The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy---Martin Luther King Jr
Fellow Countrymen; it's with deep sense of patriotism that I make this speech tonight. You will recall that when I was made the acting president and subsequently president due to the untimely death of president Shehu Yaradua GCFR, I had to do my best to keep the nation as one, knowing that the polity was still heated at that moment, as failure to do so would have seen the army probably striking, hence my inability to perform to your expectation. All I did during the two years period of serving out President Yaradua's tenure was to see to the rule of law which he began till he passed away. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
When the coast was clear for election to take place, I went into the race, campaigning to all of you in your various states, soliciting for your votes. Many of you formed various groups on my behalf to woo the electorates. May I at this junction correct this belief that I initiated the 'I had no shoes' mantra; on the contrary, I was shocked myself to see the campaign jingle all over the media. As a matter of fact, I was not consulted before it was done, but I realize that it was all campaign strategy aimed at appealing to your conscience. I made various promises in each of the states I visited, which was a total of ninety one (91). Dear compatriots, I have I not forgotten the promise made in any of these States.
I do not seek to be a hero among you; neither do I seek the title of statesmanship, when I don't deserve it. I'm not unaware that you turned your back on me during the infamous January 1st 2012 fuel subsidy which was engineered by the Federal Executive Council, an action which necessarily I would not have even considered, considering that I came from the same background as you. But who was I to say no to a Harvard graduate like Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who you all agreed is an economic guru, when she gave cogent economic reasons on why the fuel subsidy should be removed, even though I admit that I never understood what it meant. Tonight, I want to apologize for that action which I took that that caused the protests where lives were lost. I apologize to the family of Enenche Akogwu, the Channels TV reporter who died on the line of duty reporting the anger of Nigerians against the decision I took.
I feel your pain and I do believe you also feel mine. It is my sincere drive to better your standard of living that I approved the fuel subsidy decision, especially on a day when you all should be rejoicing and making resolutions for the New Year. Please forgive my being insensitive. The hallmarks of leader is admitting when they are wrong, apologizing for it and showing true signs of repentance. Yes, cabals have taken over my administrations as I have admitted over time; cabals whom I thought I could fight to a standstill, but I was wrong. How could I fight cabals like Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote, Jimoh Ibrahim, Dantata, Chris Uba and a host of others too numerous to mention, when they all bankrolled my election? I agree that in this area I failed Nigerians; I failed you, knowing that it was your votes that brought me into power. I was not blabbing when I vowed to fight the fabrics of corruption that have eaten deep into the system, but may I tell you this compatriots; the fight against corruption can be fought only with a clean hand, which admittedly I don't have. I'm sorry if I disappointed you.
Your complaints against Alison Madueke, urging me to fire her as Minister of petroleum is justified, and even though I truly wish to bow to your wishes, especially when glaring evidences were provided, but I truly do not have the courage to fire a kinsman, who have been a financial pillar to me and 'bedmate', as some of you allege, but I can sincerely say to you that they were all figments of imaginations of the media. I need not talk about Elder Orubebe; his corrupt files are on my table, but again, the same hand that held me back from firing Alison had also held me back from sacking him, but do not mistake me for gay, as I am not one. In this I know that I broke the oath of office by practicing nepotism. Once again, I apologize to all Nigerians.
Fellow citizens of our great country Nigeria, you must have observed that we are gradually winning the war against terrorism, as orchestrated by Boko Haram. Though it was not easy taking the decision to declare state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, but send a message that we are not a nation govern by terrorists, who vowed to hold us to ransom, I had to take it. The issue of Boko Haram will be a thing of the past before the end of 2013; this I can assure you. I urge you to ignore any propaganda of the group or any other insurgent groups. We will win. Yes, we will overcome.
If there is any individual that I owe loads of apologies to, the person is Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, who I admit has not done anything to me personally to incur my wrath. Let me at this very moment state that my fight against him has been due to what my political followers in the field fed me with, as well as his misunderstanding with my wife. I have been told that he intends to slug the PDP presidential ticket with me, an action which my political friends consider an affront to me. I know I ought to have personally asked him if it was true, but due to ill advise, I overlooked it. Rotimi Amaechi, my younger brother, accept my apology. The media has not been helpful as they have blown a little squabble into a feud. To my friends in the media, please help us in mending fences not deepening it, especially the social media which has become the main source of news to Nigerians.
Tonight, and again, I say, tonight, I am stating it loud and clear that my wife is hereby banned from attending any government functions in my capacity, commission any government properties or parade herself as an elected official of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am aware of the entire crisis that she has caused in various states that she has visited, especially her role in the catastrophe between Governor Amaechi and the presidency. While I hold my dear wife in I high esteem, I also hold the sanctity of this nation in high regards. Consequently, the Minister of State, Education is hereby relieved of his duties for personal reasons, while the Rivers State commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu is to go on compulsory. The minister of Health is also relieved following allegations of his incompetence as former Chief Medical Director of Ebonyi State leave Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH) and his inability to quickly put an end to the Medical and Health workers strike that engulfed the country. These pronouncements take place with immediate effect.
The education travails in this country affects me just the way it affects you. My Alma Mata, University of Portharcourt is among the schools on strike and it hurts me to see it so. You wonder why I singled out UNIPORT? When I was there, I never went on strike neither do the polytechnics shut down, but today under my watchful nose, ASUP and ASUU has gone on strike the same period. I want to put an end to it once and for all, but our coordinating Minister of the economy and Minister of Finance is saying that we do not have the amount needed by ASUU, but I can assure you that we will resolve it as soon as possible.
As for the long lingering crisis in the health sector, I hereby make a pronouncement to all medical workers that the role of the chief medical director is now a position for all health workers. This is to create the much desired harmony in the health sector as we have in other climes; however the holders of MBBS will co-ordinate medical affairs during most clinical activities in the hospitals. The board of all the hospitals will be reconstituted to allow even representation of all medical practitioners. The National health bill shall be signed into law by me the moment all the grey areas are looked into and consented to by the various medical professional unions.
Compatriots, this is the solemn moment; a moment of decision. I appreciate your followership for the past four years, as individuals and a people, however I have come to the conclusion that I do no longer wish to be your president, hence I am resigning as the President and grand commander in chief of the Federal republic of Nigeria. The letter to this effect will be communicated to the Senate President.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(Waking up from slumber) Pat, Pat..,This people are at it again. They are even suggesting to me in my dreams that I should resign from this exalted position of the President, when I'm yet to complete the MANDATORY eight years and I really tendered my resignation letter.
PAT: I know those behind it Joe, but don't worry, it won't happen. Just go back and sleep, then rewind back to May 29, 2011, then wake up from there; sleep again and this time you will dream of May 29, 2015 where you are inspecting the guard of honor. Don't mind them. I will see my fellow women again by next week.
Just when I thought that the JOHESU strike being called off will signal an end to the intellectual discussion engaged in during the period; I was proved wrong, as our MBBS friends took it upon themselves to throw salvo at our reporters and other medical colleagues. While we at secretsreporters understand their grudge against us, we also wish to state on record that most of the NMA members whom we sought their views in the course of our reporting on the strike issue answered rudely and proud, leaving the questions asked them to give millions of reasons why they are superior not only to their medical colleagues, but also Journalists; a profession that has sacrificed more for democracy than any other, a profession that has brought their struggle to limelight.
We await the communiqué of the NMA emergency meeting held in Sokoto state to officially state our stand on the health sector and its leadership position.
These little things matter
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on [email protected] and +2348026797588 (sms only please). You can now follow on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters