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Text Of President Muhammadu Buhari Inaugural Speech by youngsahito(m): 5:20pm On May 29, 2015
Inaugural speech by His Excellency,
President Muhammadu Buhari
following his swearing-in as President
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on
29th May, 2015
I am immensely grateful to God Who Has
preserved us to witness this day and this
occasion. Today marks a triumph for
Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her
freedom and cherish her democracy.
Nigerians have shown their commitment to
democracy and are determined to
entrench its culture. Our journey has not
been easy but thanks to the determination
of our people and strong support from
friends abroad we have today a truly
democratically elected government in
I would like to thank President Goodluck
Jonathan for his display of statesmanship
in setting a precedent for us that has now
made our people proud to be Nigerians
wherever they are. With the support and
cooperation he has given to the transition
process, he has made it possible for us to
show the world that despite the perceived
tension in the land we can be a united
people capable of doing what is right for
our nation. Together we co-operated to
surprise the world that had come to
expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope
this act of graciously accepting defeat by
the outgoing President will become the
standard of political conduct in the
I would like to thank the millions of our
supporters who believed in us even when
the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their
resolve in waiting long hours in rain and
hot sunshine to register and cast their
votes and stay all night if necessary to
protect and ensure their votes count and
were counted. I thank those who tirelessly
carried the campaign on the social media.
At the same time, I thank our other
countrymen and women who did not vote
for us but contributed to make our
democratic culture truly competitive,
strong and definitive.
I thank all of you.
Having just a few minutes ago sworn on
the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath
and serve as President to all Nigerians.
I belong to everybody and I belong to
A few people have privately voiced fears
that on coming back to office I shall go
after them. These fears are groundless.
There will be no paying off old scores. The
past is prologue.
Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our
African brethenen should rest assured that
Nigeria under our administration will be
ready to play any leadership role that
Africa expects of it. Here I would like to
thank the governments and people of
Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing
their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in
I also wish to assure the wider
international community of our readiness
to cooperate and help to combat threats of
cross-border terrorism, sea piracy,
refugees and boat people, financial crime,
cyber crime, climate change, the spread of
communicable diseases and other
challenges of the 21st century.
At home we face enormous challenges.
Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the
hitherto unending and seemingly
impossible fuel and power shortages are
the immediate concerns. We are going to
tackle them head on. Nigerians will not
regret that they have entrusted national
responsibility to us. We must not succumb
to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix
our problems.
In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to
have misread our mission. Our founding
fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi
Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji
Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto,
Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam
Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita,
Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke
Akintola and their colleagues worked to
establish certain standards of governance.
They might have differed in their methods
or tactics or details, but they were united
in establishing a viable and progressive
country. Some of their successors behaved
like spoilt children breaking everything
and bringing disorder to the house.
Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind
ourselves that we are heirs to great
civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s
caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the
Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King
Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of
those great ancestors flow in our veins.
What is now required is to build on these
legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.
Daunting as the task may be it is by no
means insurmountable. There is now a
national consensus that our chosen route
to national development is democracy. To
achieve our objectives we must
consciously work the democratic system.
The Federal Executive under my watch will
not seek to encroach on the duties and
functions of the Legislative and Judicial
arms of government. The law enforcing
authorities will be charged to operate
within the Constitution. We shall rebuild
and reform the public service to become
more effective and more serviceable. We
shall charge them to apply themselves
with integrity to stabilize the system.
For their part the legislative arm must
keep to their brief of making laws, carrying
out over-sight functions and doing so
expeditiously. The judicial system needs
reform to cleanse itself from its immediate
past. The country now expects the
judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases
especially on corruption, serious financial
crimes or abuse of office. It is only when
the three arms act constitutionally that
government will be enabled to serve the
country optimally and avoid the confusion
all too often bedeviling governance today.
Elsewhere relations between Abuja and
the States have to be clarified if we are to
serve the country better. Constitutionally
there are limits to powers of each of the
three tiers of government but that should
not mean the Federal Government should
fold its arms and close its eyes to what is
going on in the states and local
governments. Not least the operations of
the Local Government Joint Account. While
the Federal Government can not interfere
in the details of its operations it will
ensure that the gross corruption at the
local level is checked. As far as the
constitution allows me I will try to ensure
that there is responsible and accountable
governance at all levels of government in
the country. For I will not have kept my
own trust with the Nigerian people if I
allow others abuse theirs under my watch.
However, no matter how well organized
the governments of the federation are
they can not succeed without the support,
understanding and cooperation of labour
unions, organized private sector, the press
and civil society organizations. I appeal to
employers and workers alike to unite in
raising productivity so that everybody will
have the opportunity to share in increased
prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most
vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media
today – and this includes the social media
– is to exercise its considerable powers
with responsibility and patriotism.
My appeal for unity is predicated on the
seriousness of the legacy we are getting
into. With depleted foreign reserves,
falling oil prices, leakages and debts the
Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and
will require careful management to bring it
round and to tackle the immediate
challenges confronting us, namely; Boko
Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the
power shortages and unemployment
especially among young people. For the
longer term we have to improve the
standards of our education. We have to
look at the whole field of medicare. We
have to upgrade our dilapidated physical
The most immediate is Boko Haram’s
insurgency. Progress has been made in
recent weeks by our security forces but
victory can not be achieved by basing the
Command and Control Centre in Abuja.
The command centre will be relocated to
Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is
completely subdued. But we can not claim
to have defeated Boko Haram without
rescuing the Chibok girls and all other
innocent persons held hostage by
This government will do all it can to rescue
them alive. Boko Haram is a typical
example of small fires causing large fires.
An eccentric and unorthodox preacher
with a tiny following was given
posthumous fame and following by his
extra judicial murder at the hands of the
police. Since then through official
bungling, negligence, complacency or
collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying
force taking tens of thousands of lives and
capturing several towns and villages
covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign
Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group
who are as far away from Islam as one can
think of. At the end of the hostilities when
the group is subdued the Government
intends to commission a sociological study
to determine its origins, remote and
immediate causes of the movement, its
sponsors, the international connexions to
ensure that measures are taken to prevent
a reccurrence of this evil. For now the
Armed Forces will be fully charged with
prosecuting the fight against Boko haram.
We shall overhaul the rules of engagement
to avoid human rights violations in
operations. We shall improve operational
and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary
steps are taken against proven human
right violations by the Armed Forces.
Boko Haram is not only the security issue
bedeviling our country. The spate of
kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/
farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to
add to the general air of insecurity in our
land. We are going to erect and maintain
an efficient, disciplined people – friendly
and well – compensated security forces
within an over – all security architecture.
The amnesty programme in the Niger
Delta is due to end in December, but the
Government intends to invest heavily in
the projects, and programmes currently in
place. I call on the leadership and people
in these areas to cooperate with the State
and Federal Government in the
rehabilitation programmes which will be
streamlined and made more effective. As
ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of
my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of
fellowship to them so that we can bring
peace and build prosperity for our people.
No single cause can be identified to
explain Nigerian’s poor economic
performance over the years than the
power situation. It is a national shame that
an economy of 180 million generates only
4,000MW, and distributes even less.
Continuous tinkering with the structures of
power supply and distribution and close on
$20b expanded since 1999 have only
brought darkness, frustration, misery, and
resignation among Nigerians. We will not
allow this to go on. Careful studies are
under way during this transition to identify
the quickest, safest and most cost-
effective way to bring light and relief to
Unemployment, notably youth un-
employment features strongly in our
Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the
problem frontally through revival of
agriculture, solid minerals mining as well
as credits to small and medium size
businesses to kick – start these
enterprises. We shall quickly examine the
best way to revive major industries and
accelerate the revival and development of
our railways, roads and general
Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I
can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so
much goodwill abroad as now. The
messages I received from East and West,
from powerful and small countries are
indicative of international expectations on
us. At home the newly elected government
is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and
high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a
window of opportunity to fulfill our long –
standing potential of pulling ourselves
together and realizing our mission as a
great nation.
Our situation somehow reminds one of a
passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar
There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.
We have an opportunity. Let us take it.
Thank you
Muhammadu Buhari
President Federal Republic of NIGERIA
Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

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