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FULL TEXT : Tinubu’s Inaugural Speech

This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation.

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My Fellow Citizens,

I stand before you honoured to assume the sacred mandate you have given me. My love for this nation is abiding. My confidence in its people, unwavering. And my faith in God Almighty, absolute. I know that His hand shall provide the needed moral strength and clarity of purpose in those instances when we seem to have reached the limits of our human capacity.

This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation.

As a nation, we have long ago decided to march beyond the dimness of night into the open day of renewed national hope.

The question we now ask ourselves is whether to remain faithful to the work inherent in building a better society or retreat into the shadows of our unmet potential.

For me, there is but one answer. We are too great a nation and too grounded as a people to rob ourselves of our finest destiny.

This nation’s journey has been shaped by the prayers of millions, and the collective sacrifices of us all.

We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble.

Yet, we have shouldered the heavy burden to arrive at this SUBLIME moment where the prospect of a better future merges with our improved capacity to create that future.

To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.

The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.

Here, permit me to say a few words to my predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr President, you have been an honest, patriotic leader who has done his best for the nation you love. On a more personal note, you are a worthy partner and friend. May History be kind to you.

For many years, Nigeria’s critics have trafficked the rumour that our nation will break apart, even perish.

Yet here we are. We have stumbled at times, but our resilience and diversity have kept us going.

Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never break us.

Instead, we stand forth as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the Black Race.

As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, NIGERIA SHALL EXIST.

Today, Fate and Destiny join together to place the torch of human progress in our very hands. We dare not let it slip.

We lift high this torch so that it might shine on every household and in every heart that calls itself Nigerian. We hold this beam aloft because it lights our path with compassion, brotherhood, and peace. May this great light never EXTINGUISH.

Our administration shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.

We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.

In this vein, may I offer a few comments regarding the election that brought us to this juncture. It was a hard fought contest. And it was also fairly won. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has not held an election of better quality.

The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.

They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore.

They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.

Over six decades ago, our founding fathers gave bravely of themselves to place Nigeria on the map as an independent nation.

We must never allow the labor of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality.

Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.

Today, let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.

My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood. For me, political coloration has faded away. All I see are Nigerians.

May we uphold these fitting and excellent notions as the new Nigerian ideal.

My fellow compatriots,

The Nigerian ideal which I speak of is more than just an improvement in economic and other statistics. These things are important; but they can never convey the fullness of our story.

Our mission is to improve our way of life in a manner that nurtures our humanity, encourages compassion toward one another, and duly rewards our collective effort to resolve the social ills that seek to divide us.

Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.

The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.

Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.

In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme. Today, permit me to outline in broad terms a few initiatives that define our concept of progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal:

The principles that will guide our administration are simple:

  1. Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.
  2. We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our subregion.
  3. We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.
  4. In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently.
  5. Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.

SECURITY

Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE.

We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower.

THE ECONOMY

On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment.

We intend to accomplish this by taking the following steps:

First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.

Second, industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.

Third, electricity will become more accessible and affordable to businesses and homes alike. Power generation should nearly double and transmission and distribution networks improved.

We will encourage states to develop local sources as well.

I have a message for our investors, local and foreign: our government shall review all their complaints about multiple taxation and various anti-investment inhibitions.

We shall ensure that investors and foreign businesses repatriate their hard earned dividends and profits home.

JOBS

My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.

Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.

Agriculture

Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken.

Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing. The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimize the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.

Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.

INFRASTRUCTURE

We shall continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.

FUEL SUBSIDY

We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor. Subsidy can no longer justify its ever-increasing costs in the wake of drying resources. We shall instead re-channel the funds into better investment in public infrastructure, education, health care and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions.

MONETARY POLICY

Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.

Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.

Whatever merits it had in concept, the currency swap was too harshly applied by the CBN given the number of unbanked Nigerians. The policy shall be reviewed. In the meantime, my administration will treat both currencies as legal tender.

FOREIGN POLICY

Given the world in which we reside, please permit a few comments regarding foreign policy.

The crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern.

As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.

As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity.

Conclusion

This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria.

On this day, Nigeria affirms its rightful place among the world’s great democracies. There, Nigeria shall reside forever.

The course of our past and the promise of the future have brought us to this exceptional moment.

In this spirit, I ask you to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality..

With full confidence in our ability, I declare that these things are within our proximate reach because my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

May God bless you and May He bless our beloved land

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Davido Launches $Davido Coin Amid Crypto Trends

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Singer David Adeleke, widely known as Davido, launched a meme coin named $Davido on Wednesday, May 29.

The coin was developed using the popular crypto platform Pump.fun.

Davido announced the launch on his X handle on Wednesday, with the tagline: “The pump stops when time stops.”

Collaborating with leading blockchain platforms Phantom and Solana, Davido’s $Davido meme coin has garnered significant attention from both fans and investors.

However, the value of the $Davido token plummeted just a day after its launch.

According to CoinMarketCap, the token was trading at $0.000010 on Thursday morning, a decline of over 93% from its peak value on Wednesday.

Meme coins are digital tokens inspired by internet memes.

The first cryptocurrency in this category is Dogecoin (DOGE), which received considerable attention upon its launch in 2013. Dogecoin remains one of the top 10 largest cryptocurrencies, with a market capitalization of just over $8 billion.

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Tinubu Signs Bill Returning Old National Anthem Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the National Anthem Bill 2024, reinstating the old anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

Naija News reports that Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced this on Wednesday during a joint session of the National Assembly commemorating the Silver Jubilee of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

Senate President Akpabio stated that the main purpose of the session is to launch the new national anthem. He added that President Tinubu will not deliver a speech, as he needs to leave to inaugurate the Abuja metro line.

The Senate and the House of Representatives had previously passed the bill in separate sessions.

The old anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was replaced by the current one, “Arise, O Compatriots,” in 1978.

Read the old anthem below:

Nigeria we hail thee,
Our own dear native land,
Though tribe and tongue may differ,
In brotherhood we stand,
Nigerians all, and proud to serve
Our sovereign Motherland.

Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice reign,
In peace or battle honour’d,
And this we count as gain,
To hand on to our children
A banner without stain.

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I won’t revert to old national anthem – Ex-Minister

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Former Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has stated that she will not adopt the old national anthem, recently reinstated by President Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s official anthem.

Ezekwesili announced this on her X handle on Wednesday, asserting that no one can suppress her right to oppose what she termed an “obnoxious law” offensive to conscientious Nigerians.

She declared, “Let it be known that I, Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili, will, whenever required to sing the Nigerian National Anthem, sing:

‘1. Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain
To serve with heart and might
One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.’

‘2. Oh God of creation, direct our noble cause
Guide our leaders right
Help our youth the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and true
Great lofty heights attain
To build a nation where peace and justice reign.’

The PUNCH previously reported that the Senate and House of Representatives swiftly passed the National Anthem Bill 2024, aiming to reinstate the old anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

Julius Ihonvbere, the bill’s sponsor, argued for the need for patriotism and nationalism, PUNCH Online reported. The 10th Senate approved the bill after reviewing a report by Tahir Monguno, chair of the Judiciary Committee and representative of Borno North Senatorial District.

However, many Nigerians on social media questioned the relevance of this move, doubting its impact on the nation’s pressing economic issues.

Similarly, Ahmad Satomi, a lawmaker representing Jere Federal Constituency, Borno State, challenged the bill’s significance last week in the Green Chamber, sparking widespread debate.

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Kwara marks Gov AbdulRazaq’s fifth-year anniversary with projects commissioning

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May 29, 2024 saw a cocktail of activities of far-reaching socioeconomic impacts for Kwara as the state government launched different projects to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

The day opened with the commissioning of the 4.7km Yebumot-Adeta Roundabout and Adeta-Oloje roads, which the Governor named after two elder statesmen from the capital city — retired Major General Mohammed Abdullahi Adangba and prominent scholar Sheikh Yahya Murtadha Agodi.

The road commissioning was followed by a walk around the newly developed Flower Garden — currently the largest green space in Kwara purposely made for outdoor recreational activities, promotion of work-life balance, and protection of mother nature in the capital city.

The Governor walked the lawn of the garden in the company of the First Lady Amb. Olufolake Abdulrazaq, federal and state lawmakers, cabinet members, and dignitaries from within and outside of the state, including the managing director of NEPZA Dr. Olufemi Ogunyemi.

As AbdulRazaq did that in Ilorin, Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi was in the northern senatorial district to commission the Jebba waterworks, ending the community’s longstanding thirst for state-owned clean water source.

At the banquet hall in Ilorin, creme de la creme from Kwara and beyond joined AbdulRazaq to unveil the Ilorin City Master Plan, the second ever blueprint since the creation of the state in 1967, as well as the talk-of-the-town 20,000-hectare Ilorin Smart City project.

AbdulRazaq said the idea is targeted at making the capital city habitable, eco-friendly, and compliant with the rules that govern urban planning.

He said the Ilorin City Master Plan has been designed to guide a sustainable living of the people for the next 40 years, while the Smart City is an innovative response of the administration to the multi-dimensional challenges of urban living.

“Today, we are adding another cornerstone to the foundation laid over 48 years ago by the founding fathers of Kwara State, who designed the first master plan for Ilorin. But this is not so much about etching a foundation for the sake of it,” he said this at the launch.

“This is about making our capital city habitable, compliant with the rules that govern urban planning in the age of climate crisis, and bequeathing a legacy for those coming after us.

“As of this morning, the United Nations World Population Prospects put Ilorin as the third most populous metro area in the entire northern Nigeria, preceded only by Kaduna and Kano in the ascending order. Ilorin, according to this data, has had a population growth rate of between 2.53% in 2020 and 3.3% in 2024.”

AbdulRazaq said the new master plan is justified by the population growth that he said poses a great social threat without proper architectural designs.

“While the Ilorin City Master Plan has been designed to guide how we live sustainably for the next 40 years, the Smart City is our innovative response to the multidimensional challenges of urban living that now confront Ilorin, including congestion and the associated pressures it brings on the existing infrastructure,” he said.

“Designed to host 540,000 residents, the Smart City is a nine residential district city that is built in compliance with the United Nations prescriptions for urban living.”

The first phase of this ambitious project covers 11,000 hectares with an estimated N1.72tr funding requirements from public private investments between now (2024) and 2027, the Governor said.

Governor Abdulrazaq also launched a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station in Ilorin, adjudged by the Presidential CNG Initiative (PCNGi) as the first in the region.

He added: “The launching of this CNG station is the direct benefit of the fuel subsidy removal of last year. That policy shift meant a national decision to adopt a cleaner and cheaper energy source for a sustainable future.”

He added that it will translate to conversion of at least 20 state government vehicles to CNG-powered engines in this test run.

Some of the dignitaries that attended the marathon events included National and State parliamentarians; cabinet members; royalties; party chieftains led by the State APC Chairman Prince Sunday Fagbemi; religious leaders led by Chief Imam Ilorin Sheikh Muhammad Bashir; Zanna of Ilorin and Chairman Yolas Consultancy, Engr Lanre Sagaya; President, Ilorin Emirate Descendants’ Progressive Union (IEDPU) Alhaji Abdulmumin Abdulmalik; academics; technocrats; security commanders; and leaders of the business community among others.

Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Segun Ogunsola, for his part, said the Ilorin City Master plan is necessitated by rising population, assuring the people that the project will take care of critical aspects such as tourism, healthcare, education, recreation, and flood control.

Engr Sagaya, in his goodwill message, commended the Governor for embarking on a master plan that will enhance the physical development and environmental beauty of Ilorin City.

He recalled the discourse he once had with AbdulRazaq centring on the need to have a new Ilorin master plan to meet the status of a modern town.

“I thank your Excellency for embarking on all these laudable projects, which are not only beautifying the city, but also critical to solving the traffic situation at critical intersections and junctions in the town,” he said.

Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on the state Geographic Information Service (Kw-GiS) Abdulmutalib Shittu, spoke on the efforts of the Ilorin Master plan committee that was set up four years ago to provide a framework for the implementation, and vouched for the capacity of Dar Al-Handasah Consultant Ltd to deliver the project.

At the CNG launch, Programme Director of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas initiative (PiCNG), Engr Michael Oluwagbemiga, commended the Governor for supporting the Presidential initiative, right from the onset and his great understanding of the benefits in the adoption of gas.

The Governor, meanwhile, flagged off the distribution of 16,000 textbooks across basic schools in the state.

He mentioned how the administration took Kwara out of the UBEC blacklist, paid the backlog of counterpart funds from 2013 to 2019, and again from 2019 to 2023, making Kwara up to date in that regard.

He said the administration has fixed thousands of classrooms across the three senatorial districts, recruited 4,701 teachers, and implemented a tech-based programme that has improved learning outcomes in the state.

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Senator Mustapha Congratulates Governor Abdulrazaq on 5th Anniversary, Lauds Developmental Strides

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Senator Saliu Mustapha of Kwara Central extends his heartfelt congratulations to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (CON) on his fifth year in office.

In a personally signed statement, Senator Mustapha described Governor Abdulrazaq as a transformational leader, lauding the governor’s exceptional leadership and his commitment to the progress and development of Kwara State.

He commended the Governor for his developmental strides since assuming office, noting that his leadership has brought significant advancements across various sectors of the state.

“The governor’s policies and projects have positively impacted education, infrastructure, security, health, and more. Since his assumption of office, his dedication to improving these vital areas is evident in the positive changes witnessed daily by the people of Kwara”, the lawmaker stated.

He urged the people of the state to continue supporting the governor and all elected representatives of the All Progressives Congress (APC), emphasizing that collective effort is essential for the State’s progress.

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Senate Responds to Senator Mustapha’s Motion, Summons Minister Over Stranded Nigerian Scholars Abroad

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The Senate on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to impose sanctions on officials responsible for the pains and sufferings Nigeria students in countries abroad are facing.

It, therefore, summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, and the leadership of the Federal Scholarship Board over the delay in the payment of outstanding grants to the students.

The upper legislative chamber also asked Tahir to provide a detailed report on the status of all Nigerian students under international scholarship programmes, including a breakdown of their unpaid entitlements.

*The resolution of the Senate followed a motion on a matter of urgent importance moved by the lawmaker representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Saliu Mustapha.*

*He said, “These scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialised education through partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitated by entities such as the Federal Scholarship Board, under the Federal Ministry of Education.*

“There are reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends, leading to negative media coverage and national embarrassment.

“The recurrence of these issues suggests systemic failures, despite previous interventions by this distinguished chamber to prevent such situations.”He added

“The Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over 10 months will jeopardise the welfare and academic progress of the affected students.

“The failure to fulfil these obligations not only undermines our national reputation but also poses significant diplomatic concerns and risks, pushing our students towards unlawful activities to sustain their livelihood abroad.”

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