I greet and felicitate with you all, especially our citizens of the Islamic faith on this auspicious occasion of the 2015 Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.
I congratulate all those who have successfully completed the Ramadan fast in keeping with the injunction of our Creator.
Although we have come to the end of this year’s month of Ramadan, I believe that a greater acceptance by Nigerians of its key lessons of self-denial and sacrifice will serve our dear country well as we strive to overcome our present challenges, undo the damage done by years of bad governance and accelerate the pace of national development.
Reviewing our dire circumstances and the many missed opportunities of the past, some commentators and observers have said that this is Nigeria’s last chance to get its act together and finally begin to fulfill its God-given potential for greatness.
While not going that far, I certainly believe that now, more than ever before, our country needs greater self-denial, sacrifice and patriotism from all of its citizens, if we are to quickly recover from our numerous problems and start moving in a positive direction.
This current period of our life as a nation offers us a great opportunity to break from the vicious triangle of insecurity, corruption and under-development. We must collectively resolve to seize this opportunity and unite to confront our problems.
I remain wholly committed to giving the required leadership towards undoing the wrongs of the past, ensuring that Nigeria truly begins to unlock its great potential and that the benefits of our immense national resources are shared and enjoyed by all, not just by successive cabals of corrupt leaders and their cronies.
I was very aware of your high expectations when I assumed office and I reassure you, my fellow citizens, that since my inauguration on the 29th of May this year, I have been working with utmost dedication to meticulously plan and tackle the many national challenges which we identified and promised to resolve.
To succeed however, I need your continued support, understanding and patience.
I fully understand and share the thirst of my long-suffering compatriots for corruption-free government institutions that work efficiently to deliver visible development for the benefit of all citizens.
I also share the feelings of those who think that we should be moving faster. But I urge them and all Nigerians to trust that my commitment to real and positive change in our nation is as firm as ever.
There is indeed much work to be done, but we must do it well and carefully to ensure that the great opportunity which we now have is not lost to the “business as usual” group who selfishly or shortsightedly prefer a status quo that panders to their personal or group interests.
The adverse effects of years of rot, corruption, inept and bad governance on our nation are immense, but certainly not insurmountable if we all resolve now to place the well-being of our nation above all other considerations and work whole-heartedly with the present administration to achieve greater peace and security across the nation, and reposition our country for faster economic development and progress.
May Almighty Allah continue to guide us and bless our dear nation.
I wish you all happy Eid-el- Fitr celebrations.
Federal Republic of Nigeria
July 16, 2015