Outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that he would deliver his farewell address on Jan. 10 “to say thank you” to Americans “and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here”.
Obama, in a message: “My farewell address” obtained by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, said he would deliver his farewell address in his hometown, Chicago.
“In 1796, as George Washington set the precedent for a peaceful, democratic transfer of power he also set a precedent by penning a farewell address to the American people. And over the 220 years since, many American presidents have followed his lead.
“On Tuesday, January 10, I’ll go home to Chicago to say my grateful farewell to you, even if you can’t be there in person.
“I’m just beginning to write my remarks.
“But I’m thinking about them as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years and to offer some thoughts on where we all go from here.
“Since 2009, we’ve faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger.
“That’s because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.
“So I hope you’ll join me one last time. Because, for me, it’s always been about you,” the outgoing two-term president said in his invitation.
Since George Washington, U.S. presidents have often delivered a final address to the American people as a way to share both their reflections on their time in office and their outlook on the future of the country.
The White House said the outgoing president took the country out of one of the worst economic recessions.
“President Obama inherited an economy careening toward a second Great Depression, and he acted aggressively to arrest the crisis, restart growth and job creation, rebuild our economy on a stronger long-term foundation, and expand opportunity for all Americans.
“Since 2009, the unemployment rate has been cut by more than half from its peak.
“‘Yes, we can’. President Obama spoke these three words for the first time as a candidate in January 2008 in New Hampshire.
“After eight years, this remains a guiding principal that continues to inspire Americans across the country to come together and find their own ways to move our country forward.
“Whether it’s a teacher who sparks a student’s love of learning, an organiser who’s working to make the neighbourhood a little safer for our children or a returning soldier who is taking action to end veteran homelessness.
“We all have the power to create progress on behalf of future generations,” the White House said.
The Oval Office added: “America is not the project of any one person”.
“Because the single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We The People.’ ‘We Shall Overcome.’ ‘Yes, We Can.’”
“These last eight years have been marked by historic moments which have reminded us again and again that Yes, we can’,” the White House said.
Obama was inaugurated as the 44th U.S. President on Jan. 20, 2008, the only black man in the history of U.S. to be elected president.
The former Illinois senator, who still receives high popularity ratings among Americans, won re-election for the second and last term in 2012, will be out of office on Jan. 20, 2017. (NAN)