By Our Correspondent
In a heartfelt farewell message to the Nigerian people, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his apologies for the pains and hardships caused by certain policies and programmes implemented during his administration’s efforts to steer the country’s economy in the right direction.
Speaking on Sunday morning in a nationwide broadcast, President Buhari acknowledged the difficult choices made in revamping the economy and admitted that some of the measures had resulted in temporary suffering.
He extended a sincere apology to his fellow countrymen, emphasising that the decisions were taken for the greater good of the nation.
While Nigerians had high expectations of his administration, President Buhari stressed that his aim was not to merely appease the expectations superficially.
Instead, he remained committed to addressing the real needs of the citizens, saying one notable achievement in this regard was the comprehensive electoral system reforms.
Addressing the nation, President Buhari stated, “Fellow Nigerians, propelled by your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I embarked on this journey with immense promise and expectation from you.
“My intention was never to be politically correct, but rather to do what is right and make a meaningful impact on the lives of ordinary Nigerians.”
He further added, “These high expectations were justified because, like every ordinary Nigerian, I too grew weary of witnessing our country deviating from the path of righteousness.”
President Buhari emphasised that he was leaving behind an electoral process that guaranteed credible and transparent results, reduced the influence of money in politics, and allowed Nigerians to elect their preferred leaders.
He praised the ongoing outcome of the process, which provided an equal playing field for candidates without political godfathers or access to vast resources.
President Buhari attributed the increased resilience of the Nigerian economy to the strategic measures implemented to navigate global economic downturns successfully.
The outgoing president also paid tribute to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, describing him as a capable leader who had worked tirelessly to attain his position.
He congratulated Tinubu on the realization of his dream, expressing confidence in his ability to lead the country to greater heights.
President Buhari stated, “You have indeed toiled for this day, and God has rewarded your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country, and desire for Nigeria to attain global relevance will guide you as you take our country to even greater heights than I leave it.”
Reflecting on his tenure, President Buhari expressed deep gratitude to God, appreciation for the Nigerian people, and a modest sense of fulfillment.
He acknowledged that the 2023 Presidential election was the most fiercely contested in the nation’s history and urged those who felt aggrieved to seek redress through the court system, emphasising the importance of accepting the decisions made by the courts.
As Nigeria continues to strengthen its democracy, President Buhari called upon the nation to build on the gains made in the electoral process and work together towards a better future.
He saluted the determination and resilience of all presidential candidates and their political parties for placing their trust in the judicial system by seeking legal recourse.
President Buhari listed key achievements of his administration and expressed his confidence that Nigeria was in a better state in 2023 than it was in 2015.
As he retired to his hometown of Daura in Katsina State, the President felt a sense of fulfillment, believing that the Nigeria Re-Birth had commenced and that the incoming administration would accelerate the country’s progress towards becoming a great nation.