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Thank you! Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you all!
Let me express my profound gratitude to you all for the privilege of addressing
this great audience, and to the men and women who have worked hard to make
this gathering possible. Your efforts are appreciated as we work to make our
country a better place to live. Your efforts are possible today because you love
this great country more than ever, and because you have passion for change.
Today, by your presence here, Nigeria is honoured.
I’m happy to join with you in what will go down in history as the most productive
movement in pursuit of a new Nigeria. Let me assure you that the resolve we
make here on this day will impact lives forever. But, we must understand the
enormity of the task before us, the task to reverse the failures that spoil the good
name of our country.
Make no mistake about it: I have no illusion that there are fellow Nigerians who
will do whatever they can to frustrate our resolve today. They will do this because
they don’t want you and I to share in the good things coming out of Nigeria. But,
their actions will mean nothing as ever, because we know that in the pursuit of
change, consequences only strengthen and not weaken. Today, we accept the
reality of change. We believe in the possibility of change. And, we will meet the
demands of change.
My pain in the situation that we find ourselves today is made worse when I hear
comments that imply that our country is a mistake that should not have occurred.
So, I ask: what is wrong with Nigeria?
If one of us can say that Nigeria is a mistake, I have no doubt that any of us can
say that she is the capital of hell. Now, I am aware that there are consequences
over the years that qualify to earn our country bad repute. But, there are also
great times that qualify to earn her a good name. The truth is: we cannot
appreciate the value of change if we cannot identify where we have gone wrong,
and if we cannot be worried by the cost of our mistakes. So, judging by the fact
that Nigeria cannot exist without her people, the question I put before us today is
not: what is wrong with Nigeria but what is wrong with us?
Today, ours is a country where people in power are chiefly identified as those
behind the socio-economic inequities in our society. Wherever you go, you hear
that our leaders are irredeemably corrupt. And so, today, the hope that we
nurtured in our wait for better life is put in jeopardy.
Today, many want to rewrite their history of poverty by way of fraud. Today, many
want to partake in the looting of the Treasury. Today, many would happily kill their
fellow man, if that would make them rich. Today, many see a future that must be
defined by wealth. Today, honesty and integrity play no part in the success that
people seek. The thought to put restraint to acts that blight our country is far from
many because they are preoccupied with greed.
But this is what greed does: if you preoccupy yourself with thought about how you
can acquire all the power and the wealth, and by all judgment, your efforts do not
level up with your desires, you may be working yourself to a life susceptible to
criminal proclivity. Against this backdrop, many today, pick up lifestyles that
become clogs in the wheels of progress. Make no mistake about it: greed