By Emmanuel Oloniruha
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on newly-elected governors in the country to deliver on their campaign promises to the people when they assume office.
Buhari gave the advice in his remarks, delivered by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, in Abuja on Monday at the induction programme for Governors, organized by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
“In March 2023, Nigeria consolidated and reinforced its democratic process with a general election which saw the election of a new President and about 18 newly elected/incoming governors.
“I am happy to note that democracy is alive, vibrant and thriving in Nigeria.
“With the elections now over, it is time for us to deliver the promises we made during the campaigns,” he said.
Buhari said that by May 29, the governors-elect would be called upon to steer the affairs of their States for the next four years and become wholly responsible for the states as an enterprise.
He urged them to take their responsibilities with almost responsibility to justify the trust bestowed on them by voters or get voted out after four years.
“The assumption of office is a constitutional process that we must take with utmost dedication, in the light of the trust bestowed on you by those who elected you into office.
“One interesting development that we all saw from the last election is that the electorate is maturing, and people are increasingly finding their voices.
“Any public officer who fails to either meet up with the expectations of the people or deliver on his campaign promises would be voted out in the next election.
“That is what democracy is about. Deliver or get shown the door out.”
Buhari enjoined the NGF to promote ideals that would address the challenges of democracy and governance in the country today.
He said that the role of the Sub-nationals was critical in Nigeria socio-economic development as a nation.
“Your proximity to the people gives you the privilege to have an instant pulse on their needs and challenges and yours is to device creative and judicious means of addressing the myriad of issues that confront them daily.”
He said that as returning or incoming state executives, they must be cognizant of the comparative advantages inherent in each of their states; how they could form partnerships with each other, by leveraging on their various strengths while recognizing that no one size fits all solutions.
“I also bid you to take this opportunity to unite across party divides to put the country first. Nigerians desire peace, progress and security. A country where they have access to quality education, health and social services.
“Your ability to champion these values significantly impacts the atmosphere where in the delivery of social goods and services will be conducted efficiently and harmoniously.”
Buhari said that in spite of the challenges, his administration had made steady progress since he took office in 2015.
“The road has been bumpy due to a challenging fiscal climate, but I am proud to state as we leave office in about two weeks that we have built a firm foundation for a prosperous Nigeria.
“We could not have done everything, but we focused on a number of areas: infrastructure, agriculture and strengthening our Armed Forces.”
He said that in spite of the difficult fiscal conditions, his administration remained committed to its promises, especially the key areas that were strategically targeted.
“Our focus on infrastructure was to improve access to markets, improved linkages and to reduce overall supply chain costs.
“This singular commitment to infrastructure development for roads, rails, airports, ports and affordable housing were designed to create better means of livelihood for our people and facilitate access to jobs.
“I am happy that we are succeeding in investing the nation’s wealth in every State of the federation and a clear path for sustainable development has been set.”
Buhari expressed confident that from the foundation his administration had laid, the incoming federal government would build on his legacies in ensuring that Nigerians continue to build the country of their dreams.
Earlier in his remarks, the NGF Chairman, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, tasked the incoming administration on full diversification of Nigeria economy.
“Full diversification of the economy entails shifting away from reliance on export of commodity like oil, gold, and agricultural produce to industrialisation for genuine development and sustainable growth of our economy.
“Rearticulation of our national industrialisation policy, improved power supply and human capital development are critical in our quest for industrialisation for poverty alleviation and employment generation.
“This is a task the incoming administration must take seriously for national socio-economic reinvigoration,” Tambuwal said.
He tasked the incoming administration to also put in place viable strategies to address unemployment, poverty and insecurity.
He said that the outgoing governors made giant strides in their various states within limited resources at their disposal in the areas of infrastructural development and provision of social services.
He said that the administration also faced the challenges of COVID-19, economic recessions.
“Unemployment, poverty, and insecurity are difficult tasks incoming administration are expected to face in their respective states.
“Building strong and viable institutions in the polity will help in tackling unemployment, reducing poverty, and ensuring the provision of security of lives and property.
“This is a worthy legacy to be bequeathed to our children and generations to come,” Tambuwal said. (NAN)