In his first Independence Day speech as Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has explained to Nigerians why he submitted the ministerial list late.
In the speech made available to media houses before the 7am broadcast to commemorate the country’s 55th Independence anniversary, the Nigerian president also explained why he sent an incomplete list to the National Assembly late yesterday, citing the handing over procedure to his government by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, as a major setback.
Buhari, who also acknowledged the anxiety of Nigerians to see the ministers he will be working with for the next four years, disclosed that he could not submit the full list because he was yet to finish compiling the nominees for various parastatals, but will forward the additional names to the National Assembly in due course.
According to Leadership, he said: “Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue.
“Fellow Nigerians, there has been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in the announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly.
“We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over. Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its report on the reorganization of federal government structure after studying the handover notes.
“It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.
“Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for change is all about.
“As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view, to join me in working for the nation.”
He also spoke about the desired change Nigerians have been clamouring for, noting that it does not happen overnight as Nigerians need to exercise more patience and also imbibe the change themselves.
“I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for Change. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about.
“We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behaviour in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens,” Buhari said.
On the Independence Day celebration, the president said October 1 calls for joy and celebrations for Nigerians despite the circumstances they find themselves because it is the day, 55 years ago, we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.
“No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honoring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet.
“This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress. Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.
“Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system.
“Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences,” President Buhari noted.
Meanwhile, former Rivers, Lagos, Ekiti and Anambra state governors, Rotimi Amaechi, Babatunde Fashola, Kayode Fayemi and Chris Ngige respectively have been rumoured to be on the president’s list submitted to Saraki yesterday night.