- says painful petrol subsidy removal will be worth the sacrifice
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has declared that his administration would no longer tolerate illegal judicial orders, which is why he is making efforts to strengthen the rule of law by harmonising the retirement age of judicial officers across board in Nigeria.
He made the declaration in a dawn broadcast to the nation to mark the 2023 celebration of Democracy Day (June 12) set aside as a national public holiday to honour political icon, Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) who won the presidential election of June 12, 1993, but died in military detention of he General Sani Abacha government, without actualising his mandate.
The President noted that the democracy enjoined by Nigerians today as a result of the tenacity, sacrifice, selflessness and integrity of Abiola, must not be taken for granted.
He expressed satisfaction that the recent 2023 general elections were intensely contested, which he said was in itself positive evidence that democracy is well and alive in Nigeria.
“It is only natural that even as those who won and experienced victory in the various elections are elated and fulfilled, those who lost are disenchanted and disappointed”, he stated.
Tinubu then declared that “those who disagree with the outcome of the elections are taking full advantage of the constitutional provisions to seek redress in court and that is one of the reasons why democracy is still the best form of government invented by man.
“For Chief MKO Abiola, the symbol of this day, in whose memory June 12 became a national holiday, democracy is eternal.
“It is about rule of law and vibrant judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen institutions. It has become imperative to state here that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.
“The recent harmonization of the retirement age for judicial officers is meant to strengthen the rule of law, which is a critical pillar of democracy. The reform has just started.”
The President recalled that Abiola’s quest for power through democratic means was the desire to improve the lives of the masses by eradicating poverty, and that he (Tinubu) intends to to tow that path.
He therefore, pleaded with Nigerians to patiently wait for the dividends of the fuel subsidy removal he has sustained, saying that though painful for now, the sacrifice by the populace will eventually be worth the while.
His words: “To the winner of June 12, democracy offers the best chance to fight and eliminate poverty. Thirty years ago, he christened his campaign manifesto, ‘Farewell to Poverty’ because he was convinced that there is nothing divine about poverty. It is a man-made problem that can be eliminated with clearly thought out social and economic policies.
“It is for this reason that, in my inauguration address on May 29, I gave effect to the decision taken by my predecessor-in-office to remove the fuel subsidy albatross and free up for collective use the much-needed resources, which had hitherto been pocketed by a few rich.
“I admit that the decision will impose extra burden on the masses of our people. I feel your pain. This is one decision we must bear to save our country from going under and take our resources away from the stranglehold of a few unpatriotic elements.
“Painfully, I have asked you, my compatriots, to sacrifice a little more for the survival of our country. For your trust and belief in us, I assure you that your sacrifice shall not be in vain.
“The government I lead will repay you through massive investment in transportation infrastructure, education, regular power supply, healthcare and other public utilities that will improve the quality of lives.”