By Ogundana Michael Rotimi
For five years, it has been my honor to serve as your president. Today, with a thankful heart, I have asked for a final opportunity to share some thoughts on the journey that we have traveled together, and the future of our nation.
Tomorrow, 29th May, 2015; the world will witness the vitality of our democracy. In a tradition dating back to 1999, the presidency will be passed to a successor chosen by you- The People. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join the rest of you, in offering my best wishes to the President-Elect; General Buhari, and his family.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your president. There have been good days and tough days. But in all, I have been inspired by the greatness of our country, and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this nation we all love so dearly.
I know from experience that presidents have to face major issues that are controversial, broad in scope, and which do not arouse the natural support of a political majority.
A lot of you perceive that am weak, clueless and incompetent, but the truth is, am not weak, neither am I clueless nor incompetent. Everybody wants to tell the President what to do, but it doesn`t work that way. I came on board when there are numerous challenges facing our dear nation. Top of which are terrorism and insecurity.
Today, permit me to briefly explain why I couldn’t do some of those things you had expected me to do.
My idea of fighting corruption is totally different from yours and from what you want. While I believe in using modern technologies in fighting corruption and building institutions that will make corrupt practices very difficult to execute, it strikes me that you want a president that will go about arresting corrupt individuals and putting them behind bars. Now you have him!
The Boko Haram insurgency was a big challenge to my administration, and I could have performed better if they never existed. It was my wish to see them defeated and get them rooted out from the North Eastern part of the country where they have their base. But at the early stage of their operations when I should have dealt with them, they had too many sympathizers pleading on their behalf. And just before I knew what was happening, the group has gained more wings, support both in capital and manpower and have become more deadly than I could have ever imagined.
I sincerely tried to #BringBackOurGirls, but all my efforts were tantamount to no avail. I remain speechless on this and every time I remember leaving the villa without rescuing those girls, I feel terribly haunted! I hope they would find a way in their hearts to forgive my inability to bring them back home.
Today, as I stand before you, I also remember all those that have been the victim of one form of terrorism or the other, I wish our security men could have stopped it from happening. To the dead, may their gentle souls rest in perfect peace. To those still hospitalized, I pray that you get a speedy recovery. To others we remain strongly by your sides!
There are numerous issues I would have liked to talk about, but time will not permit me. However, give me some time and I will be out with my own book, Titled- My Experience, in it I will detail my experience in full.
As I return home, where I was born and raised, I look forward to the opportunity to reflect and to further assess with accuracy, the circumstances of our times. I intend to give our new President my support, and I intend to work as a citizen, as I’ve worked here in this office as President.
I leave with high hopes, in good spirit, and with deep humility, and with very much gratefulness in my hearts. I can only say to each and every one of you; thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you.
Am actually proud of a few men but majority of those that worked with me only succeeded in creating more enemies for me than friends
I am pleased to have this opportunity to talk to you once more before I leave the villa.
Tomorrow, General Buhari will be inaugurated as President of the country. A short time after the new President takes his oath of office; I will be going back to Otueke, my home, where I will once again be a plain, private citizen of this great country.
God Bless You all.
Long live Nigeria!
Ogundana Michael Rotimi
I tweet @MickeySunny
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