Nigeria: President Tinubu ends fuel subsidy, vows to safeguard country from terrorism, criminality

Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s newly inaugurated president, has affirmed his commitment to “protecting the nation from terrorism and all forms of criminal activity” in his inaugural address as the leader of the West African country.

President Tinubu disclosed this on Monday May 29,2023 in Abuja.

Tinubu also announced the removal of fuel subsidies, which will result in increased prices of refined oil.

This decision comes amid a severe economic crisis characterized by high inflation, mounting debt, poverty, and unemployment.

Tinubu, who assumed office at the age of 71, emphasized that his personal interests would not influence his official conduct or decisions.

He vowed to uphold and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, prioritizing the healing and unification of the nation.

He stated, “Our objective is not to divide or harm our nation; we aim to mend and unite it. We will protect the country against terrorism and all other crimes that threaten our peace and stability.”

As Tinubu took office as Nigeria’s president, a country facing unprecedented challenges, some citizens expressed hope for a brighter future, while others remained skeptical about whether his administration would outperform its predecessor.

The inauguration ceremony in the capital city, Abuja, was attended by thousands of Nigerians and several heads of government.

Tinubu succeeded President Muhammadu Buhari and assumed leadership of a nation projected to become the third most populous in the world by 2050, following India and China.

Having previously served as the governor of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic center, Tinubu pledged to build upon Buhari’s efforts to deliver democratic dividends to the people. Nigeria has grappled with deadly security crises, widespread poverty, and hunger, leading to frustration and anger among many.

Despite ongoing court battles challenging his election, particularly by opposition parties and the country’s youth, Tinubu committed to uniting Nigeria. In his initial remarks as president, Tinubu, a member of Buhari’s party, declared that “hope is back for Nigeria.”

He expressed his determination to not only improve the economic and security conditions but also ensure fairness and justice for marginalized groups, aiming to bridge deep divisions within the country.

A symbolic act signifying the transition of power and loyalty, General Lucky Irabor, Nigeria’s chief of defense staff, presented the old national and defense flags of Nigeria to Buhari and received new ones from Tinubu, who also holds the position of Chief of the Armed Forces.

Following the national elections held in February, newly elected governors also took their oaths of office in several Nigerian states on the same day.

Notably, neither of the two main opposition candidates challenging Tinubu’s election in court attended the inauguration, prompting protests on social media.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict on the legal challenges in approximately three weeks. If the opposition’s claims are upheld, it would mark the first nullification of a presidential election by Nigeria’s court.

Tinubu’s agenda of “renewed hope” places a strong emphasis on job creation, boosting local production, investing in agriculture and public infrastructure, providing economic opportunities for the most vulnerable, and establishing a robust national security framework to address all forms of insecurity.

However, analysts caution that Tinubu’s ambitious plans may face significant challenges during his first 100 days in office, ranging from insecurity and fiscal crises to poverty and growing public discontent.

Some experts draw parallels between Tinubu’s promises and the early days of Buhari’s presidency in 2015 when, as a former military head of state, he prioritized combating insecurity and reviving the economy but fell short of meeting widespread expectations.

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