Monday, 21 August 2017

Read Buhari’s Speech to Nigerians on His Return From London

Being sick is a human condition. While we pray that sickness does not befall even our worst enemies, it is one of those life experiences that ‘will come when it will come’.

Fellow Nigerians, I am happy to address you all today on my return from medical treatment in the United Kingdom. It is by the grace of Almighty Allah that I am here with you.
I want to begin by thanking every Nigerian who prayed for my quick recovery. I also wish to thank those who lost patience with me. I understand your feeling. We have so much work to do in this country that every minute lost is a disservice to our people.
My special thanks goes to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He held the fort in my absence. I’m very pleased with his performance despite the difficulties our political structure imposed on him. He did the job of leading this nation so well that I have a renewed confidence in our leaders of tomorrow.
I also thank the National Assembly, my ministers, the members of the judiciary, our security forces and civil servants across this nation who go to work everyday and look up at the picture of their leader who had been absent for long and still dedicate themselves to the task of the day.
Being sick is a human condition. While we pray that sickness does not befall even our worst enemies, it is one of those life experiences that ‘will come when it will come’. For those concerned about the financial burden my illness must have exerted on our nation, I want to dispel your fears.
Though as your president I am entitled to receive medical treatment anywhere that my doctors deemed best, I’m waiving that right. My family and friends will take care of my medical bills.
As leaders, we must lead by example. I promised to end medical tourism if elected president of Nigeria. Two years after, it has not happened. You do not have to go far to know that it has not happened. My absence from Nigeria for 103 days makes it evident. It is my personal failure. I own up to it, the same way I own up to all that we promised but have not accomplished.
As part of my renewed commitment to this country, in my remaining days as your president, I will make sure that no president of Nigeria will again have the need to travel abroad to receive medical treatment. We have done greater things in the past. We can do this.
In the last two years, we have opened the window of opportunities for tens of thousands of our young people through the N-Power entrepreneur scheme. We have school children in 13 states of Nigeria receiving free lunch at school as part of our Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
In 9 states, over 26,000 are receiving N5,000 stipend a month from Conditional Cash Transfer Programme. We have stabilized the Naira and the economy. No matter how raw and uneven it may have been, we have taken a stab at the fight against corruption. Though it is still with us, its wings of impunity have been clipped. And instead of unrelenting on this fight, we are reloading and refocusing.
We have made strides here and there, but for many, the change that we promised has not materialized. In some cases, the change has taken many of our people two or three steps backwards. To them, it is hard to preach that stepping back is part of the process needed for a forward push. They may have seen the rams do it, but that does not mean that they will understand it and embrace it when it means doing with less meat in their pot of soup.
For me, this period of ailment has been an opportunity for great reflection. If I had an illusion that I would always be with you, that illusion is gone now. I will not always be with you. But I know that Nigeria will always be with you. I, therefore, come back with a renewed commitment to leave a better nation for you all. In the little time that I have left in this role as your president, I want to see a more united Nigeria for all.
Our unity can only come if we create an equitable and just nation.
I have had time to look at Nigeria from outside.

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