President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday recounted how the nation has fared so far, explaining that the last 18months have been some of the “most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria”.
In his Independence Day anniversary broadcast to the nation, the President noted that since the civil war, the country has not seen a period of more heightened challenges than what has been witnessed in the months under review.
He said, “Fellow Nigerians, the past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period”.
According to President Buhari, his government’s original priorities for 2020 were to continue stabilising the economy following the deep recession while restoring peace in areas confronted with security challenges.
He, however, stated that the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on all nations meant that his government “needed to shift gears and re-strategise”.
The President while speaking further on the impact of the pandemic, said Nigerians came together as one to fight against COVID-19, adding that this attitude and the special grace of God, has kept the nation surviving and providing leadership and example at regional and international levels.
The Commander-In-Chief asserted that for 1st of October 1960 to happen, all hands were on deck, adding that Independence Day should not only serve as a reminder of the day the British handed over the reins of power to Nigerians but also unified Nigerians from all ethnic groups, religions, and regions.
While stating that despite the challenges the country faces at the moment, most Nigerians still maintain the spirit of October 1st, which is a positive outlook and determination to make Nigeria a peaceful and prosperous nation.
According to him, it is due to this collective attitude that Nigeria doggedly continues to remain a united and indivisible nation.
President Buhari further stated that a lot has been achieved in the last six years on many fronts: “in infrastructure, social care, governance, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community”.
Adding, however, that “critics misdiagnose incremental progress as stagnation”.
The President reiterated that no government since 1999 has done what his administration has done in six years to put Nigeria back on track, he assured that his government will continue to serve the country; listening to all and protecting her democracy and unity.