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Nigerians x-ray Tinubu’s inaugural pronouncements, express mixed feelings as administration kicks off

President Bola Tinubu
In an iconic gesture at the Eagle Square in Abuja, the national and defense flags were lowered and handed over to former President Muhammadu Buhari, and new flags were raised, heralding the end of the previous administration and the beginning of a new one.

Indeed, the long awaited day finally came, and the May 29 historic event held. Nigeria now has a new president and vice president, in the persons of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.

In his inaugural speech after taking the oath of office, President Tinubu told Nigerians that he will hit the ground running, highlighting some of the key policies and initiatives his administration will be putting in place.

In fuel subsidy and job creation, Tinubu reaffirmed his loud stand during the campaigns. He said, “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. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.”

In the area of security, the president said it is time for overall reform of the key sector, in order to win the fight against insecurity. According to him, “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.”

Talking about the Naira redesign policy, he said, “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.”

In electricity, Tinubu assured, “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.”

The president also promised agricultural revamping and food security saying, “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.”

Tinubu’s administration also promised better business atmosphere for local and foreign investors by eliminating multiple taxation. “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,” he said.

Among other things, President Tinubu also emphasized the need to grow the nation’s GDP, unify the exchange rate and review certain foreign policies.

Meanwhile, some Nigerians in Abuja, have expressed divergent views over the inauguration of Tinubu. For some, it is a dawn of ‘renewed hope’, while for others, it is a slap on the face of democracy.

Adams Kayode said, “Tinubu is here to lift Nigeria from bottom to top. He wants to replicate what he did in Lagos as governor, and even do more for the country. For me, Tinubu is an administrator par excellence, and Nigerians need someone like him to pull us out of the mess we are in now.

“Without any kind of sentiment, I am thankful to God that Tinubu has emerged Nigeria’s president. God has disappointed his enemies. I am confident and praying too, that nothing will truncate his four, or God willing, eight years in office, so that he will make Nigeria better.

For Bright Uhie, “Tinubu has been sworn-in in error. No one erects a building on a faulty foundation and expects it to stand the test of time. Tinubu is not the president Nigerians want and voted for. His swearing-in is even a breach of the Nigerian constitution. Remember that he did not get 25 per cent of votes in the FCT, even with all the rigging.

“Just like Bishop Onaiyekan, I’m still waiting for the court to tell me who won the 2023 presidential election. And I tell you something, the Nigerian judicial system is on trial as we speak. Nigerians are fixing their gaze on the judiciary. I believe the Justices will not trade the credibility of the last hope of the common man for anything,” he said.

Another respondent, Vicky Baba said, “Whether the election that produced Tinubu as Nigeria’s president was marred by irregularities or not, is immaterial now. My own is that a new government has been instituted, and so, all parties should sheathe their swords; let’s join hands to move the country forward.”

Court cases are on, no doubt, and Tinubu has been sworn-in. Whereas some people expect the court to unseat him, others think that the whole judicial process, after his swearing-in, is a total waste of time and resources.

In the meantime, Nigerians have one common reality to grapple with: Tinubu is now the resident and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at least, until the final determination of the suits in court.

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