President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, assessed his performance in the last 366 days and gave himself a thumbs up, saying his government is walking the talk.

Tinubu, who also hailed Nigerians for 25 years of unbroken democratic rule, urged the citizenry to build a nation for generations unborn.

He, however, warned against risking the nation’s democracy, saying as Nigerians, “we must continue to collaborate, work together and build our country against the backdrop that we do not have another country we can call our own.’’

President Tinubu spoke at a joint sitting of the National Assembly, where he formally flagged off the recitation of the old national anthem, “Nigeria, We Hail Thee.”

He had earlier signed into law the bill dropping the current national anthem, “Arise O Compatriots’’ for ‘’Nigeria, We Hail Thee,’’ that was passed on Tuesday by the Senate and last week by the House of Representatives.

The President assured that his address would be on June 12, which is Democracy Day.
Tinubu arrived the Green Chamber of the National Assembly exactly 12.31pm for the official take off of the anthem, which they all sang with the Brigade of Guards leading.

Also at the chamber to witness the joint session were National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje; Borno State governor, Prof Babagana Zulum; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh; and a host of former lawmakers.

We must not risk this democracy– Tinubu

Speaking at the National Assembly, President Tinubu told the lawmakers that he would soon forward to them the 2024 Supplementary Bill for consideration.

He said: “Thank you for building up to this stage, building the institution, building the country. You are first and foremost leaders that speak for our people and you have been in the forefront of this struggle.

“This institution, the hallowed chamber, represents our consciousness for freedom and sense of belonging. You rang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria we hail thee,’ this is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend together to be brothers and sisters.

“Without this House, probably, I may not have found a path to the Presidency. I started all from here and that is why I have given respect to you. So, continue to collaborate, work together and build our country, we have no other choice.

“It is our nation, no one, no aid, no other institution or personality will help us except we do it ourselves. No amount of aid that will come in from foreign countries or any other nation that will solve our problems, they take care of themselves first.

“Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations yet unborn.

“Charting a new path for development, I have submitted the last budget to you, you expeditiously passed it, and we are walking the talk. We will soon bring the year 2024 supplementary bill, that is just for your information, but we must not risk this democracy, build this nation so that the future of our great-grand children will be sure of prosperity, development and progress.”

Tinubu rounded off his visit to the National Assembly with the commissioning of the National Assembly Library built in the 9th Assembly but now named after him.
Akpabio, Abbas speak

Also speaking, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, told the President that the lawmakers will be expecting the 2024 Supplementary Bill.

He had earlier said: “This is your National Assembly. The senators and members have asked me to congratulate you on your first anniversary since you were sworn-in into office.

“Before you came, myself and my brother, Tajudeen Abbas, explained the purpose of this visit, that this is what we call in Nollywood, waka pass. You intend to celebrate Democracy Day, which is June 12 but out of honour and respect for the National Assembly, you said you must pass through the National Assembly on your first anniversary in office.

“Of all the significant things you have done, I think one of the most profound is to take us back to the genealogy of our birth, that though we may belong to different tribes, though we may have different tongues, in brotherhood we all stand.

“Henceforth, we will not refer to ourselves as mere compatriots, we will refer to ourselves as brothers. And as we go forth in battle, whether in the field of sports, politics, economic endeavours, we must hail Nigeria. And so we are all saying today, Mr. President, ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee!’

“There is no better place to commence this revolution of going back to our genealogy than the National Assembly, made up of patriotic, not just representatives, but elected representatives of the people of Nigeria. The voice of the National Assembly is the voice of Nigeria.”

Earlier, speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, apologised for the misinformation over the President’s visit, attributing the mistake to the National Assembly.

He said: “The President has said that whatever speech we have to give should be shifted to June 12, which is Democracy Day. So, to this effect, the president will flag-off recitation of the old national anthem after giving assent to it and, after that, proceed to other important engagements.”
Later in his vote of thanks, the speaker thanked President Tinubu for his support to the National Assembly in the last one year.

He described Tinubu as “a true democrat who has seen it all; a former governor; former senator; leader of the party; and now the President.

‘’I want you to know, Mr President, that we, in the National Assembly, are very pleased with your scorecard and with your performance so far.

“The National Assembly is very thankful for the partnership that has existed within the past one year. It has been a partnership that has been mutually beneficial to all of us. It is a win-win and that is how democracy is supposed to be played.

‘’We will always be there to support you, partner with you and collaborate with you. We want to thank you for bringing back our national anthem, the one we grew up with, especially those of us above 50.
‘’For the younger ones, when you read it, you will understand why it is good for Nigeria to revisit its former national anthem. If we can follow it to a logical conclusion, it will be better for this nation,” he added.