The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has rallied Nigerians across political divides to support his incoming administration, even as he ruled out talk of forming a government of national unity when he eventually swear in, adding that he will rather a form a government of ‘national competence.’
Tinubu also declared that in selecting his cabinet he will not be weighed down by considerations extraneous to ability and performance.
In a special message to Nigerians which he personally signed, the President-elect said he is committed to an economy of double-digit GDP growth, greater food security and one with a strengthened manufacturing base as well as an active digital economy where young people will have ample space to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.
According to Tinubu, to secure the nation and to make it prosperous must be top priorities, adding that such cannot be sacrificed to political expediencies and the whims of politics must take a backseat to the imperatives of governance.
“As your incoming president, I accept the task before me. There has been talk of a government of national unity. My aim is higher than that. I seek a government of national competence. In selecting my government, I shall not be weighed down by considerations extraneous to abiilty and performance.
“The day for political gamesmanship is long gone. I shall assemble competent men and women and young people from across Nigeria to build a safer, more prosperous and just Nigeria. There shall be young people. Women shall be prominent. Whether your faith leads you to pray in a church or mosque will not determine your place in government. Character and competence will.
“We have bridges and roads to build not just for commerce and travel but to connect people of different faiths, parties and different outlooks in harmonious dialogue and common purpose. We have families to feed not just to eliminate hunger but to nurture enlightenment, civic responsibility and compassion.
“We have jobs to create not merely to put people to work but to afford all a better standard of living by which families and communities are improved and democracy deepened. We have water to replenish not just to quench physical thirst but to ignite a thirst for creative and better solutions to society’s challenges. We have a nation to protect such that we eliminate danger and even the fear of danger. May all of our people be able to live their lives in the light of peace and the glow of broadening prosperity.”
Commending those who contested or voted against him at the poll, Tinubu said his government will defend their rights to seek legal recourse.
“I realize many good and well-meaning Nigerians voted for other candidates. They are naturally disappointed that their favored candidate did not win. Other candidates have voiced their dissatisfaction, stating they will go to court to contest the election. This is inherent to the democratic process. We defend their right to seek legal recourse. While they exercise the legal rights afforded them in our democracy, I have set my course and mind on the leadership of this nation. We have important work to do and I am committed to getting that work done for the benefit of all the people, whether or not they voted for me or even voted at all.
“This is not the time for continued acrimony and partisan recrimination. These negative things can incite strong passions; but they are not the pathway to a better nation. Only unity and national commitment can serve that purpose.”
On the controversial Naira policy, Tinubu said an important step toward restoring economic normalcy has been taken by the Supreme Court’s decision on the parity of old and new notes.
He added that the judgement restore both the rule of law and economic decency, saying “but this is not the end of the story. It is merely the beginning of a more comprehensive solution to our economic challenges.”
The former Lagos state governor described himself as “the servant of a larger purpose. As such, I have gone straight to work.”
He said his team and himself have been daily engaged in discussions and meetings refining ideas and policy solutions so that the can begin actively working toward the common good the very first day he assume office.
“I ask that we work together as Nigerians for Nigeria. Those who voted for me, I ask that you continue to believe in our policies and plans for the country. I also ask that you reach out to your brothers and sisters who did not vote as you did. Extend to them the hand of friendship, reconciliation and togetherness. To those of you who did not vote for me, I ask you to believe in Nigeria and in the capacity of your fellow citizens, even those who voted differently than you. The better Nigeria I seek is not just for me and my supporters. It is equally yours.
“I do not ask you to abandon your political preferences. That would be undemocratic. I do beseech you to answer the call of patriotic duty as the loyal opposition.
“Remain loyal to the cause of a greater, more tolerant and just Nigeria. I too shall keep faith with this objective.
“If we all play our proper roles, we shall begin the task of rebuilding our national home together, day by day, brick by brick notwithstanding our political differences.
“As such, the victory of national progress will belong to all of us. The triumph of our nation’s democracy shall cite all of you as its very authors. This is how things should be.
“Dear Nigerians, this is our country. This is our moment. We dare not waste it. Nor do we back away to accept a lesser version of ourselves and of our collective fate. We can no longer be satisfied with calling ourselves the giant of Africa. We must devote ourselves to doing those great and historic things only a giant can do. As your president elect, I shall do my utmost in this regard for this is my sworn duty.
“I call upon you to come bravely forth as well, not for me but out of abiding love of country and for the people who inhabit it with you. We are so much better than we have been. Now is the time to stand fast and have faith in what this nation can be.
“I, for one, am standing. But this time, I shall not be the last or only one standing. Imagine how great we can be if over 200 million other souls stand with me. Let the world see a Nigeria that nothing can stop.”