INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIALS: FULL TEXT OF THE PRESIDENT’S SPEECH.

BROADCAST BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON OCTOBER 1ST, 2017

My dear Nigerians,

October 1st remains a special date for all Nigerians as this marks the day when we attained one of the most precious of human desires — freedom. Over the years the country has gone through trials and tribulations, but October 1 st is always a day for celebrations. It is a day for thanks giving , reflection and re – dedication .

It is also a day for remembrance. We should remind ourselves of the recent journey from 1999 – 2015 , when our country happily returned to democratic rule. However , in spite of oil prices being an average of $ 100 per barrel and about 2 . 1 m barrels a day, that great piece of luck was squandered and the country ’s social and physical infrastructure neglected . We were left with no savings and huge infrastructure deficit .

The APC Government’ s Campaign rallying cry to restore security, re – balance the economy and fight corruption was not all rhetoric. The country must first be secured . The economy must be re -balanced so that we do not depend on oil alone . We must fight corruption which is Nigeria ’s Number One Enemy. Our Administration is tackling these tasks in earnest.

In the past two years, Nigeria has recorded appreciable gains in political freedom . A political Party at the Centre losing elections of State Governor, National Assembly seat and even State Assemblies to the opposition parties is new to Nigeria . Added to these are complete freedom to associate , to hold and disseminate opinions. Such developments clearly attest to the country ’s
growing political development . But like all freedoms , this is open to abuse .

Recent calls on re – structuring , quite proper in a legitimate debate, has let in highly irresponsible groups to call for dismemberment of the country. We can not and we will not allow such advocacy.

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DEMOCRACY HAS FAILED US.

In the world of today, it has been amazingly observed how so many things have had to conform to a uniformed way of life and practice. This century has seen and accommodated drastic and amazing development. This is not without the impact of science, technology and the new media. Obviously, the world has now become a global village; the effect of these development to humanity has been felt both positively and negatively. The lingering question, however, is about which of the effects is winning; the former or the latter.

Moreover, the truth of the matter is that science, technology and new media has brought about series of creative and innovative change to help humanitarian services in various societies. We can now spy at other countries to get quality services, goods, trending values and even policies in which are lagging in our own society to build or supplement ours. On the other hand, it is about the rate at which this phenomenon is militating and endangering the prosperity of some certain community (weaker and developing nation to be precise). These Nations have lost their values, norms, traditions, policies and administrative competence to globalization thereby crippling the effectiveness of their sense of planning. In such communities, any attempt to unify or solidify their interests is belittled if it doesn’t conform to this globa-foreign way of life; them don sell their right give oyinbo. And even these so-called ‘oyinbos’ remain in their confines and press different information to ridicule our () existence. Yet, we keep following them like the zombies.

Developing nations are now abandoning their homemade policies (either good or bad) to adopt foreign ones due their high rate of acceptability or generality. Series of situations like this can be found in the way African countries desperately crave for the adoption of some alien governmental and administrative policy either workable or not. But one thing they have failed to understand is that no matter how smart and effective a cutlass is on the farm, it can never serve better than a knife in the kitchen. Some indigenous policies will still remain the best practice in some situations no matter the circumstance. For instance, no matter what effort or strategy you employ, a date seed or a mustard seed will never germinate in anywhere in Nigeria. A date seed grows only on an Arabian soil while the mustard seed grows in Israel.

In essence, because a particular policy is working in a particular society doesn’t necessarily mean it will also work for you as well. In Africa, our failure is not in the ineffectiveness of our leaders, But in the ineffectiveness of the adopted system of governance there in. Therefore, we shouldn’t just adopt. We should look closely, considering every circumstances along the line, in the structure of your society and figure out what will best conform to the system before selection. This is one stance our African Nationalists are failing to manage. And it is the earlier, the better.

The painstaking fact is that, amidst all these falls and all in the name of globalization, or maybe it’s in order to continue to prove their dominance, these European countries will still continue do everything possible to make sure that their killer policies are still being used in these troubled Nations; isnt this a wound on humanitarianism? They will, in turns, come all out to claim the superiority of their policies over other policies and how they have been using it successfully for decades/ century. Then they will make all sure that it is enforced on the nations they feel they can influence. Perhaps, with the flimsy help of the world governing bodies (United Nation or NATO) of which they relatively dominate. I think we need to begin to break out of our shells. We need to start sending them parking before they successfully ruin us for their own selfish benefit. Let’s stop their neo-colonialism influence. We have come of age, Africa.

Well, let me send a message down to the so called Superiors. Without prejudice or dispute sirs, these theories and policies of yours have been a great success in your respective place of dominance, but the base still remains that the fact that it work for you doesn’t mean it will work for all. The better you understand that It will not always be applicable to every country. Forcing it on these countries will only make it look like an imposition. So it will be better for you, and for them, to leave these countries to make their decisions on their own. Definitely, you can render some help by recommending to them your policies but don’t try to force it on them.

Through my little experience in the big field of philosophy, I have also come to understand that it is going to be an error for you to bend your data to suit your theory. Rather, you should bend or adjust your theory (if possible) to suit your data. And if that wont solve the problem, then go for another workable theory. The moral behind it is that you cant bend the structural settings of your country to suit a foreign policy rather you should adjust this policy (if possible) to suit the country’s structure. Or better still, go for another policy or system that will best defined the structure of the country. In everything, the environment of occurrence is of very great importance.

As a case study, we should (first) critically look at the application of democracy to governance and administration and how effective it has been generally. Then thereafter take a close shove at its effect in developing African Nations like Nigeria.

Democracy, no doubt, is a blossom and encouraging way of choosing political leaders. It is, according to Oxford English Dictionary, ‘a system of governance in which all people of a state or polity … are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly’. It is popularly referred to as ‘the government of the people by the people and for the people’. But, believe you-me, as sweet as the policy/system might sound, its got lapses; fatal ones at that. No wonder, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk of Czechoslovakia is well remembered for his quote on democracy translated as thus;

‘democracy has its faults, because people have their faults. Like the owner, like the store’
This quote explains as well part of the mishaps encountered in democratic politics. Since it is the government of the people, the masses’ decisions should always be right. Am sorry but there some instances when this masses will be outrightly wrong on some issues, yet the government will have to go the wrong way even when it is obvious they will fail. The responsibility of this failure, however, will not be the masses’ but the leaders in power. What an irony!

By the way, do the masses really think they own this government? How can you when the only power you have is just the ability to exercise your bragging right to choose your representatives only periodically; a fit that can even be jeopardized by just an unfree and unfair election. The real politics and politicking are done only by those few people alone. So where is the ‘government by the people’? Don’t let us deceive ourselves all in the name of ‘democracy’. We know how it is being run. In Nigeria, it is more of a communist society than of the real democracy.

To go down memory lane, Democracy is a system of government that was first tested in the Greek government during the time of antiquity. It, however, went through various transformation and development before its legal adoption by the Americans. Due to its special pedigree, it became trusted over the years for better and accurate result. So many countries have adopted this system all around the globe. Even when it is obvious that is hitting and breaking them deep inside, knowingly or unknowingly, some unfavored nations still hold on to it. Little do they know that they are gorgeously guarding the timed grenade so to say. Well, I may be wrong though.

In this light, Nigeria, arguably the most populous black nation in the world, is a very good example. Over the years, this practice had failed to yield us desirable result yet we are still of a great hope that, one day, it will flourish. Maybe yes maybe not, but I see democracy as a system that isnt capable of catering our structural needs as a nation with diverse human culture and belief. Pardon me if am wrong, but Democracy isn’t a system designed to suit a nation like Nigeria. Let’s begin to think outside the box.

I know the next thing that pops up inside of your medulla, after reading this excerpt, will be to begin to query the acceptability of this article. ‘is he really saying democracy isnt good for us?’, or ‘does he really mean we should give the army a chance? If yes, I doubt if his father was alive back then to witness the terrors of the then military regime’. If these are thoughts, all I will say with a big smile on my face will be to ask some simple and common-sensical questions;

• Are there not other system of government of governance aside democracy and military? If no, then why don’t we give them a check?
Nb; given them a ‘check’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘adoption’ but, first, a critical review with our structure.

• Why do we keep training people in institutions to study courses like political science, economics, law, geography, linguistics, sociology etc if we cant give them a chance to work out policies and systems other than the oyinbo dumped ones? Are you saying Africans aint got brains? Must we always follow the oyinbo laid down theories even if they aint workable?
And so after taking all these steps of review, if we still believe or find democracy to be the only workable system to fit the structure of Nigeria, then so be it. But in the meantime, its obvious we need to go back to that drawing board.

I hope this article will serve as a wake-up call for Nigerians and Africa at large. But in the meantime, I shall display (with facts and evidence) in my next post why I believed this democracy of a policy is failing us in this part of the world. Anticipate…

THE CON-FAB

My title today is so short; witty and tremendous, but heavily pregnant. Without mincing words, I will take my shots with profound efficacy. An old adage reads “he that knows where it’s faulty should repair it before it’s worsened”. My words today will be torch-lighting the hastily concluded national conference in the federal republic of Nigeria.

The conference, amidst much clamour and flaming from the outcome of one of the orthodox #presidentialmediachats, was set up as a committee on march 17, 2014 at the national judiciary institute, Abuja, at 11am to tackle issues relating to the integration, unity and for proper governance of the country. It ended on September 17 after a chaotic adjournment. However, some few had assumed before the establishment of the committee that nothing fruitful will emanate from the conference bowing to the fact that the nation isn’t ripe for it. They claimed that so much corrupt practices and malfunctions will gulp the process. They also taught it would be a complete waste of money and resources. These and many more were there belief about the committee.

Personally, I have no grudge against the national conference though. But their actions, decisions and recommendations is making it look as if some fellow are trying to CON us with all these FABulous display. Therefore, this is NOT a deliberate act to mess the conference. One fact remains that even if a pig is treated like rabbit, it wont keep long before it confirms it habits about being dirty. The committee did not wait long before proving these critics right. From the scratch, it was seen in the procedure for selecting members; the national conference had in attendance a total of about 500 (380) members of which majority are within the age range of old while only very few are youth.
The nominations for membership of the national conference happened to be more of the aged and very little of the youth. This began to pose series of reactions as, to majority, it sounds unethical. Unorthodoxly, that weak claim of the youth not being ripe to be the leader of the so called tomorrow came to light again. However, I don’t know why the youth should be excluded from issues that concern their future this much. Moreover, this conference is solely meant to better the life of future Nigerians and not men and women who have barely ten more years to live on earth. But to judiciously back their nominations, the organizers pointed out their fairness; they claim they chose the members based on a criteria of active participation in policy making and administration in Nigeria. Thus, only limited youths were up to the task. So it is an issue of who wants it most. They are not to blame though, we the youth proved them right by actively shying away from the mainstream. And like the yoruba sayings that reads – mi o le waku ole joba ni ile baba re meaning ‘the weak and lame cant win the throne even in his father’s house’. I think it’s high time we stopped hiding behind the yard to throw stone. It is time we rise and claim what is ours. It is time we stand to say enough! Well to be able to successfully play their conny game, they successfully excluded us.

Returning to the critics of the national conference, they did claimed and it did come to pass. They said the confab was a complete waste of time and resources. Well, I wouldn’t want to align solely with their claim as the outcome of the conference is still under check. But the amount spent was just outrageous. May be the critics were right; maybe they were not. Time will surely tell. After all, to whom much is given, much is expected.

The conference, however, stated amidst many cries and tales and the committee dint stop to amaze the populace. The start of the confab craved so many asides. There were displays of power tussles among the members, sleeping-present members, outright absence of some also showed their level of commitment, arguments about funds and allowances when there critical issues to tackle. Amidst all of these, we also witnessed some sad moments when some confabians slumped and fainted. Some lives were even lost. May their gentle soul rest in perfect peace for they died serving the nation.

Not disputing the fact that everything good must come rough, we still belief that the conference will solve the lingering problems in Nigeria. But like a man that is waiting to see the monkey swim, we are driving towards the fourth mainland bridge. Am sorry but this conference, or committee as the case may be, is in no way near solving our problems. They know this, yet they keep Coning us.

YOU CAN BE YOUR BEST

The truth is that tens of thousands have fallen by the roadside,hundreds of millions have drowned into the abyss of life,some have even crashed into the ever widening ditch between the rich and the poor and are not so comfortable with their decisions. Had they had this kind of orientation,perhaps things would have turned out brilliant for them. So endeavour to torchlight this excerpt and be assured of a futuristic change. Remember,’only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out howfar one can go’ -T.S Elliot.

Many a man has come to believe that ‘success’ is but a mirage; that it comes only to those who has,in one way or the other,engaged in illegal religious activities. They seem to look on themselves as a cow on a farmland;which has no other than tio get fed on daily bases, even though the progress of the farm can be credited to its restlessness (from cultivating to harvesting) but the gain in the outputs moves towards the farmer. Moreover,we need to understand that ‘no man is destined to be a slave forever’, everyman is born to be great,to be the best you can be if only you will put in place the right strategies.

In prologue,one major step you need to take to attain your best or succeed is to figure out one’s perfect discipline. You need to know in what aspect in which you do perfectly with little or no stress. So as not to become a ‘jack’ in the figure of speech ‘jack of all trade,master of none’. If you really want to achieve success,then you need to specialize in a particular field to be amongst the best or even the best in such aspect. Let’s take for instance the experience of two musicians. One of whom plays only the sax as an instrument and the other plays all kind of instrument(including the sax). We would notice that the former will be a better sax player than the later.

The later will be equal to several number of social network handlers whose bio reads thus;
‘am a web designer,author,business consultant,computer
engineer,private solicitor, and i also have a flair for fashion
designing’.
The first impression this gives me is that the individual is confused as he isnt sure of what profession it does,thus,he definitely cant achieve outstanding results among of the mentioned field. Thus,i cant contact him/her for any,rather will i give my works to a more competent personnel. Even though, there are brilliant people who end up being best in several of different aspects that they do,those are but exceptions confirming the rule.

Moreover,you need to build a perfect force in you to combat the greatest militating gladiator to human success. A gladiator with the sole aim of crippling your advancement which it does in a scintilating styles – ‘laziness’ it is called. It makes you distracted as to do what you are meant to do. Be it as it may be,laziness can be cubable by effectively avoiding ‘procastination’. Do at the right time what is meant to be done. In essence,remain focused as you need to understand that ‘blessed are the hands at work;there is dignity in labour’.

In addition,an individuals negative attitude towards achieving his ambition(which erupts via friends influences, high level of socialising,etc) ,thus warrants him to continue being an under achiever like usual. One needs to understand that to achieve success is the function of the mind. In a situation  whereby you have developed,towards your work, a weak faith; who knows,if that vision of yours is the light in which the world would be saved. Thereby making you a world embraced hero. In this sense, i ll advice for you not to underestimate your strength no matter what.

To be your best in life,your ability to persevere and to be patient is a test to victory. You excessively need this keys to open those locks of success. Do not always expect your works to come out perfect just after the first try; consistency is what you shouldn’t trow away. keep on the try till you carve out the best. Imagine if Muhammad(SAW); Isaac Newton,Abraham Lincoln,Graham Bell,Lord Robinson,and many more of other great minds, had lost courage and hope just at their first try,would they have being so great,even after their death? Even the word ‘impossible’ says ‘i’m possible’.

In addition, endeavour to search for knowlege no matter how stressful it might take you. just as the holy Prophet Muhammad has compelled us to do even if it is as far as China. Knowlege is a phenomenon that has no specific location;you only find it when you restless.

Above all,’you are nothing but pencil in the hands of the creator’. He, in His infinite power,has the ability to swing you  in any direction he wishes,therefore, to be that successful visionary,you need that divine touch on your work. Be very close to God, the Almighty as He alone knows best. Vast, prayer is the master key for anyone who wishes to remain standing and even fly. Allahu akbar!

With these mind catching excerpt, i believe you can attain that height. With faith

YOU CAN BE YOUR BEST!