I am happy to join the array of eminent Nigerians present here today, as we celebrate the 2018 Nigeria democracy day which marks the 3rd year of this administration and to reflect on the progress we have made in our democratic journey and governance in the last three years.
A government elected by the people, must continually be in touch with the aspirations of the people, and work for their highest possible good.
The theme of this year’s celebration “Peace Building and Good Governance for Sustainable Development’’ has been carefully selected to reflect our current opportunities and challenges.
We have experienced rough times, but through good governance we have not allowed ourselves to be overawed by the existing of challenges. Weak governance is often at the core of rising inequality and unequal development resulting in social disruption and political unrest with negative impacts on growth and development.
Accordingly, we have engaged in several rounds of dialogue and town hall meetings, targeted at peace building, between the aggrieved and in some cases warring factions and communities. We have worked hard to dialogue with and if they turn unreasonable decimate insurgents in various parts of the country.
We are still grappling but successfully, with border disputes and restoring the much needed peaceful co-existence amongst our people and neighbouring countries. The rebuilding of the North East is ongoing, to return our internally displaced brothers, sisters and children to their ancestral homes.
Our resolve to fight corruption was informed by the realisation that reducing corruption and ensuring the effective and just utilisation of public resources, are crucial for achieving sustainable growth and development in Nigeria. Corruption has been at the root of most of the development challenges of our country. There can be no progress in any facet of our national life unless we tackle and curb corruption.
Good governance is the polar opposite to corruption. Accordingly, we will not relent in our efforts to eliminate it regardless of the opposition. It manifests itself in several forms including accelerating poverty, conflicts and civil disturbances, as those who feel short-changed, resort to violence and destruction.
The security in the country today has considerably improved against the background of what we met in May 2015. Incidences of bombings in towns and villages have been drastically curtailed, series of plots have been averted and stopped and culprits arrested through the vigilance, patriotism and professionalism of our security agencies. The entire country has been freed from occupation of any of its parts by insurgents.
While we grieve with our compatriots who have lost relatives and properties, we are unrelenting in equipping and preparing our troops to confront the agents of violence, who have been engaging in banditry and reckless killings in various parts of the country under whatever guise, until total victory is achieved. Again it is pertinent to note that insurgency and terrorism are world-wide phenomena affecting even the best policed nations.
Our Economy is on the mend. We have achieved a good number of our set objectives, notably increased food production and food security; increased economic diversification into sectors that were hitherto neglected or under-explored.
Our foreign reserves have reached new heights and the outcome in respect of investments in infrastructure expansion are manifest everywhere.
Overall, we are on track. I thank and commend all who have worked so hard with us to achieve these successes. I assure you that our people will continue to see and experience more progress, more prosperity and greater security.
Finally, I call on Nigerians to remain steadfast and to keep faith with this Administration, as we remain committed to peace building and good governance, to deliver the best of dividends of democracy to the Nigerian people.
Thank you and God bless.