He added that the past year had posed challenges, from security to economic issues, citing the #EndSARS protests which he said, “were mainly led by youths and served notice to the demand of police reforms and accountability.”
Buhari added that the FG was committed to fulfilling the demands of the protesters with renewed determination in 2021.
“This government heard, listened and committed to fulfilling the 5 demands of our youths fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.
“In the midst of all these challenges, I initially pledged, that as your elected President, I would ensure that these ongoing challenges would be faced head on with renewed determination.
“Your voices have been heard, and we would continue to listen to you and all stakeholders who are committed to the unity of Nigeria to ensure that every region is safe for us all, while guaranteeing the future is also secure for the coming generations.”
Buhari said that Nigeria needed to secure the future of its youths, exhorting young Nigerians as global achievers.
“I wish to also reaffirm my commitment to the people of Nigeria, especially the youth, who need our collective encouragement, and support, in securing this nation, we need to secure the future of our youth.
“Our young people, are the most valuable natural resource; their ingenuity, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is evident to all.
“Many of our young people are excelling in various areas of life including sport, entertainment and ICT, commerce and are globally recognized as achievers.”
Buhari said that the FG’s engagement with young Nigerians would turn their passion into ideas, from tech to entertainment.
“As government, we are committed to actively engaging with the creative energies of our young people. We will partner with legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passion into ideas that can be supported, groomed, and scaled across regions.
The President said, “We would direct our attention and strength to reenergizing, reorganizing the security personnel of the armed forces and polices…to enhance capacity to engage, pushback and dismantle the operations of extremists and criminal groups.”
Buhari said insecurity was a challenge, with direct repercussions on nation economic sustainability, growth and development. He revealed that in parts of Nigeria where chronic poverty, social exclusion were already problems, Boko Haram had thwarted efforts of the FG to undertake social policy that could make a huge difference in the quality of life of citizens.
“We recognize that we have to move to a more proactive stance, to ensure that this sort of traumatic incident, does not become a norm.
“The administration is fully aware of the responsibility to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to threats to national security.”
President Buhari stated that the nation had recorded gains and would be looking at reviewing laws to ensure a smooth prosecution process.
“On anti-corruption, we have recorded gains so far, and are committed to continuing on eradicating corruption through collaboration with all the arms of government to effectively prosecute this fight. We will also be looking at reviewing laws to ensure the fight to be more effective.”
On Covid-19 Vaccines
The President said that the FG was finalizing plans to procure and distribute vaccines effectively, but urged Nigerians to maintain social distance protocols.
“I urge you all to observe strict Covid-19 prevention protocols. My pledge to you is same as it has always been. I will play my part without fear; I invite all of us to do same. It is what we owe to the founding generations and also to the coming generation.”
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