The First Lady, Dr. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday apologised to Nigerians over the harsh economic realities and insecurity experienced under the Buhari-led government.
Speaking during the 62nd Independence Day Special Juma’at prayer and Public Lecture themed Shura: The Islamic Foundation of True Democracy at the National Mosque Conference Hall, Abuja, Dr. Buhari said:
“The regime might not have been a perfect one, but I want to seize this opportunity to seek forgiveness from the Ulamas and Nigerians in general. We all need to work together to achieve a better Nigeria.”
She urged Nigerians to pray for a peaceful transition of power in 2023, adding that citizens must unite to restore normalcy and peace in the most troubled parts of the country.
According to her, “Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, as you may be aware that this government is making its exit and perhaps witnessing the last anniversary of the regime, I ask Nigerians to pray for a successful election and transition programme.
“The regime might not have been a perfect one, but I want to seize this opportunity to seek forgiveness from the Ulamas and Nigerians in general. We all need to work together to achieve a better Nigeria.
“Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, it is also 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.”
While lauding the efforts of security agencies in fighting terrorism, she said Nigerians “must unite and fight against security challenges.”
“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 added.
To supplement government’s efforts towards citizens’ welfare, she said her office has put in place many programmes in areas such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, and engagement of youth and women to cushion the effects and provide alternatives.
“I, through my Aisha Buhari and Future Assured Foundation, have put in place deliberate efforts and programmes 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.”
President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.