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We’ll be making hard choices ahead 2023 – Buhari

By Idowu Abdullahi

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that with myriads of challenges bedeviling the country in areas of insecurity, and socio-economic, his administration would be making hard choices to tackle the challenges and put Nigeria on the path of growth and accelerated development.

He explained that his administration, including the executive and legislature, came into office at a time the country was facing significant challenges, namely insecurity, dwindling economic fortunes, among others, and that it behooves on him and his cabinet to turn the country’s fortune around and restore lasting peace.

Lasting peace, secured nation, and a good economy, the president said, were his administration’s focus for the country, adding that he would not rest on his oars nor hesitate in taking hard but necessary decisions to bequeath a working nation to Nigerians and generations yet unborn before his tenure elapses in 2023.

According to him, overcoming these challenges requires that we finally confront long-ignored questions of economics, politics, law, and history that are often at the root of our national problems.

‘‘This moment in history requires us to make hard choices, take difficult decisions and act with diligence and patriotism to ensure that our country can survive and thrive long after we have all left. What this means in effect is that our jobs will not get any easier. However, the objectives we seek and will work together to achieve, deserve our best efforts regardless of the sacrifice,’’ Buhari said yesterday during a dinner with members of the National Assembly.

Speaking at the dinner, Buhari noted that ‘‘insecurity, manifesting as insurgencies, banditry, kidnapping and urban crime of all sorts is the single most difficult challenge we face today’’ while reiterating his administration’s commitment to using everything within its powers to end insecurity in the country and bring perpetrators of criminal activities to book.

He expressed concern that insecurity had inhibited the government’s ability to build infrastructure, provide the much-needed social services to the people, and attract investments that drive innovation, create industries, and provide jobs and create wealth.

‘‘Some of the people who perpetrate these various manifestations of insecurity do so for profit, others, in the name of discredited ideologies. Whatever their motivations may be, their actions are an existential threat to our country. In the circumstances, we must do everything within our power, without consideration of distractions, to put an end to their activities and bring them to book. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from this objective or waver in our commitment, and I am confident that together we will triumph in our present efforts,’’ he said.

President Buhari also used the occasion to hail the ninth National Assembly for discharging their legislative duties with maturity and competence, describing the legislature as ‘‘full partners in national development.’’

He particularly commended the minority parties in the legislature for their cooperation and support for Government programs. ‘‘Our ability to govern in the best interests of the Nigerian people depends to a great deal on effective collaboration and partnership between the Legislature and the Executive.

‘‘The obligation to check and balance each other is not an invitation to conflict, and it should not be characterized by quarrelsome disagreement when consultation, engagements, and compromise have proven time and again to be a more effective approach.

‘‘In the 9th Assembly, you have distinguished yourselves by your conduct in office, by the scale and quality of your legislative interventions, and by your capacity for engaging with the difficult questions facing the country with maturity and competence,’’ he said.

Commending the leadership of the National Assembly under Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila for their dedication through challenging times, the President told the legislators:

‘‘You have also succeeded in overcoming the political and other obstacles that have, for two decades, inhibited the much-needed reforms of our Oil and Gas industry, resulting now in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
‘‘I congratulate you all, and thank you for your contributions to the difficult, yet necessary task of nation-building.’’

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