PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, on January 1, failed to deliver the traditional new year broadcast to Nigerians.
Nigerian presidents usually address the citizens with nationwide broadcasts on January 1.
The address is broadcast simultaneously by publicly- and privately-owned television and radio stations in the country.
The presidency usually releases statements to notify Nigerians ahead of the broadcast, and radio and television stations are enjoined to join the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), respectively, to transmit the address.
No explanation was given for the absence of the traditional new year broadcast on January 1.
However, in the absence of the broadcast, the presidency released ‘President Muhammadu Buhari’s Statement to the Nation on January 1, 2022.’
The statement was released on December 31, 2021 – New Year Eve.
The president, in the statement, wished Nigerians a happy and prosperous new year.
Buhari also said his administration was winning the war on corruption.
He said, “We have given the utmost priority to fighting corruption and other related offenses which have been a bane to the growth and prosperity of our dear nation.
“We have made major strides and breakthroughs through the innovative use of technology and forensics in the investigative and prosecutorial procedures with commendable results to show that the anti-corruption drive of our administration is succeeding.”
According to the president, the accomplishments that had been recorded in the war on corruption could be traced to the dedication of the nation’s anti-corruption agencies who he said had received the necessary support needed to effectively prosecute their duties.
Buhari added that the issue of security remained at the front burner of priority areas his administration gave utmost attention.
According to him, records showed that his administration invested heavily in re-equipping the military by upgrading the platforms and firepower required to tackle the current challenges being faced in the country.
“The net results of these efforts have been the number of insurgents and bandits who have willingly surrendered to our security forces and continue to do so through various channels and the Safe Corridor created for that purpose,” he added.
But Buhari observed that the Nigerian government had realised that victory on the battlefield was not enough.
“We know that to fully win this war, we must also win the peace and real security lies in winning the hearts and minds of the affected citizens.”
He said the government would be working with international partners and neighbouring countries, and deploy multi-faceted solutions that would be targeted at addressing human security at the grassroots before it led to insecurity.
Buhari paid tributes to military and Police officers and other security agents who lost their lives in the cause of protecting the country against both internal and external aggressors, and assured the families of the fallen heroes that their sacrifices would not be in vain.
He equally commiserated with Nigerians who had lost loved ones as a result of insecurity in different parts of the country.
Buhari said his administration had recorded ‘major wins’ in the economy, noting that despite the challenges “the good news is that we have so far recorded four consecutive quarters of growth after the negative growth rates recorded in Quarter 2 and Quarter 3 of 2020 due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him, the 5.1 per cent (year on year) growth in real terms recorded by Nigeria in Quarter 2 of 2021 was one of the best recorded by any nation across Sub-Saharan Africa and remained the highest growth recorded by the Nigerian economy since 2014.
According to the president, in 2021 his administration successfully executed key projects, programmes and initiatives in line with promises made under the Security, Economy Anti-corruption (SEA) agenda.
Buhari further disclosed that in 2022 and going forward, his administration would intentionally leverage ICT platforms to create jobs.
He said several foreign investors were taking advantage of Nigeria’s ranking as one of the leading start-up ecosystems in Africa to invest in the country’s digital economy.
The president urged Nigerians to welcome 2022 with hope and envision a year of continued progress against the country’s security and socio-economic challenges.
Buhari, in the same vein, urged Nigerians to unite in the fight to keep the country united against all odds.