President Buhari: “I’m Struggling to Cope With Last-Minute Pressure”
President Muhammadu Buhari is under enormous pressure as his administration winds down after serving two eight-year terms.
On a day when he juggled many activities, including the inauguration of no fewer than eight projects, he also left a parting message to the military: do not give up until the insurgency is defeated.
President Buhari spoke at the Regimental Dinner organised in his honour by the Armed Forces on Tuesday night in Abuja at the newly commissioned Nigerian Armed Forces Officers’ Mess, Asokoro.
He was accompanied by the Federation’s Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Salihi Magashi, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and service chiefs.
The President stated that he could not wait to leave office in four days because the pressures of the final lap of activities were wearing him down.
President Buhari apologised for his unusually late arrival at the event.
He had previously virtually inaugurated six other projects across the country, including the new Nigerian Customs Service Headquarters in the Maitama District of the FCT.
Before leaving for the Regimental Dinner, he presided over another extraordinary Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting from midday to late Tuesday.
“Please allow me to deviate slightly from my prepared speech.” I sincerely apologise for keeping you waiting for at least half an hour.
“Actually, I can hardly cope with the pressure, and I’m desperately looking forward to the next six days,” he told a gathering of top military brass.
A Regimental Dinner is a ceremony in which the military hierarchy sends off an outgoing Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
President Buhari will leave office on Monday, allowing President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to take over as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The President urged the military, as well as other security and intelligence agencies, not to give up their efforts to secure the entire country.
He thanked members of the armed forces for their service and sacrifice.
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Paying tribute to “their unwavering loyalty, hard work, dedication, and selfless service to our beloved nation,” the President emphasised that no one should relax until insecurity is overcome.
“As a result, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies must always remain steadfast in the face of the country’s security challenges,” he said.
“In this vein, our administration, though it will soon be winding down, will never relent in providing the necessary support to the military to enable them to carry out their constitutional responsibilities effectively.”
“Let me now express my gratitude to the chief host, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Service Chiefs, and the heads of other security agencies present at this event, for your dedicated service to the nation.”
“I commend you and thank our distinguished guests for attending this historic event.”
“Let me now pray for the repose of our fallen heroes’ souls.” Their ultimate sacrifice will not go unnoticed.
“May Almighty God continue to grant them eternal rest,” President Obama said.