‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


DAILY COURIER – President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Thursday, said he would assemble competent men, women and young people from across the country, to build a safer and more prosperous Nigeria.


Reiterating that the presidential election was ‘fair and credible’, Tinubu said he will not be confined by political consideration in assembling his government.


Giving a hint on what Nigerians should expect as he formally assumed power on May 29, the President-elect, in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, said while there had been talks of a government of national unity, his aim was much higher because he sought a government of national competence.


“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 ability 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.


“To secure our nation and to make it prosperous must be our top priorities. We cannot sacrifice these goals for political expediency. The whims of politics must take a backseat to the imperatives of governance,” he said.


Tinubu noted that an important step toward restoring economic normalcy had been taken by the Supreme Court’s decision on the old and new notes.


He said this has restored both the rule of law and economic decency, adding that it was not the end of the story, but the beginning of a more comprehensive solution to the country’s economic challenges


He stressed that there are 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.


“An important step toward restoring economic normalcy has been taken by the Supreme Court’s decision on the parity of old and new notes. This restores both the rule of law and economic decency. But this is not the end of the story. It is merely the beginning of a more comprehensive solution to our economic challenges,” he said.


Tinubu assured that he was 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 would have ample space to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.


On the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election, Tinubu said a fair and credible election had been held and won


The President-elect restated that he realised many good and well-meaning Nigerians voted for other candidates, saying they are naturally disappointed that their favoured candidate did not win, while other candidates have voiced their dissatisfaction, stating they would 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.


“Critics of Nigeria have been too quick to conclude that our political system is fragmented because of the impressive showing of new parties and their candidates. These critics are wrong. The emergence of the new parties and their candidates underscores the dynamic strength of our democracy. People want democracy to work and they want to have their voices heard and interests met within it. This is a good thing to be promoted, not something to be feared.


“What must concern us is not the growth of parties but the regrowth of old prejudices and bigotries such as ethnicity, creed and place of origin. As a nation and as individuals imbued with the love of God and our fellow man, we are better than this. At some point, we must decide whether we shall be enticed by the ills of the past or shall we more bravely and nobly be encouraged by the eminent prospect of a brighter future.


“There have been times in our past when our governing institutions created more questions than they answered. But the arc of our political history gives me confidence that we can overcome that past. We have walked through the thick of the night to emerge into the light of brighter days to come. There is no good reason to retreat into the darkness of years past,” he said.