Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the immediate past president and stakeholders in Bayelsa have applauded President Muhammadu Buhari, for pledging allegiance to all in his inaugural speech.
Reacting to the speech, in Yenagoa on Saturday, Jonathan said that he was gladdened by the posture of the president.
“Buhari said that he does not belong to any clique, and I congratulate him for that statement.“It shows that we should all rally around him to work towards the development of the country and make Nigerians happy,” Jonathan said.
Other opinion leaders in Bayelsa also commended Buhari for the speech, describing it as `a roadmap’ to move the country forward.
The Bayelsa Chairman of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUCN), Mr Tari Dounana, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the speech indicated that Buhari was ready to bring change to the country.
Dounana urged the new president to fulfill his promises to Nigerians irrespective of party, religious and tribal affiliation.
“The president said that he belonged to everyone and to nobody. That is the kind of words we want from a leader.
“Thank God Nigeria’s democracy is advancing and we have gotten a leader that will take the issues of workers very seriously,” he said.
Mr Ezekiel Ogbianko, the Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) in Bayelsa, also commended the president’s inaugural speech, urging him to also look into rice farming.
“All Nigerians, especially RIFAN should cooperate with the new administration to move the country forward.
“I believe that if president takes actions on all he said, Nigeria will move forward,” Ogbianko said.
Also Rev. Samuel Ayadi, Niger Delta Coordinator of Artisanal Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), said that thousands of fishermen across the region were impressed by the inaugural speech.
“The speech raises a lot of hope and for the new president to even mention the Niger Delta issue shows that he cares.
“We, the fishermen, have showcased our challenges to him during his electioneering campaigns.
“We expect him to address pending oil spill compensations, especially the Bonga Spill incident and assist the traditional fishing sector to enable us contribute towards food security,” Ayadi said.
Mr Namso Ekpo, the Leader of Onna Industrial Youth Cooperative, a Niger Delta based group urged the new president to industrialise the Niger Delta region to meaningfully engage the teeming youths.
“The president mentioning the Niger Delta region in his inaugural speech means that he has done research on the problems facing the country and we await his actions to address the issues.
“We are ready to work with him to meaningfully engage the youths in productive ventures and be self reliant,” Ekpo said.