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Buhari Yemi 99

Just in: Buhari abandons ‘Next Level,’ says ‘Change does not just happen’

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As leaders of though express discordant voices on Nigeria @59

More interpretations and reactions have continued to emerge from the October 1, 2019, presidential broadcast to the nation by President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria clocks 59 today.

Whereas several listeners had expected to hear much on the extent the nation had covered on his 2019 election campaign theme-Next level, no mention was made on it, rather he dwelt on the fact that “Change does not just happen”.

Otherwise, in his intro, he recalled that “In the past four years, the majority of Nigerians have committed to Change for the Better. Indeed, this Administration was re-elected by Nigerians on a mandate to deliver positive and enduring Change – through maintaining our National Security; restoring sustainable and inclusive Economic Growth and Development; and fighting Corruption against all internal and external threats.

“This Change can only be delivered if we are united in purpose, as individuals and as a nation. We must all remain committed to achieving this positive and enduring Change. As I stated four years ago, “Change does not just happen… We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust… simply put, to bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.”

On the economy, President Buhari averred that “As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimising the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector. We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment.

However on the power sector, just as many experts have argued that trusting Nigeria’s power sector major reform in the hand of a foreign company, Siemens may backfire,  the President said, “We are resolute in reforming the power sector. In August this year, we launched the Presidential Power Initiative to modernise the National Grid in 3 phases: starting from 5 Gigawatts to 7 Gigawatts, then to 11 Gigawatts by 2023, and finally 25 Gigawatts afterwards. This programme, in partnership with the German Government and Siemens, will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges.”

“The programme will also look to localise the development and assembly of smart meters as well as the operations and maintenance capabilities of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“I am pleased with the improved inter-agency collaboration between the Ministry of Power and the regulators in the banking and power sectors to ensure that electricity sales, billings and collections are automated and become cashless.

Firing the first shot of response to the presidential address, lead opposition presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar started by calling for prayers, saying “But I am mindful of the fact that the time for rhetoric has long since passed and now is the time for all lovers of Nigeria to take concrete steps to aid Nigeria’s progress, by not just praying and showing understanding, but also to take democratic action to ensure that the ideals of our founding fathers – unity and faith, peace and progress – are not set aside on the altar of tyranny.

“All is not well when judges are persecuted for enforcing the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens. All is not well when Nigeria is now officially the world headquarters for extreme poverty and out of schoolchildren, yet the cost of maintaining those in government continues to grow, while the needs of the governed are not being met. And certainly, all is not well when the media cannot freely express itself without the fear that those who wield the big stick would use it on them for saying things as they are.”

Whereas the image maker of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) insists that things are looking good nationwide today when compared to what obtains during the era of the PDP, the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus,  said  Nigeria was dying under the watch of  Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Secondus averred that every index at 59 years of Nigeria showed that the country was going down and “Only truth and nothing else would save Nigerians.”

According to him, “What happened in the country last February at the presidential election remains a sad reminder of the damage this administration has done to our democratic psyche as a nation.”

Besides, contrary to the hopes of many Nigerians, President Buhari maintained sealed lips on whether the closed land border would be opened or not even as local rice had jumped to N22,000 as no foreign rice is seen. Recall that the borders were closed since August 21 after it was discovered that the border security agencies fighting smuggling have apparently failed.

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