The president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu delivered his new year message early in the morning of the new year day. The 16 minutes speech was apt, a summary of the trajectory of his administration since inception in May 2023, to where things stand and also a projection into the future and the things to expect by Nigerians.
A cursory dissection of the speech would make one to draw a conclusion that we are seeing a president who is passionate about the transformation of the country, in ensuring that things work.
He commenced by giving gratitude to God and thanks to citizens. He acknowledged the fact that the year that just finished was an “eventful and challenging year” referring to the general election, the mandate, the nation’s transition and transfer of power, making it yet another big step on our democratic journey as a nation.
The president reiterated through the speech, the core of his renewed hope agenda for Nigeria. One will but acknowledge that the president lives with constant and sensitive consciousness of the plights of citizens. He made reference to difficult and yet necessary decisions taken in the efforts of putting the country in the right footings and their effects on Nigerians, as well as the biting inflation. “I hear the groans of Nigerians” and the popular question on the lip of everyone, is this how we want to renew our hope? He however, through the speech, gave reassurance and call for love and faith in his administration and Nigeria.
The speech is handy as a timely channel of stewardship by the president as he gave exciting updates on some fundamental national issues of interest, especially, what is happening to power being driven by the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI), government’s efforts on local refineries and production, as well as agriculture and security.
On agriculture, the speech captured that 500,000 hectares of land shall be cultivated during the next raining season, a build up on the dry season irrigation farming that is already ongoing, this will be a bold step in confronting hunger and food security as well as nexus in the administration’s economic recovery plan, job creation, poverty eradication, as well as microeconomic stability, human capital development and social security.
For those who are out to say enough of rhetorics, the president is an inch ahead, he was quick to mention that he is on oath to serve the country and always give his best. He was emphatic to say that “no excuse for poor performance from my appointees would be good enough”, that is to say, you either deliver or exit. This for me, is needed, right, timely and appropriate.
The president reminded the nation that he has set up a Policy Coordination Evaluation Monitoring and Delivery (PCEM&D) Unit in the presidency to make sure that governance output improves in the living conditions of our people. He went further to say “we have set the parameters for evaluation”. By this singular act, president Tinubu has technically returned power to the people. Citizens are thereby enjoined to take up the monitoring and evaluation of performance and government deliveries, as a civil and democratic way to demand good governance under the ambit of the law and the provisions of the constitution.
Let us engage these ministers and other employees, as well as the members of the National Assembly in constructive engagements by asking appropriate questions and build a public opinion of them by their responses and actions. As for the president, he has again reiterated to Nigerians, his major ambition in government, he said it is “to build a fair and equitable society and close the widening inequality gap, while I believe the rich should enjoy their legitimately earned wealth, our minimum bargain must be that, any Nigerian that works hard and diligent enough will have a chance to get ahead in life. We will work to give every Nigerian equal opportunity to strive and thrive to yield benefits as individuals and collectively as a people.” This is indeed golden and should be always kept in our conscious minds. We should be sincere and courageous enough to remind the president whenever we see things going in the opposite direction of this his stated major ambition.
The extension of olive branch to his election opponents is pleasant, patriotic and commendable. The president reminded all that elections are over, its time to build the nation and he said the job of building a prosperous nation is our collective responsibility. He admonished that we should not work at cross purposes. As Nigerians, we should work for the peace, progress, prosperity and stability of our country. This is indeed statesmanly. There is no better way to put it than how the speech captured it, “we must let the light each one of us carry, shine bright and brighter to illuminate our path to a glorious dawn.”
One can draw assertion from the new year broadcast that the president is serious, passionate and determined. However, one would expect that the speech would capture a moment of remorse to workers who did not get their salaries until the holiday is finishing. Also, citizens would want to hear the president talking tougher and acting harder on the war against corruption and blocking of leakages and wastages in government.
The new year speech by the president is an energizer, it delivered hope and excites the nation. We can only wish President Tinubu a successful tenure.
God bless Nigeria !!!
Adesola Yaqub, an ICT consultant, is a former Local Government Chairman and a student at the School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) and can be reached via email@example.com