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New Year's message from the president

Around the world, national leaders use the New Year's opportunity to deliver powerful messages and set out their priorities for the next 12 months. Some people prefer to make their declaration the night before. Some people wait until the morning, when the fireworks and night noise have subsided.

In a world increasingly vulnerable to various hardships, including wars, pandemics, and economic and climate devastation, the New Year's message offers an opportunity to introspect, reflect, and rally the nation for greater patriotism and hard work. Offers. Those who love war use it as a battle cry to indicate where their arsenal is headed.

For French President Emmanuel Macron, “2024 is a year of determination, choice, recovery and pride. In fact, it is a year of hope.” Indeed, in 2023, French pride will be bloodied and humbled both abroad and at home. Ta. In the Maghreb, the former colonies of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso put an end to the romance, and the vestiges of France as a world empire disappeared. Young soldiers from these countries were determined to end decades of pandering to France in economic and military matters. This was a huge blow to French pride, and despite a disturbing year at home, Macron suffered his personal heartache.

France is turning to softer issues such as the Paris Olympics to reassert its deflated ego. President Macron mentioned the reopening of Notre Dame Cathedral in the new year as another source of financial support. On April 15, 2019, the centuries-old cathedral was engulfed in flames. This cathedral is one of the most famous monuments in Europe.

For Russia and Vladimir Putin, the country is still at war with Ukraine, with no explicit reference to it, and the New Year's message heaped praise on the military that supported the onslaught.

Appealing for unity, President Putin has named 2024 the “Year of the Family.” “We have proven time and time again that we can solve the toughest challenges, and we have proven that we will never back down, because there is no force that can separate us,” he said. By implication, the family also includes Russians living in other sovereign states, such as Ukraine. President Putin dreams of the former Russian Federation and is working hard to reunite it by force.

Last week, President Putin launched a deadly 90-drone attack on Kiev and Kharkov in Ukraine. Let me emphasize that the New Year's message is very powerful. They are not speculation or empty rhetoric.

For President Xi Jinping, 2024 is the year to unify mainland China and the islands, no different from Russia's expansionist and nationalist plans. China is comfortable domestically and economically and is not afraid of foreign countries. Therefore, she could afford to seek territory abroad, especially in Taiwan. Of course, this is where China can always be expected to find itself in a head-on conflict with the United States. The United States wants to have an autonomous Taiwan that enjoys sovereignty. But China is relentless.

Listen to Mr. Xi's voice. “We will continue to support Hong Kong and Macau to leverage their unique strengths, integrate well into China's overall development, and ensure long-term prosperity and stability. All Chinese people on both sides of the strait should be bound by a common sense of purpose and share in the glory of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

With this kind of rhetoric from Russia and China, the world in 2024 could be even more chaotic than it was in 2023. The more polarized the world becomes, the more uncomfortable it will be for small countries struggling with domestic challenges.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un characteristically pledged closer ties with China in his New Year's address. He also ordered his military to “totally annihilate” the United States. It has the familiar feel of a belligerent dictator whose hobby is launching and testing missiles across international waters to confuse neighboring countries. Now he's talking about nuclear.

In response, South Korea warned Kim not to hasten his own death. There are enough nuclear warheads to sink its axis. Expressing his gratitude to the United States, Rishi Sunak told a British audience that his party would do more for British people in the new year. Mr Sunak decided to launch campaign rhetoric in an election year when the polls were unlikely to be in his favor. He boasted: We delivered the biggest tax cut in modern British history. We will continue to grow our economy further by reducing debt, cutting taxes, rewarding hard work, building our own secure energy supply, supporting British businesses and delivering world-class education. Masu. ” Domestic matters take priority.

US President Joe Biden clearly has too many competing issues requiring his attention. He has an election coming up, but the polls are not in his favor. Just as the Gaza war resonates more broadly in the United States than in the Middle East, our southern border is filled with illegal immigrants.

What kind of New Year's message could such a man give other than the simple words, “We'll be back. It's about time.” Mr. Biden is optimistic that he will return next year to continue his belief that “Americans understand that the United States is in a better position than any other country in the world to lead the world.''

The question of which country has the ability to lead the world at a time like this is an interesting question for scholars of international relations. Today's world has come full circle to her pre-1945 era. Many countries have been devastated by direct war or ecological disaster. Hundreds of thousands of people (both civilians and military) have been killed, millions have been displaced, and the associated economic losses have been felt worldwide.

The European Union and its member states are recorded to have provided more than $91 billion in financial, military, humanitarian and refugee assistance to Ukraine. The United States also reportedly provided more than $75 billion in military, financial, and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Another $60 billion in funding has been delayed by political debate.

For Ukraine, the military budget has increased several times since the war began, not to mention economic losses and severe collateral damage to infrastructure. In addition to wasting about $132 billion in direct military spending, Russia has suffered far greater losses in gross domestic product (GDP) and export revenues, according to RAND researchers.

If we had a world without war or the threat of war, more people could achieve relatively improved standards of living through direct aid and seamless economic linkages. Barriers created by the Russia-Ukraine war are affecting global energy trade. Some Western countries are recovering from the shock.

With the global war showing no signs of abating, 2024 could be even more dire for African countries dependent on primary goods. Countries dependent on grain supplies from Ukraine and Russia are suffering from grain shortages. According to UNDP, the most visible effects of the crisis are felt in fuel and food prices, inflation, and financial instability. African countries feel this most.

Some African leaders also expressed hope that 2024 will be fair for them in their New Year's messages. We pray so. But this year will depend on the painstaking investments made in the previous year and on the resilience of our economy to face new and unforeseen challenges.

For Cyril Ramaphosa, his New Year's message was about improving the living standards of South Africans. He thus appealed to the people to mark his 30 years since the country gained freedom after the dismantling of apartheid rule.

President Ramaphosa said that despite the challenges, 30 years later, nearly nine out of 10 households were living in formal housing. Nearly 95% of people have access to electricity. 8 out of 10 households have access to public water. He said the records were obtained from the 2022 census.

President Akufo-Addo has pledged to mobilize the conscious efforts of the people to secure the future of Ghanaians. He acknowledged that Ghana is not out of the woods, but was confident that with hard work and determination, the country will get through. Ghana is truly in the woods and is a perpetual debtor to the IMF. It has a lot to do with the kind of politics Ghanaians run, the plethora of political appointees, and, like in Nigeria, racketeering practices with debilitating corruption.

President Bola Tinubu's New Year's message is also one of hope for a better year. But hope must be built on truth, or it will disappear like morning dew in a heatwave.

President Tinubu's statement that he is deeply moved by the devastation in the area is suggestive. “From the boardrooms of Broad Street in Lagos to the main streets of Kano Creek and Nembe Creek in Bayelsa, you can hear the groans of Nigerians working hard every day to feed themselves and their families.”

The New Year’s message and the promises it contains are exactly the same as what Mr. Tinubu promised on August 1, 2023. However, in December, despite the removal of fuel subsidies and increased revenue, nothing had changed for the people. Food inflation rose further, while the president and members of Congress roamed the streets in exotic motorcades, feasting on birthday gluttony as citizens groaned in hunger.

It was later revealed that as a courtesy of the President, senators and members of the House of Representatives were given N200 million and N100 million respectively in December to provide palliative meals to their constituents. Many lawmakers withheld details until the story leaked. Some distributed some items to their cronies without disclosing their source.

Let me tell you, 2024 is going to be a tough year based on the available forecasts. Especially in Africa, only honest and honest leaders will fulfill the promises proclaimed in the New Year's message. The people are watching!

Source: guardian.ng

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