What I plan to do as President: Tinubu speaks on forming a government

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Nigeria’s President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has rejected the notion of a “government of national unity,” opting instead for a “government of national competence.” Speaking in his first official statement after his declaration as president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission on March 1, Tinubu stated, “My aim is higher than that.

I seek a government of national competence. In selecting my government, I shall not be weighed down by considerations extraneous to ability and performance.

The day for political gamesmanship is long gone. I shall assemble competent men and women and young people from across Nigeria to build a safer, more prosperous and just Nigeria. There shall be young people. Women shall be prominent. Whether your faith leads you to pray in a church or mosque will not determine your place in government. Character and competence will.”

Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu

Tinubu also asserted that the presidential election, which he won with 8,794,726 votes, was “a fair, credible election” despite challenges by his opponents. He urged Nigerians to focus on “unity and national commitment” rather than divisive factors like ethnicity and creed in order to build “a safer, more prosperous, and just Nigeria.”

According to Tinubu, “Only unity and national commitment can serve that purpose. Critics of Nigeria have been too quick to conclude that our political system is fragmented because of the impressive showing of new parties and their candidates. These critics are wrong.

The emergence of the new parties and their candidates underscores the dynamic strength of our democracy. People want democracy to work, and they want to have their voices heard and interests met within it. This is a good thing to be promoted, not something to be feared.”

Tinubu urged Nigerians to overcome “old prejudices and bigotries such as ethnicity, creed, and place of origin,” and focus instead on the “eminent prospect of a brighter future.” As he put it, “We have walked through the thick of the night to emerge into the light of brighter days to come. There is no good reason to retreat into the darkness of years past.”

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