 8 million individuals. This provides a monthly stipend of N10,000 per household.

 26.  I have also recently approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Plan that augments existing plans to further reduce poverty in Nigeria.

 27.  As at the end of 2020, the Development Bank of Nigeria had disbursed 324 billion Naira in loans to more than 136,000 MSMEs, through 40 participating Financial Institutions. I am to note that 57% of these beneficiaries are women while 27% are the youth.

 28.  We are able to do all these and still accelerate our infrastructure development through sensible and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow, improving and increasing revenue through capturing more tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Fellow Nigerians,

29.  Our infrastructure revolution continues with key projects attaining critical milestones under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund; The Second Niger Bridge, The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway.

30.  I have also approved the establishment of Infraco Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle wholly focused on Nigeria with a capital structure of N15 trillion.

31.  The rail system is not left out as the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail was completed and commissioned 33 years after construction began. The Lagos-Ibadan double track railway line which I have just commissioned has commenced operations. 

32.  We are focused on ensuring that our infrastructure drive is key to economic growth and one that can be felt by every Nigerian. Building critical infrastructure in our ports is also opening up opportunities for the Nigerian economy. 

33.  My approval for 4 new seaports using a Public-Private-Partnership approach is hinged on growing the Nigerian economy. These four sea ports; Lekki Deep Sea Port, Bonny Deep Sea Port, Ibom Deep Sea Port and Warri Deep Sea port will create massive job opportunities and foreign investment inflows.

34.  We have worked at deepening our Eastern ports leading to success like having three container ships berth at Calabar port, a first in 11 years.  Similarly, on October 30 2019, an LPG tanker operated by NLNG berthed in Port Harcourt, the first time an LPG ship is berthing at any of the Eastern Ports.

35.  As we invest in these new assets, we have also made strides in ensuring that they are secured and protected. In this regard I am also pleased to note the launch of the NIMASA Deep Blue project – which is an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure that I recently commissioned. This initiative is designed to add to the layer of security we have to safeguard our maritime sector.

Dear Nigerians,

36.  I will be the first to admit that in spite of our efforts and achievements which are there for all to see, there is still much more to be done and we are doing our best in the face of scarce resources and galloping population growth rate that consistently outstrips our capacity to provide jobs for our populace. Our over-all economic target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is our goal notwithstanding COVID-19.

37.  In the last two years we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.

 38.  I am very convinced that this 100 million target can be met and this informed the development of a National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy. The specific details of this accelerated strategy will be unveiled shortly.

39.  In the last one year, Nigeria and the whole world faced COVID-19 for which no one was fully prepared.

40.  Our response to the pandemic involved making hard choices in balancing livelihoods and public health concerns.  You are all living witnesses to how successful this has been due to a number of pro-active measures put in place.  Our response to COVID-19 is globally acclaimed.

41.  We were able to ensure that the various lockdown measures did not impact too negatively on the ability of ordinary Nigerians to continue sustaining their livelihoods.

42.  During the pandemic, we disbursed N5,000 to 1 million Nigerians using a Rapid Response Register and advanced N20,000 to 750,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Progamme and provided 1.37 million Nigerians with palliatives from CACOVID.

43.  At the same time the Federal Government released 109,000 metric tonnes of food reserve stocks and 70,000 metric tonnes of grains to the poor and vulnerable in all 36 states of the federation.

44.  In addition, Government reduced interest rates from 9% to 5% for struggling businesses and extended credit facilities to 548,345 beneficiaries.

 Fellow Nigerians,

 45.  When this administration decided to change our Democracy Day from 29th May to June 12th in my first tenure, it was not only to honour the sacrifices of the men and women of our country who fought for the return to democracy but also to demonstrate our commitment to satisfy the aspirations of the people and creating an environment for democracy to be an accepted way of life.

46.  As your President, I remain committed to providing an enabling environment for a free, fair and credible electoral system under my tenure.

47.  However, you need to play your part by getting involved at any level you can supporting a democratic system that works for all and not for a section or a select few and demand accountability from your elected leaders.

48.  My commitment to bequeathing a sustainable democratic culture remains resolute, my pursuit of a fair society remains unshaken and my desire to see that Nigeria remains a country for each and every one of us has never been stronger.

49.  In responding to the challenges that this period imposes on us, Government also recognises the need to acknowledge notions of marginalisation and agitations for constitutional amendments among various segments of our population. 

50.  While this government is not averse to constitutional reform as part of our nation building process, everyone must understand that the primary responsibility for constitutional amendments lies with the National Assembly.

51.  This body which, as I said, is the arm of government responsible for constitutional changes has concluded the preliminary stages of amending and improving our constitution in a way that the majority of Nigerians will be happy with.

52.  Government is, however, willing to play a critical role in the constitutional amendment process without usurping the powers of the National Assembly in this regard.

53.  As a nation we have come very far from where we started and we are getting incrementally closer to where we ought to be.

54.  Overcoming the present challenges is but one of a necessary process that we have to undergo as a nation so that we can come out stronger.  The day I joined the Nigerian Army I was prepared to lay down my life for Nigeria.

55.  As your President I remain ever committed to upholding and defending Nigeria’s corporate existence.

56.  In adhering to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy notably section 14(2)(b) I shall do all within my power to ensure that the Security and welfare of the people remain the primary purpose of government.

57.  I have, throughout my tenure, provided the security agencies with all they require relative to available resources and will be providing more as the dynamics unfold to put an end to our security problems.

58.  My strong belief in the Nigerian spirit gives me comfort that we are facing these challenges with renewed commitment to keep our country one.

59.  I thank you for your patience and attention and more importantly your resolve to join hands in making Nigeria the country of our dream.

Happy Democracy Day! God Bless us All, God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Share

Politics

Commissioner empowers 3,000 people in Kogi

Published

on

By

Kogi state commissioner for works, Dr. Abubakar Ohere
Share

The Kogi State commissioner for works, Dr. Abubakar Sadiq Ohere on Sunday empowered over 3,000 men and women across Kogi Central District.

The gesture according to the commissioner is part of the Kogi State government’s efforts to support small scale traders as well as artisans in the state. Each person got N20,000.

The event which took place at Ahogede, Bariki ward of Okene Local at the residence of Alhaji Jimoh Karaku , had in attendance , Alhaji Yahaya Karaku , a former chairman of the local government and a leader of the APC in Kogi Central as well as many party leaders and supporters from across Okene Local Government.

The commissioner said the empowerment was also part of Governor Yahaya Bello’s, inclusive government and the need to to spread dividends of democracy to people at the grassroot.

Many of the recipients expressed gratitude to the commissioner. They said the cash donations will help their various businesses .


Share
Continue Reading

News

Pro-Putin party wins majority in Russian elections despite declining support

Published

on

By

Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin addresses supporters of the United Russia party. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
Share

Partial results show ruling United Russia party will retain power in parliament after winning over 45% of the vote

Russia’s ruling United Russia party, which supports president Vladimir Putin, retained its majority in parliament after a three-day election and a sweeping crackdown on its critics, despite losing around one fifth of its support, partial results on Monday showed.

With 33% of ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said United Russia had won just over 45% of the vote, with its nearest rival, the Communist party, at around 22%.

Although that amounts to an emphatic win, it would be a weaker performance for United Russia than the last time a parliamentary election was held in 2016, when the party won just over 54% of the vote.

malaise over years of faltering living standards and allegations of corruption from jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny have drained some support, and a tactical voting campaign organised by Navalny’s allies appears to have inflicted further damage.

Kremlin critics said the vote was in any case a sham and that United Russia would have fared much worse in a fair contest, given a pre-election crackdown that outlawed Navalny’s movement, barred his allies from running and targeted critical media and non-governmental organisations.

The result looks unlikely to change the political landscape, with Putin, who has been in power as president or prime minister since 1999, still dominating ahead of the next presidential election in 2024. Putin has yet to say whether he will run.

The 68-year-old leader remains a popular figure with many Russians who credit him with standing up to the west and restoring national pride.

Partial results showed the Communist party finishing in second place, followed by the nationalist LDPR party with around 9%. Both parties usually back the Kremlin on key issues.

At a celebratory rally at United Russia’s headquarters broadcast on state television, Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, a close ally of the Russian leader, shouted: “Putin! Putin! Putin!” to a flag-waving crowd that echoed his chant.

Allies of Navalny, who is serving a jail sentence for parole violations he denies, had encouraged tactical voting against United Russia, a scheme that amounted to supporting the candidate most likely to defeat it in a given electoral district.

In many cases, they had advised people to hold their noses and vote Communist. Authorities had tried to block the initiative online.

The election commission was slow to release data from online voting in Moscow, where United Russia traditionally does not fare as well as in other regions. Pro-Kremlin candidates were leading in the majority of the city’s 15 districts before the online votes were tallied.

Golos, an election watchdog accused of being a foreign agent by authorities, said it had recorded thousands of violations, including threats against observers and ballot stuffing, blatant examples of which circulated on social media, with some individuals caught on camera depositing bundles of voting slips in urns

The Central Election Commission said it had recorded 12 cases of ballot stuffing in eight regions and that the results from those polling stations would be voided.

The Kremlin denies a politically driven crackdown and says individuals are prosecuted for breaking the law. Both it and United Russia denied any role in the registration process for candidates.

One day we will live in a Russia where it will be possible to vote for good candidates with different political platforms,” Navalny ally Leonid Volkov wrote on Telegram messenger before polls closed on Sunday.

One Moscow pensioner who gave his name only as Anatoly said he voted United Russia because he was proud of Putin’s efforts to restore what he sees as Russia’s rightful great power status.

“Countries like the United States and Britain more or less respect us now like they respected the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 70s. The Anglo-Saxons only understand the language of force,” he said.

There was also widespread apathy, with official figures showing turnout at around 47%.

“I don’t see the point in voting,” said one Moscow hairdresser who gave her name as Irina. “It’s all been decided for us anyway.”

Source: (The Guardian)


Share
Continue Reading

Africa

Kogi: Gunmen invade church, kill one worshipper, abduct two

Published

on

By

Share

Gunmen invaded a church in Kabba, Kogi, on Sunday, killed one person and abducted two worshippers.

The church located at Okedayo Area on Kabba-Okene Road was invaded at about 10.15 a.m. as the day’s worship went underway.

Police’s spokesman in Kogi, William Aya, confirmed the incident.

He described the invasion as unfortunate, saying that the police would go after the perpetrators and ensure that they face justice.

Kayode Akanbi, a worshipper who was present when the gunmen arrived, said service was barely underway when the incident happened.

Mr Akanbi told newsmen on the phone that the gunmen, numbering six, were armed with guns and cutlasses and did not mask up.

“We were trying to commence the normal service.

“We just started the call to worship and I was interpreting the pastor’s message when suddenly the gunmen entered from the main entrance and raised their guns.

“They shot sporadically and everybody started scampering to safety.

According to Mr Akanbi, two of the oldest members were abducted and taken away by the gunmen.

He said also that the gunmen killed a 45-year-old worshipper in the process, adding that the spouse of one of the two abducted worshippers and another male worshipper sustained gunshot injuries.

Mr Akanbi said police later visited the scene to take the dead to the mortuary at the General Hospital, Kabba while the two injured persons were taken to Lokoja for treatment.

Newsmen recall that the Nigeria Correctional Service facility in Kabba was invaded by yet to be identified gunmen in the late hours of Sunday, 12 September

During that invasion, 240 inmates were forcefully released by the gunmen while 114 have so far been rearrested.

Source: (NAN)


Share
Continue Reading

Recent Posts

Trending