National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has replied the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, for his continuous criticisms of President Mahammadu Buhari’s foreign trips.
Odigie-Oyegun said such criticisms by Fayose and other opposition leaders smack of insensitive and a display of ignorance on issues affecting the country, saying the President Buhari was on a mission to rescue the nation from her present socio-political and economic challenges.
Odigie-Oyegun, who spoke with journalists in Benin at the weekend, noted that critics opposed to the nation’s growth and development were bent on frustrating the efforts of the APC-led administration and the President to rescue the country from the ongoing fuel crisis and revitalise the ailing economy.
”Most people do not recognise the very sorry state of the nation’s economy and the fact that the country’s economy was run aground and the crashed economy which contributed in no small measure towards the crash of crude oil from N120 per barrel to a miserable N30 to N40 per barrel at the international market”, he said.
On the letter written by Fayose to Chinese President, Xi Jinping, not to borrow Nigeria $2bn, Odogie-Oyegu said, “I hope Fayose did not really do what we are told he did. I don’t think even he is capable as descending into these low depths. But if he did, I feel sorry for him and the people of the state. Nigerians should ask Fayose what he was doing in China. Anyway, we are not bothered; the President is not bothered.”
Meanwhile, criticisms have continued to trail Fayose’s letter.
The chairmen of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), in Lagos State and other lawyers on Sunday condemned Fayose’s action, describing it as mere irritation and inconsequential.
Reacting to Fayose’s letter, a former Chairman of Ikeja Branch of NBA, Onyekachi Ubani, described the letter as of no consequence, since negotiations had already been concluded.
“The letter by Fayose is similar to a situation of bringing a motion for a court injunction for a completed act.
“This letter is a mere irritation especially coming from a sitting Governor; I will urge Nigerians and especially journalists to regard his letter as nothing, but a mere irritation.
“Negotiations are already concluded and the Chinese government are willing to release funds to Nigeria.
“Although, it is very disheartening that such a letter is coming from one of our Governors, but I think it serves no purpose,” he said.
Ubani, therefore, urged Nigerians to resist any act capable of disrupting the smooth running of government.
In the same vein, the Ikeja Branch Chairman of NBA, Yinka Farobi, described the letter as “over stepping of one’s boundaries”.
“Fayose was elected as a state Governor and not as the President of Nigeria.
“His letter is clearly out of the purview of his powers and I seriously condemn it,” he said.
Farobi also urged Nigerians to be supportive of moves aimed at transforming the Nigerian nation for growth.
Also, the Ikorodu NBA Branch Chairman, Dotun Adetunji, described the letter as a show of rascality.
He noted that although “there is a provision for immunity for a sitting Governor, there must also be a limit on the activities of a leader.”
“There are 36 states in the federation and out of these states, only one governor has courage to write to a foreign authority, urging it to refuse funds to its Federal Government.
“To my mind, such action is really reprehensible and should be discouraged.
“There is no problem with being an opposition, but If you want to be an opposition, you conduct such opposition in a reasonable manner,” Adetunji said.
Adetunji urged Nigerians to show support for the incumbent government in a bid to promote development.
“We must be careful as Nigerians for whatever we do today will be recorded as our history tomorrow.”
Spurgeon Ataene, a lawyer, said: “If the loan being sought by the Federal Government is for the purpose of revamping the battered economy, then we should not have a problem with that.
“The only thing we should demand from the government is that the loan should be used for the purpose for which it is obtained in the first place.
“To that extent, all Nigerians must be watchdogs and at all times demand that the benefit of the $2bn loan must trickle down to the masses.
Another lawyer, Ola Ogunbiyi, said Fayose’s action fell short of the status of his exalted office.
“Fayose is a `security risk’ working against national interest, I think he has too much freedom and should be cautioned all because we are in a democratic rule.
“What he said was wrong, we all know the loan is for our economic growth, for him to have written a letter to another country is wrong.
“The picture he tried to paint is that there is no unity, we have no united front by going to counter the action of the president.
“We all know the President is trying to pave way for the citizenry to have a good business relationship with other countries, but we can see Fayose blackmailing not only the government but the nation as a whole.”