First Lady Senator Oluremi Tinubu has pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with President Bola Tinubu, saying he is not a magician.
She made the appeal on Sunday, October 1, in her remarks as the Special Guest of Honour at Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Anniversary Inter-denominational church service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The wife of the president said while the administration is not laying blame on any administration its primary purpose is to fix what is damaged.
She said: “We just came back from UNGA ‘78, it was really successful for us as a nation. The world awaits Nigeria and investors in our team. We came back with good news and all we inherited are things that have happened many years ago. We are not here to put blame on any administration but to fix what is damaged.
“My husband is not a magician; he is going to work brick by brick and I believe and hope that you will have faith in this administration. The best is yet to come for us.”
Addressing the congregation, she expressed gratitude to God for enabling her to celebrate the country’s Independence Day anniversary at the National Christian Centre as the First Lady as something no one would have ever imagined, saying the occasion was a testimony on its own.
She said: “I bring you warm greetings from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Today, as we gather to praise and worship God, let us remember God’s faithfulness and love to us.
“These words remind us that hope is not just a phrase but a spirit that resides in each and every one of us. It is hope that transcends many challenges and uncertainties of the present. A hope that is deeply rooted in love and sacrifice, this is all what the love of Christ signifies. As a nation, we need to recognize that Christ being in us would only be exemplified by his nature or embodied in the food of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith and neatness, against such there is no love.”
She quoted Galatians: 5 verses 22- 23 which says good governance can only be impactful. The faithful follow the example of Jesus Christ, who taught about forgiveness when they are offended and to forgive one another and be patient with one another.
The first lady asked Nigerians to celebrate the unity that defines their diversity, adding there is no challenge, obstacle or difficulty that cannot be overcome or surmount if they imbibe the nature of Christ who says in Matthew 11 verses 28- 29, ‘come onto me all ye that labour and heavy laden and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and you shall find rest to your souls’.
“In times like this all we have to do is to keep our hope alive. The lively hope which Jesus Christ has birthed in us.
“The Nigeria of abundance has begun. If we do not have hope, how do we become part of this greatness that God has started in our nation? The bible says it is not what we see, but because when we see how we hope for it.
“Our hopes and expectations will not be cut short in Jesus name. My prayer for Nigeria is that Nigeria will rise out of the ashes of despair and despondency in Jesus name,” she said.
Also, in speaking at the service, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume has appealed to Nigerians to moderate their expectations noting that solutions to complex problems confronting the country at this time can never be as instant and prompt.
Akume’s remarks were in response to the lecture by the guest minister, the President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Israel Akanji that Nigerians were tired of the unfulfilled promises in the past being rehashed again by the present administration.
Akume said that President Tinubu had only done four months of the 48 months mandate given him by Nigerians on May 29, 2023 to transform the country and should be given enough time to implement his Renewed Hope agenda.
“I have listened to the very inspiring statement by the Rev Dr Israel Akanji. However, I want to observe one thing. I believe most of you listened to the broadcast of Mr. President this morning. The statement of hope, not only that the major inputs in place were spelt out in that statement.
“This government was sworn in on May 29 2023. Nigerians gave President Bola Tinubu 48 months to transform Nigeria. He has done four months. Solutions to complex problems can never be as instant and prompt in this time. But major programmes,” Akume said.
The SGF said that the government is considering mass funding of vehicles that can use CNG while reforms were being taken to yield greater results in the financial sector to ensure the growth of the economy on a scale that has never been known before.
“And the former president said about President Tinubu when he was then candidate. He did it in Lagos and believed very strongly that he would do it across the country. He has started and by the time the CBN report of the CBN is out, that is when Nigerians will know why we are where we are today,” Akume said.
The officiating minister, President, Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji expresses fear that the country is wounded and bleeding following the insecurity.
He advised the government to avoid several promises made by past administrations and take actions.
Akanhi also frowned at the saga between labour unions and the Federal Government on the removal of fuel subsidy.
He called on both parties to embrace fruitful dialogue and avoid a situation that will put the economy in a bad shape.
He said: “Bandits have come, robbers have come, the wicked have come, Nigeria has been wounded, bleeding and dying. And God is calling upon us to rise up.
“God is calling us to be the Samaritans. Jericho is between your house and the office. There are people wounded, bleeding and they need to be lifted up.
“I called on our government to see Nigeria as a bleeding, wounded and dying country and we need Samaritan leaders, we need Samaritan principals, vice chancellors, Samaritan business men, Samaritan pastors who will help members of their churches to get back on their feet. Samaritan senators, Samaritan ministries, Samaritan president.
“We don’t want additional wounds; we want to be healed. We want to thank President Bola Tinubu for his speech on Democracy Day and wonderful promises. The promise on our economy, security, empowerment, even women and youths will be accommodated to come out of the woods.
“I share the optimism of the president. I’m also saying this to the president and I want Mr. President and all our leaders in Nigeria to know that Nigerians are tired of promises. We have had promises upon promises. I’m not saying that the president is promising and it will not be fulfilled, what I’m saying is that the promises we had in the past were not fulfilled.
“The only way to make a difference is to be sure that these promises are turned into action. Concerning our nation, in order to achieve this, it is not for our leaders alone. It’s our collective responsibility. We should stop blaming our leaders. We are all guilty. I know that we all want to come out of the problems and I want to appeal to labour unions and all the groups that dialogue on how to solve the matter should be considered.
“Let the economy of the nation not be grounded. That will move us forward. And by the grace of God Nigeria will turn around by God’s own intervention. Let us continue to dialogue with the president and let there be action to every word. Let Nigerians be patient. If a woman is expecting a child, she has to be patient. If a farmer is expecting harvest, he has to wait for it. Nothing just happens.
“Let us give our leaders a chance and be hopeful and speak positive things about Nigeria. There is hope for Nigeria. There is hope for your family. As a nation we will not remain a laughing stock for nations.”
Among other dignitaries at the service were the Senate President, Godwill Akabio, Senate Leader, Olufemi Bamidele, Representative of the Speaker, other members of the National Assembly, President Court of Appeal, Minister Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesom Wike, Acting Inspector – General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, Service Chiefs’, diplomats and other top government functionaries.
By Gbenga Omokhunu
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