Tribeca Festival Announces Stephanie Linus, Brendan Fraser, Chance the Rapper as 2023 Jury Members
Friday, June 2, 2023
Tribeca Festival Announces Stephanie Linus, Brendan Fraser, Chance the Rapper as 2023 Jury Members
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Happy New Month of June!
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Warner Bros. 100 Years of Storytelling
By Mark A. Vieira
Foreword by Ben Mankiewicz
In this official centennial history of the greatest studio in Hollywood, unforgettable stars, untold stories, and rare images from the Warner Bros. vault bring a century of entertainment to vivid life.
The history of Warner Bros.is not just the tale of a legendary film studio and its stars, but of classic Hollywood itself, as well as a portrait of America in the last century. It’s a family story of Polish-Jewish immigrants—the brothers Warner—who took advantage of new opportunities in the burgeoning film industry at a time when four mavericks could invent ways of operating, of warding off government regulation, and of keeping audiences coming back for more during some of the nation's darkest days.
Innovation was key to their early success. Four years after its founding, the studio revolutionized moviemaking by introducing sound in The Jazz Singer (1927). Stars and stories gave Warner Bros. its distinct identity as the studio where tough guys like Humphrey Bogart and strong women like Bette Davis kept people on the edge of their seats. Over the years, these acclaimed actors and countless others made magic on WB’s soundstages and were responsible for such diverse classics as Casablanca, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Star Is Born, Bonnie & Clyde, Malcolm X, Caddyshack, Purple Rain, and hundreds more.
It’s the studio that put noir in film with The Maltese Falcon and other classics of the genre, where the iconic Looney Tunes were unleashed on animation, and the studio that took an unpopular stance at the start of World War II by producing anti-Nazi films. Counter-culture hits like A Clockwork Orange and The Exorcist carried the studio through the 1970s and '80s. Franchise phenomena like Harry Potter, the DC universe, and more continue to shape a cinematic vision and longevity that is unparalleled in the annals of film history. These stories and more are chronicled in this comprehensive and stunning volume.
Copyright © 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Speech By Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group: Inauguration Lecture for the New President of Nigeria
|Africa: Speech Delivered by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina - President, African Development Bank Group: Inauguration Lecture for the New President of Nigeria on 27 May 2023 at Abuja, Nigeria|
Speech Delivered by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina - President, African Development Bank Group: Inauguration Lecture for the New President of Nigeria on 27 May 2023 at Abuja, Nigeria
The African Development Bank was ranked last year by the Washington D.C.-based Center for Global Development as the “Best Multilateral Development Bank in the World”
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, May 30, 2023/ -- PROTOCOLS
I wish to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his personal invitation to me to attend the ceremonies for the swearing-in of the incoming President-elect, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Congratulations Mr. President on Nigeria’s 7th consecutive democratic transition.
Congratulations to the incoming President and Vice President.
I wish to thank the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chairman, and members of the Presidential Transition Council, for inviting me to speak at this inauguration lecture for the incoming President of Nigeria.
It is such a great honor, to share my views and perspectives, as the nation gets ready to have a passing of the baton between H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, and the incoming-President, H.E. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is your turn!
I wish to congratulate you Mr. President for your stewardship of Nigeria for the past eight years. Thank you very much for all your strong support for me, as President of the African Development Bank Group.
Without your strong support for me in 2015, and then in 2020, I would not have been President of the African Development Bank. There is a saying that “anyone that is sent on an errand must come back and report to the one who sent him or her.” Mr. President, you sent me on an errand, and I am here to give you a report.
I am pleased to let you know that the African Development Bank was ranked this year by Publish What You Fund as the “Most Transparent Institution in the World.”
The African Development Bank was ranked last year by the Washington D.C.-based Center for Global Development as the “Best Multilateral Development Bank in the World”.
Dear Mr. President, as you leave, you can take pride that the mission for Africa is being well executed.
I wish to congratulate the incoming President, H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, who will take over the mantle of stewardship of Nigeria tomorrow.
I am delighted that my very dear friend and brother, President Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of Kenya was invited to deliver the inauguration lecture. He was a great leader for Kenya.
I am sure he must be wondering why there are two Kenyans on the same panel.
Well… I lived in Kenya for close to ten years.
I remember, one day when then President Goodluck Jonathan visited Kenya and I accompanied him as a minister, as the two Presidents were introducing members of their delegations, President Jonathan said, “Meet Dr. Adesina, Minister of Agriculture”, to which President Kenyatta responded, “Yes, Adesina is the Kenyan on loan to Nigeria as Minister.”
We all laughed!
Thank you, President Kenyatta, for your incredibly insightful and excellent speech.
The election of a new President always elicits hope.
Nigeria will be looking to you, as President Tinubu, on your first day in office, with hope.
Hope that you will assure security, peace, and stability.
Hope that you will heal and unite a fractious nation.
Hope that you will rise above party lines and forge a compelling force to move the nation forward, with inclusiveness, fairness, equity, and justice.
Hope that you will drastically improve the economy.
Hope that you will spark a new wave of prosperity.
And hope must be brought to the present, as hope deferred makes the heart grow weary.
The starting point must be macroeconomic and fiscal stability. Unless the economy is revived and fiscal challenges addressed boldly, resources to develop will not be there.
No bird can fly if its wings are tied.
Nigeria currently faces huge fiscal deficits, estimated at 6% of GDP. This has been due to huge federal and state government expenditures, lower receipts due to dwindling revenues from export of crude oil, vandalism of pipelines and illegal bunkering of crude oil.
According to Nigeria’s Debt Management Office, Nigeria now spends 96% of its revenue servicing debt, with the debt-to-revenue ratio rising from 83.2% in 2021 to 96.3% by 2022.
Some will argue that the debt to GDP ratio at 34% is still low compared to other countries in Africa, which is correct; but no one pays their debt using GDP.
Debt is paid using revenue, and Nigeria’s revenues have been declining.
Nigeria earns revenue now to service debt—not to grow.
The place to start is to remove the inefficient fuel subsidies.
Nigeria’s fuel subsidies benefit the rich, not the poor, fueling their and government’s endless fleets of cars at the expense of the poor. Estimates show that the poorest 40% of the population consume just 3% of petrol.
Fuel subsidies are killing the Nigerian economy, costing Nigeria $10 billion alone in 2022. That means Nigeria is borrowing what it does not have to if it simply eliminates the subsidies and uses the resources well for its national development.
Rather, support should be given to private sector refineries and modular refineries to allow for efficiency and competitiveness to drive down fuel pump prices. The newly commissioned Dangote Refinery by President Buhari—the largest single train petroleum refinery in the world, as well as its Petrochemical Complex—will revolutionize Nigeria’s economy.
Congratulations to Aliko Dangote for his amazing $19 billion investment!
There is an urgent need to look at the cost of governance.
The cost of governance in Nigeria is way too high and should be drastically reduced to free up more resources for development. Nigeria is spending very little on development.
Today, Nigeria is ranked among countries with the lowest human development index in the world, with a rank of 167 among 174 countries globally, according to the World Bank 2022 Public Expenditure Review report.
To meet Nigeria’s massive infrastructure needs, according to the report, will require $3 trillion by 2050. According to the report, at the current rate, it would take Nigeria 300 years to provide its minimum level of infrastructure needed for development.
All living Nigerians today, and many generations to come, will be long gone by then!
We must change this. Nigeria must rely more on the private sector for infrastructure development, to reduce fiscal burdens on the government.
Much can be done to raise tax revenue, as the tax-to-GDP ratio is still low.
This must include improving tax collection, tax administration, moving from tax exemption to tax redemption, ensuring that multinational companies pay appropriate royalties and taxes, and that leakages in tax collection are closed.
However, simply raising taxes is not enough, as many question the value of paying taxes, hence the high level of tax avoidance. Many citizens provide their own electricity, sink boreholes to get access to water, and repair roads in their towns and neighborhoods.
These are essentially high implicit taxes.
Nigerians therefore pay the highest ‘implicit tax rates’ in the world.
Governments need to assure effective social contracts by delivering quality public services. It is not the amount collected, it is how it is spent, and what is delivered. Nations that grow better run effective governments that assure social contracts with their citizens.
We must rebalance the structure and performance of the economy.
A very common refrain in Nigeria, with every successive government, is “We need to diversify the economy.”
But is it so?
The economy of Nigeria is one of the most diversified in Africa, with the oil sector accounting for only 15% of the GDP, and 85% is in the other sectors.
Nigeria’s challenge is not diversification. Nigeria’s challenge is revenue concentration.
This is because the oil sector accounts for 75.4% of export revenue and 50% of all government revenue.
The solution, therefore, is to unlock the bottlenecks that are hampering 85% of the economy. These include low productivity, very poor infrastructure and logistics, epileptic power supply, and inadequate access to finance for small and medium-size enterprises.
Nigeria must also shift away from import substitution approach to export-focused industrialization. Nations do not thrive through import substitution; they thrive from export-bound industrialization.
For faster growth, Nigeria must decisively fix the issue of power, once and for all.
There is no justification for Nigeria not having enough power.
The abnormal has become normal.
Nigeria’s private sector is hampered by the high cost of power. Providing electricity will make Nigerian industries more competitive.
And it is not brain surgery.
Take two examples: Kenya and Egypt.
With the support of the African Development Bank, Kenya, under President Kenyatta, was able to expand electricity access from 32% in 2013 to 75% in 2022. What an incredible achievement within 10 years!
Today, 86% of Kenya’s economy is powered by renewable energy. And in one project—the Last Mile Connectivity Project—the Bank’s support allowed Kenya to connect over 2.3 million poor households to electricity—that is over 12 million people provided with affordable connection to grid power.
In 2014, Egypt had electricity deficit of 6,000 megawatts, but by 2022 it had 20,000 megawatts of surplus power generation capacity. Amazing!
I commend the Government of Nigeria on the recent commissioning of the several power projects. But there is still much to do.
Nigeria should invest massively in renewable energy, especially solar. The African Development Bank is implementing a $25 billion Desert-to-Power program to provide electricity for 250 million people across the Sahel, including the northern parts of Nigeria.
For inclusive development, Nigeria must completely revive its rural areas.
Nigeria’s rural areas are forgotten and have become zones of economic misery.
To revive and transform these rural economies, we must make agriculture their main source of income, a business and a wealth creating sector. To be clear, agriculture is not a development sector. Agriculture is a business.
The development of Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones will transform agriculture, add value for agricultural value chains and attract private sector food and agribusinesses into rural areas.
Special agro-industrial processing zones will help turn rural areas into new zones of economic prosperity and create millions of jobs.
The African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are currently supporting the implementation of a $518-million Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones’ program in 7 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
We are ready to help expand this to every state in the country. We are equally ready to help revamp agricultural lending institutions to help modernize the food and agriculture sector.
The best asset of Nigeria is not its natural resources; Nigeria’s best asset is its human capital. We must invest heavily in human capital to build up the skills Nigeria needs to be globally competitive, in a rapidly digitized global economy.
We must build world class educational institutions, and accelerate skills development in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as in ICT and computer coding, which will shape the jobs of the future.
There is an urgent need to unleash the potential of the youth. Today, over 75% of the population in Nigeria is under the age of 35. This presents a demographic advantage. But it must be turned into an economic advantage.
Nigeria must create youth-based wealth.
We must move away from the so-called “youth empowerment programs”. Youths do not need handouts. They need investments. The current banking systems do not and will not lend to the youth. Special funds, while palliative in approach, are not systemic and are also not sustainable.
What’s needed to unleash the entrepreneurship of the youth in Nigeria are brand new financial ecosystems that understand, value, promote and provide financial instruments and platforms for nurturing business ventures of the youth at scale.
The African Development Bank and partners including Agence Francaise de Developpement and the Islamic Development Bank launched the $618 million I-DICE program to develop digital and creative enterprises. They will create 6 million jobs and add $6.3 billion to Nigeria’s economy.
The African Development Bank is currently working with Central Banks and countries to design and support the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks. These will be new financial institutions, run by young, professional, and highly competent experts and bankers, to develop and deploy new financial products and services for businesses and ventures of young people.
Several African countries plan to establish Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks.
Nigeria should establish the Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank.
Your Excellency, Mr. President-elect,
Nigeria’s economy needs to soar!
You have an opportunity to make history.
History by building a resurgent Nigeria.
A united and prosperous Nigeria.
It is Nigeria’s turn!
I wish you all the best for success.
May God bless—and help you.
And may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).
Monday, May 29, 2023
Full Text of The Inaugural Address By President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Inaugural Address By President Bola Ahmed Tinubu
My Fellow Citizens,
The Nigerian idea
I stand before you honoured to assume the sacred mandate you have given me. My love for this nation is abiding. My confidence in its people, unwavering. And my faith in God Almighty, absolute. I know that His hand shall provide the needed moral strength and clarity of purpose in those instances when we seem to have reached the limits of our human capacity.
This day is bold and majestic yet bright and full of spirit, as is our precious nation.
As a nation, we have long ago decided to march beyond the dimness of night into the open day of renewed national hope.
The question we now ask ourselves is whether to remain faithful to the work inherent in building a better society or retreat into the shadows of our unmet potential.
For me, there is but one answer. We are too great a nation and too grounded as a people to rob ourselves of our finest destiny.
This nation’s journey has been shaped by the prayers of millions, and the collective sacrifices of us all.
We have endured hardships that would have made other societies crumble.
Yet, we have shouldered the heavy burden to arrive at this SUBLIME moment where the prospect of a better future merges with our improved capacity to create that future.
To the surprise of many but not to ourselves, we have more firmly established this land as a democracy in both word and deed.
The peaceful transition from one government to another is now our political tradition. This handover symbolizes our trust in God, our enduring faith in representative governance and our belief in our ability to reshape this nation into the society it was always meant to be.
Here, permit me to say a few words to my predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr President, you have been an honest, patriotic leader who has done his best for the nation you love. On a more personal note, you are a worthy partner and friend. May History be kind to you.
For many years, Nigeria’s critics have trafficked the rumour that our nation will break apart, even perish.
Yet here we are. We have stumbled at times, but our resilience and diversity have kept us going.
Our burdens may make us bend at times, but they shall never break us.
Instead, we stand forth as Africa’s most populous nation and as the best hope and strongest champion of the Black Race.
As citizens, we declare as one unified people devoted to one unified national cause, that as long as this world exists, NIGERIA SHALL EXIST.
Today, Fate and Destiny join together to place the torch of human progress in our very hands. We dare not let it slip.
We lift high this torch so that it might shine on every household and in every heart that calls itself Nigerian. We hold this beam aloft because it lights our path with compassion, brotherhood, and peace. May this great light never EXTINGUISH.
Our administration shall govern on your behalf but never rule over you. We shall consult and dialogue but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.
We are here to further mend and heal this nation, not tear and injure it.
In this vein, may I offer a few comments regarding the election that brought us to this juncture. It was a hard fought contest. And it was also fairly won. Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has not held an election of better quality.
The outcome reflected the will of the people. However, my victory does not render me any more Nigerian than my opponents. Nor does it render them any less patriotic.
They shall forever be my fellow compatriots. And I will treat them as such. They represent important constituencies and concerns that wisdom dare not ignore.
They have taken their concerns to court. Seeking legal redress is their right and I fully defend their exercise of this right. This is the essence of the rule of law.
Over six decades ago, our founding fathers gave bravely of themselves to place Nigeria on the map as an independent nation.
We must never allow the labor of those who came before us to wither in vain but to blossom and bring forth a better reality.
Let us take the next great step in the journey they began and believed in.
Today, let us recommit our very selves to placing Nigeria in our hearts as the indispensable home for each and every one of us regardless of creed, ethnicity, or place of birth.
My supporters, I thank you. To those who voted otherwise, I extend my hand across the political divide. I ask you to grasp it in national affinity and brotherhood. For me, political coloration has faded away. All I see are Nigerians.
May we uphold these fitting and excellent notions as the new Nigerian ideal.
My fellow compatriots,
The Nigerian idea which I speak of is more than just an improvement in economic and other statistics. These things are important; but they can never convey the fullness of our story.
Our mission is to improve our way of life in a manner that nurtures our humanity, encourages compassion toward one another, and duly rewards our collective effort to resolve the social ills that seek to divide us.[/b]
Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper. We must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding. Let us develop a shared sense of fairness and equity.
The South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests are served when good comes to the North. The North must see the South likewise.
Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people. As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.
In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme. Today, permit me to outline in broad terms a few initiatives that define our concept of progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal:
The principles that will guide our administration are simple:
Nigeria will be impartially governed according to the constitution and the rule of law.
We shall defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country and our subregion.
We shall remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.
In our administration, Women and youth will feature prominently.
Our government will continue to take proactive steps such as championing a credit culture to discourage corruption while strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of the various anti-corruption agencies.
Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.
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.
On the economy, we target a higher GDP growth and to significantly reduce unemployment.
We intend to accomplish this by taking the following steps:
First, budgetary reform stimulating the economy without engendering inflation will be instituted.
Second, industrial policy will utilize the full range of fiscal measures to promote domestic manufacturing and lessen import dependency.
Third, 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.
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.
My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy.
Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.
Rural incomes shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products. A nationwide programmefor storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken.
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.
We shall continue the efforts of the Buhari administration on infrastructure. Progress toward national networks of roads, rail and ports shall get priority attention.
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.
Monetary policy needs thorough housecleaning. The Central Bank must work towards a unified exchange rate. This will direct funds away from arbitrage into meaningful investment in the plant, equipment and jobs that power the real economy.
Interest rates need to be reduced to increase investment and consumer purchasing in ways that sustain the economy at a higher level.
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.
Given the world in which we reside, please permit a few comments regarding foreign policy.
The crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in our immediate neighbourhood are of pressing concern.
As such, my primary foreign policy objective must be the peace and stability of the West African subregion and the African continent. We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.
As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity.
This is the proudest day of my life. But this day does not belong to me. It belongs to you, the people of Nigeria.
On this day, Nigeria affirms its rightful place among the world’s great democracies. There, Nigeria shall reside forever.
The course of our past and the promise of the future have brought us to this exceptional moment.
In this spirit, I ask you to join me in making Nigeria a more perfect nation and democracy such that the Nigerian ideal becomes and forever remains the Nigerian reality.
With full confidence in our ability, I declare that these things are within our proximate reach because my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and I am the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
May God bless you and May He bless our beloved land.
Film Criticism and Film Journalism
Film Criticism and Film Journalism
Anybody who can write and can study the Nigerian film industry can write on both Nollywood and Kannywood.
Don't mistake film journalism for film criticism.
Majority of those claiming to be film critics in Nigeria are either film journalists or commentators.
You cannot be a film critic if you don't understand filmmaking. Because how can you do a critique of a subject you don't understand the concept, content and context?
You don't know about Lighting for Storytelling and you are a film critic?
You don't know how soundtracks are used in storytelling and you call yourself a film critic?
You don't know costume for storytelling and you call yourself a film critic?
What of histrionics in drama?
Should I go on?
You cannot be a good film critic if you don't know the history of filmmaking or motion picture.
Until reading what I have written now, 99 percent of the so called film critics in Nigeria don't know what is film noir.
In the study of fine arts, we study art history and criticism combined, because you cannot be a good art critic if you don't know art history.
There is widespread intellectual ignorance and posturing by those who claim to be film critics, but they don't even know that filmmaking is part of fine arts and film criticism is part of art history and criticism.
This must be news to them.
Can they discuss Abstract Art in Art History and Criticism with Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima?
Can they do a critique of my masterpiece, "The Metamorphosis of the HIV in the T-Cell" collected by Family Health International (FHI) or "The Eruption of the Love Virus" in private collection since 1993?
I don't even claim to be a film critic.
I am a film writer and historian on the history of Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry widely published, circulated and studied by scholars and students in different colleges and universities in Nigeria and other countries.
Why? Because of the importance, relevance and significance in film studies, African studies, art history and criticism.
NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® Series,
The first book series on Nollywood and the Nigerian film industry since 2013.
Sunday, May 28, 2023
The 76th Annual Cannes Film Festival: Complete List of Winners
MOVIE OF THE MONTH: Without Remorse
VIDEO: FOR THE RECORD: FAREWELL SPEECH BY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
FOR THE RECORD: FAREWELL SPEECH BY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
My fellow Nigerian brothers, sisters and friends of Nigeria.
2. I address you today, in my last assignment as a democratically elected President of our great and well-endowed nation, with a deep sense of gratitude to God, a great deal of appreciation to the Nigerian people and a modest sense of fulfilment.
3. Today we mark and celebrate another peaceful transition of power from one elected government to another in our steady march to improve and sustain Nigeria’s democracy.
4. This year we witnessed the most keenly contested Presidential Elections since the first Republic and this demonstrates that our democracy is getting better and more entrenched with each election.
5. We must as a nation improve and sustain gains we make in the electoral process, on an incremental basis for Nigeria to take its rightful place among Nations.
6. Our democracy provides for, allows and encourages seeking redress for perceived injustices, enabling some candidates and political parties that did not agree with the results to go to court.
7. Irrespective of the outcome of the various cases, I urge all parties involved to accept the decision of our courts and join hands to build a better Nigeria.
8. I salute the doggedness and resilience of all the Presidential Candidates and their political parties for believing in our judicial system by taking their grievances with the election results to court.
9. In the course of the campaigns, we had argued and disagreed on how to make Nigeria better but we never disagreed or had any doubts that Nigeria has to be better.
10. As your President, I call on all of us to bring to bear the strength of our individualism, the power of our unity, the convictions of our beliefs to make Nigeria work better and together with one spirit and one purpose.
11. To my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past ten years - Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world.
12. You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher that I am leaving.
13. You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well.
14. The last eight years have been an exciting experience in my desire and commitment to see a Nigeria in which public goods and services are available, and accessible within a united, peaceful and secure nation.
15. Fellow Nigerians, on the strength of your overwhelming support for me and my political party, I started this journey with a great deal of promise and expectation from you. I never intended to be just politically correct but to do the correct things that will make meaningful impact on the lives of the common Nigerian.
16. This high expectation was not misplaced because, like the ordinary Nigerian, I had grown tired of watching the country progressively moving away from the path of correctness.
17. To ensure that our democracy remains resilient and our elected representatives remain accountable to the people, I am leaving behind an electoral process which guarantees that votes count, results are credible, elections are fair and transparent and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum. And Nigerians can elect leaders of their choice.
18. We are already seeing the outcome of this process as it provided an even playing field where persons without any political God-Father or access to money defeated other well-resourced candidates.
19. The Nigerian economy has become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure that our economy remained afloat during cases of global economic downturns.
20. You would all recall the supply chain disruptions and economic downturn that the world witnessed between 2020 and 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deftness of our response to the pandemic still remains a global best practice.
21. Furthermore, we increased the ability of the poor and rural Nigerians to earn a living, provided more food for millions in our villages and gave our women opportunities to earn a living.
22. Young men and women in urban centres were also supported to put their skills into productive use. Our administration also provided an enabling environment for the private sector to engage in businesses for which their return on investments is guaranteed.
23. The private sector proved a strong partner in our drive to build a resilient and sustainable economy as evidenced by the growing number of turn-key projects in various sectors of the economy.
24. In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologised to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country.
25. Mindful of the need to ensure adequate infrastructure to drive economic growth, we completed age-long projects and processes notably amongst which are the Petroleum Industry Act, completion of some power projects, completion of the second Niger bridge and various important roads linking cities and states.
26. Our battle to ensure that all Nigerians live in a safe and secure environment has achieved considerable results. As I complete my term in office, we have been able to reduce the incidences of banditry, terrorism, armed robbery and other criminal activities considerably.
27. To sustain the gains made so far, I call on all Nigerians to be more vigilant and support the security agencies by ensuring that our values defined by being your brothers’ keeper govern our actions.
28. Up-till now, I still grieve for our children still in captivity, mourn with parents, friends and relatives of all those that lost loved ones in the days of the senseless brigandage and carnage. For all those under unlawful captivity our Security Agencies are working round the clock to secure their release unharmed.
29. Fellow Nigerians, you know how dear the desire in my heart is, to rid the country of corrupt practices that had consistently diminished our efforts to be a great country.
30. I did pursue this commitment relentlessly, in spite of the expected push back. I am happy that considerable progress had been made in repatriating huge sums of money back to the country and also taken over properties illegally acquired from our common wealth.
31. To improve service delivery, we began the implementation of a number of reforms aimed at producing an Efficient, Productive, Incorruptible and Citizen-oriented (EPIC) Federal Civil Service and the results are beginning to show.
32. On the international scene, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow as exemplified by notable Nigerians occupying headship and leadership positions in renowned global bodies.
33. Our democracy is built on and continues to thrive on the principles of separation of powers. The leadership and members of the National Assembly deserve my appreciation for their patriotism which did not detract from their roles as a check to the executive arm.
34. I also want to use this opportunity to express my appreciation to a good number of Nigerians who provided their support and encouragement to help me navigate the exciting journey in moving Nigeria forward.
35. I cannot and will not forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term of office. I am constantly praying for you and for Nigeria to thrive in peace.
36. As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation.
37. I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.
38. I thank you all. And may God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
My Testimony on the 2015 Presidential Election, published by Lulu and Amazon.
Correspondence Between Me and a BBC Investigative Reporter for the Rescue of a Nigerian Girl From Sex Traffickers in Libya
The people in these photos are not Success and her cousin.
Correspondence Between Me and a BBC Investigative Reporter for the Rescue of a Nigerian Girl From Sex Traffickers in Libya