From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to Nigerians for the dire impact his economic policies had on their daily lives.

The president said though the decisions were made in the best interest of the country, he acknowledged the hardships that the people had to endure as a result.

He stated this in his farewell broadcast, yesterday, expressing fulfillment in the knowledge that his administration had taken critical steps towards the rebirth of Nigeria.

He said Nigeria was in a better place than it was before he took over in 2015.

He said: “In the course of revamping the economy, we made some difficult choices, most of which yielded the desired results. Some of the measures led to temporary pain and suffering for which I sincerely apologise to my fellow countrymen, but the measures were taken for the over-all good of the country.”

Buhari acknowledged that Nigerians had expected so much from his administration, but noted that he was not out to superficially assuage expectations, but to meet the real needs of citizens, one of the results of which was the reforms of  the electoral system.

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The president  said he was leaving behind an electoral process that guarantees that votes count, results credible, elections fair and transparent and the influence of money in politics reduced to the barest minimum.

“We are already seeing the outcome of this process as it provided an even playing field where persons without any political God-father or access to money defeated other well-resourced candidates.”

Buhari said the economy under his leadership become more resilient due to the various strategies put in place to ensure it remained afloat during cases of global economic downturns.

He praised the incoming President, Bola Tinubu, who he said had worked hard to become the leader of the country, saying “to my brother, friend and fellow worker in the political terrain for the past 10 years – Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu -, I congratulate you on the realisation of your dream, which was propelled by a burning passion to put Nigeria amongst the leading nations of the world. 

“You have indeed worked for this day and God has crowned your efforts. I have no doubt that your passion for excellence, reliance on competence, fairness in relationships, commitment to equity, loyalty to the country and desire for Nigeria to be globally relevant would come through for you, under God’s guidance, as you lead our country to levels higher that I am leaving.   You are the best candidate among all the contestants and Nigerians have chosen well.”

Continuing, the outgoing president said: “I cannot and will not forget the millions who prayed for me during my illness in my first term of office. I am constantly praying for you and for Nigeria to thrive in peace.

“As I retire home to Daura, Katsina State, I feel fulfilled that we have started the Nigeria Re-Birth by taking the initial critical steps and I am convinced the in-coming administration will quicken the pace of this walk to see a Nigeria that fulfils its destiny to be a great nation.  I am confident that I am leaving office with Nigeria better in 2023 than in 2015.”