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Nigeria still lucky despite challenges – Buhari

By Idowu Abdullahi

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that despite myriads of challenges bedeviling the country, Nigeria still remains a lucky nation by remaining a united federation in spite of Nigeria’s diversity.

He added that despite challenges that could have torn Nigerians apart, Nigerian people should pause to reflect on the possibility of civil war that could arise from secessionist agitators and congratulate each other for a united country.

Buhari clarified that while his administration was doing its best to halt the insecurity, protect the territorial integrity of the nation from internal and external aggression, he would be needing the support of Nigerians to further augment his government’s effort.

The President spoke Tuesday at State House, Abuja, while receiving the report of the National Security Summit held on May 26, 2021, by the House of Representatives. The report was submitted by a team of House members, led by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Addressing the lawmakers, Buhari urged leaders at all tiers of government to respect the people, from the lowest to the highest, “so that it becomes a duty to them (the people) to pay back to the leadership.”

Respect for the people, according to the president, should come in allowing them to choose who they like as their leaders, irrespective of political party or religion.

Describing the event as “a remarkable occasion,” Buhari restated his determination to serve the country to the best of his ability, recalling his visits to the 36 States during the campaign for 2019 elections.

“The number of people that turned out to see me, some waiting for 10 hours in the sun, was more than anyone could buy, or force. They just wanted to see who this Buhari was. People wonder why Nigerians accept me, despite not being rich. I wonder, too. I felt I just have to serve Nigeria and Nigerians to the best of my ability.”

Commending the 9th National Assembly for its cooperation with the executive arm of government, he said that he tried very hard to get the 8th Assembly to do same for the sake of the country, “and I didn’t succeed much. But time has proved me right.”

In his remarks, Gbajabiamila thanked the president for endorsing the security summit conducted by the House, adding: “You were part of it from the very beginning, and you were to have declared it open, if not for the exigencies of duty.”

The speaker said that the summit became imperative after lawmakers were bombarded daily by their constituents on the security challenges facing the country, “and motions after motions were moved by the lawmakers.”

He said that a committee of 50 lawmakers, across party, religious and ethnic lines were set up to plan the summit, “and the president was very eager and enthusiastic about it, showing the importance you place on security.”

Gbajabiamila said that the report was a product of inputs by traditional rulers, scholars, independent thinkers, and security chiefs, noting that it contains seven recommendations that require legislative action, and about 19 that would be implemented by the executive.

“Thank you Mr. President for what you have done so far to douse tension and for Nigeria to remain one. It’s about all of us, not just the Executive, the legislature, or the judiciary. And Nigeria will work, by the grace of God,” he said.

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