Nigeria’s new president, Bola Tinubu, has called for unity among Nigerians and even his opponents, as he seeks to rule the country for the next four years.
In a speech, after he was sworn in, Tinubu extended his hand to both his contenders and those who did not support him, emphasising the need to rise above political differences and work towards a better future.
“We are too great a nation and too grounded as a people to rob ourselves of our finest destiny,” he said.
President Tinubu acknowledged the journey Nigeria has traversed, the prayers of millions, and the collective sacrifices of its people.
To his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, President Tinubu expressed deep respect, stating, “Mr President, you have been an honest, patriotic leader who has done his best for the nation you love. May History be kind to you.”
This gesture reflected his commitment to recognizing the contributions of others and fostering a spirit of reconciliation.
Tinubu made it clear that his administration’s goal is to govern on behalf of all Nigerians, without ruling over them. He expressed his willingness to consult, dialogue, and respect differing views, stating, “We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.”
In the spirit of unity, Tinubu acknowledged the ongoing legal challenges from his contenders, affirming their right to seek legal redress and defending their exercise of this right.
He stated, “Seeking legal redress is their right, and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.”
Tinubu called upon Nigerians to come together and forge a new Nigerian ideal, one that transcends creed, ethnicity, and place of birth.
“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people,” he proclaimed.
On the economy, President Tinubu emphasised the need for higher GDP growth, reduced unemployment, and an industrial policy that promotes domestic manufacturing and lessens import dependency.
In his commitment to job creation, President Tinubu promised to prioritise the youth and work towards one million new jobs in the digital economy.
Tinubu’s vision for a better future, he says, focuses on redirecting funds from petrol subsidies towards other essential sectors.
He stated that “We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.”
“We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.” He added.