…President asks elite to assess his govt fairly
…It’s not true, PDP replies Buhari
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Bashir Bello & Dirisu Yakubu
Despite the activities of Boko Haram in the North East, which have left several persons dead and properties destroyed, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday scored his government high on security in the zone.
The President, who gave the assessment while receiving the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also asked those criticising his regime, particularly the nation’s elite, to be fair in their assessment.
Buhari’s claim drew the ire of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, who expressed surprise that despite the high level insecurity in the zone, the President was gloating over protecting Nigerians.
Recall that no fewer than 76 farmers were beheaded in their farms on Koshobe village in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents at on November 29, 2021.
There have also been constant gunfight between the military and the insurgents which have resulted in the death of soldiers and civilians.
President thumps chest
But the President in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the security situation in the zone has improved, stressing it was no longer as bad as it was prior to his assumption of office in 2015.
Although he admitted that there were still what he described as occasional Boko Haram problems, the President said: “What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe. What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now?
“Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems, but they know the difference because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja).
“We were not spared of the attacks at a time. The government is doing its best and I hope that eventually, our best will be good enough.”
Buhari also assured all stakeholders that the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons was paramount on the agenda of his government.
“The people in IDP camps, the weak, aged, I feel sorry for the young because this is the time they are supposed to get education.
“We must not allow this time to pass because it will never be regained. So, we are really interested in what is happening there and we are doing our best,” the President said.
He also asked those criticising his government, especially the elite, to be fair in their assessment, imploring the to first consider the state of the country he inherited in May 2015.
The President in the statement, “Criticise us fairly,’’ also asked his critics to consider the resources available to the Federal Government under his watch while criticising him.
“Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.
“We had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. This is what I hope the elite when they want to criticise will use to compare notes,’’ he said.
The President commended the Executive Secretary on his appointment and activities on peace building around the country despite his short time in the saddle and assured him of the listening ear of the government whenever he had contributions to make.
Earlier in his remarks, Pam intimated the President with some of the activities of the commission since he was appointed in July 2020.
These include; organisation of Peace Summit on Southern Kaduna as well as peace-building efforts in Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states.
He added that the commission has proposed to host Christian religious leaders in a summit to help douse pressures within the polity, among other plans.
PDP faults Buhari
Reacting yesterday, PDP, berated President Buhari, saying he has failed to justify the confidence reposed in him by Nigerians.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said: “How does President Buhari want an unmerited pass mark, knowing that under his watch, bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and vandals who had been pushed to the fringes before he took over in 2015, have now resurged, taking communities hostage, raping our women, beheading our compatriots and foisting a reign of terror to the extent that our nation ranked as the third country with the highest level of terrorism in 2019, after Iran and Afghanistan?
“How does President Buhari sleep in the night, knowing that millions of Nigerians go to bed on empty stomach; that since he took over, more than 30 million businesses have crumbled; that over 60 million Nigerians have lost their means of livelihood resulting in excruciating hardship in our country in the last five years?
“It is unfortunate that President Buhari wants Nigerians to overlook the fact that he wrecked a robust economy handed over to him in 2015 with Fitch B+ rating as one of the fastest growing economy in the world and turned our nation into the world’s poverty capital and a beggar nation, that is now borrowing from all parts of the world?’’
Junaid knocks FG
In his reaction, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Muhammad Junaid, said Buhari’s administration has failed woefully in securing the lives and properties of Nigerians.
He said: “Regarding the statement made by the President concerning security in the country generally and north east, I think President Muhammadu Buhari is being economical with the truth.
‘’First, I believe within this week, there were three or four attacks. And any leader who can give himself pass mark, let alone half when the situation on ground is the reverse is not sincere or honest with people of this country.
“Nobody likes conflicts, lack of security but it is absolutely unbearable for leaders to invent lies in order to give themselves credits for what he has not done and for which he cannot claim credit. Iit does not add any value or credibility to the government, the party, military and the President himself.
“In the words of former President Lincoln, once a leader has lost the confidence of the citizens, he can never regain it. He also said that you can deceive some of the people some of the time, you can deceive all of the people some of the time but nobody succeeds by deceiving all the people all the time.
“History is never written by who want to praise himself. Somebody, whether we are alive or not, will write a more objective history, especially from the time these crises of Boko Haram, banditry started.”
They gave failed woefully.
‘’Nigerians, including former heads of states, have come out openly to say that Nigeria is already a failed state. I can’t see how any leader can come out and start claiming credit and giving himself kudos when he did nothing.’’