President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his readiness to exit office in about six days in office as President saying the pressure he had faced in the last few days had been tremendous.
The President spoke Tuesday at the close of the Regimental Dinner, organized in his honour by the nation’s armed forces at the Nigerian Armed Forces Officers’ Mess, Asokoro, Abuja.
President Buhari, apologised to the gathering for showing up late, stressing that he had been under immense pressure catching up with the array of events lined out for the inauguration, coupled with wrapping up official duties of his office.
The President had same Tuesday inaugurated the new Nigerian Customs Service headquarter buildings in Maitama District of the FCT, before virtually inaugurating six other projects across the country.
He also presided over another extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting from midday till late Tuesday evening, before heading to the Regimental Dinner.
The President told the audience that included the Chief of Defense Staff, service Chiefs and other top military brass: “Please, I will like to digress a bit from the prepared speech. I apologise most sincerely for keeping you waiting for about at least half an hour, actually I can hardly cope with the pressure and I’m desperately looking forward for the next six days”.
In his address, President Buhari charged officers and men of the armed forces, as well as other security and intelligence agencies, not to relent in their efforts to ensure absolute security in all parts of the country, even as he expressed appreciation for the sacrifices they have so far made.
His words: “Please permit me use to this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria for their unwavering loyalty, hard work, dedication and selfless service to our beloved nation. I’m fully aware of all you sacrifices and commitment in tackling the various security challenges and your contributions to the successful elections in our country.
“However, until the issue of insecurity is surmounted, much more is still desired from the Armed Forces of Nigeria. Consequently, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the other security agencies, must always remain resolute in the face of the country’s security challenges. In this vein, our administration, though winding down soon, will never relent in providing the needed support to the military, to enable them to effectively carry out their constitutional responsibilities.
“Let me now thank the chief host, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Honourable Minister of Defense, the Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies at this event, for your dedicated service to the nation. I commend you and thank our esteemed guests for coming to this historic occasion.
“Let me now pray for the repose of the souls of our fallen heroes. Their ultimate sacrifice will never be in vain. May the Almighty God continue to grant them eternal rest”.
Dignitaries at the dinner include Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu; Chairman of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele; members of the National Assembly, among others.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja