President Muhammadu Buhari says he feels the pains of Nigerians at this time of fuel scarcity, poor power supply and economic downturn.
“As a government that was propelled into office by the power of the people, we cannot but feel the pains of our compatriots, and we deeply empathise with them. We are working round the clock to ease the pains of Nigerians, and the efforts of the government have started yielding fruits as we seek to make the petroleum products available nationwide, restore gas supply to the power generating firms, reflate the economy and put Nigerians back to work,” President Buhari said.
Speaking at the 2015 Vanguard Awards in Lagos on Friday night, where he was honoured with the Personality of the Year Award 2015, the President, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said he understands that Nigerians have started questioning whether this indeed is the CHANGE they voted for, while some have even gone as far as saying that by voting for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigerians have entered “One Chance”.
“Well, I can tell Nigerians that our CHANGE AGENDA is real, and that indeed, they will get the change they voted for. Nigerians have not entered ‘One Chance’, because the ‘One Chance’ drivers and their conductors have been driven out of town,” the President said.
“Change is a process, and that process has begun…The pains of today are temporary, and will soon give way to abundance joy as we put our country firmly on the path of sustainable growth and development.”
The President said all Nigerians, the Civil Society Organisations and the media are the real heroes of the last general elections in particular and the country’s democracy in general, adding: “And they, more than anyone or group of people, deserve all the accolades.”
He commended the media for the role it played in ensuring the relative success of the last general elections, and the resilience of the nation’s democracy since the beginning of this Republic.
“When the history of the last general elections as well as our democracy is eventually written, I have no doubt that the media will occupy a prominent place on its honour’s list. This is not a surprise, because there is no contesting the fact that from the pre-independence years through the years of independence, the various attempts at democratic governance and the years of military interregnum, the media has stood solidly on the side of the people and has fought for the national interest, without compromising its integrity,” President Buhari added.
In bestowing the honour on the President, the Vanguard described him as ”a living example of what tenacity, fortitude, and perseverance mean in human experience, and until future experience proves otherwise, he is the closest yet that Nigeria will have to America’s Abraham Lincoln.”