Aisha Buhari Apologises to Nigerians over Insecurity, Economic Hardship
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The wife of the President Mrs Aisha Buhari has apologised to Nigerians over the effects of escalating insecurity and economic hardship on them.
She made the atonement yesterday at the 62nd Independence Day Special Jumaat Prayer and Public Lecture with the theme “Shura: The Islamic Foundation of True Democracy”, held at the National Mosque Conference Hall, Abuja.
Mrs Buhari said the combined monster of insecurity and economic hardship across the land in the past seven years had made life unbearable for Nigerians.
She apologized to Nigerians for the excruciating hardship they were facing.
While lauding the military for their gallantry in keeping the country together, the First Lady said the devaluation of the Naira and drop in foreign exchange had foisted additional burden on Nigerians seeking education, health and other activities.
“It is noticeable that our Naira is being evaluated and the foreign exchange rate has affected our economy causing a lot of hardship and difficulties in terms of education, health and other day-to-day activities of our citizens,” she said.
She called for unity among Nigerians in response to the security challenges, while also commending government for putting in place palliatives on agriculture, entrepreneurship, and engagement of youth and women to cushion the effects and provide alternatives.
“I myself through my Aisha Buhari and Future Assured have put in place deliberate efforts and programs focused on improving the quality of women, youth and children. Through this effect, I have empowered many communities. I appreciate all my partners and collaborators, the wives of the governors, the wives of service chiefs, my associates, well-wishers, and international bodies, that is development partners, I thank them all.
“I’m particularly happy that our security agents have stood up to the challenges of security more than ever before. And at the moment, their efforts have been pushing the effects of banditry, kidnapping and many other ills in society. I commend the efforts of our gallant security men and women and I want to pray for more successes in their operations,” Mrs Buhari said.
Also speaking at the 62nd Independence Day Special Juma’at prayer, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar lll have enjoined leaders at all levels to evaluate democracy by providing good leadership that will ensure the active participation of the citizens in governance.
Buhari was represented by the President of Senate, Ahmed Lawan.
The President, who expressed optimism that everything will end well by the grace of God, said as leaders they have a duty to provide good leadership which can be achieved through collaboration and partnership between leaders and those that are led.
He noted that from the type of democracy practiced in Nigeria, it is expedient for those that are led to also participate in governance, to be consulted and even where they are not consulted, they can advise to make their views known.
“Therefore, the theme is apt and is coming at a time when by the grace of God, in February 2023, Nigerians will go to the polls to elect new set of leaders.
”But the issue that I think is central is to how we reach there. The day is a long time.
“They say in politics, but I also think in governance between now and then, those of us who are at the moment at the saddle of leadership are supposed to continue to remain focused.
“They should also consult widely as to what we have been doing and make it better,” Buhari said.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (SCIA) called for a critical evaluation of the implementation of the Nigerian democracy.
The Sultan noted that the introduction of western democracy had raised a number of problems arising largely from the facts that western European democracy still has no roots in the socio-cultural development of Nigeria.
He reasoned that since Nigerians are supposed to be a free people who attained independence 62 years ago: “It is important to take a total evaluation of the implementation of democracy in our society to do a cost benefits analysis to allow us to actually know its true value and see what aspect suits us and what doesn’t suit us.
He expressed worry about the negation of the values that have fuelled the unprecedented levels of corruption in the society, all associated with democracy.
”It is important not to lose sight of the points. We are in a contemporary time and there are societies that do not practice western democracy,” Abubakar III said noting countries like China do not practice western democracy, but they were striving with their economy is growing and booming.
”But we know in the world today the economy everywhere is bad so is Nigeria also part of the world. But the countries that don’t practice western democracy have been doing very well.
”And so we need to look at how we can also manage our own democracy peacefully and inline with our values and traditions.”
On his part, Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said if the principle of Shura was followed it would create an opportunity for dialogue.
The SGF said that the practice enhances ethic communication, while promoting national cohesion and identity.
”This will go a long way in stemming inter-tribal, communal and ethic suspicions, animosity, aggression and conflicts,” Mr Mustapha said