Buhari has not failed Nigerians, says Presidency
With the current administration to mark two years on Monday, the Presidency on Tuesday insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has not failed Nigerians.
The Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu and the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, were fielding questions from journalists after a Press Briefing marking the commencement of activities to showcase second anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Adesina said that Nigerians should wait for four years in order to properly assess the Buhari’s administration.
According to him, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has four years to deliver and not two years.
On the question claiming that the APC has failed, he said “The person that asked the question said there is a buzz in town, I am sure that you have not conducted a scientific survey that shows you that is a popular position. People can always expresses their opinions, there is liberty on that but you don’t have a scientific survey that has given you the percentage of people that believed that the APC has failed.
“The second point is that, when a government via a party is voted into office, it is voted for a four year term under our own democratic arrangement. When you have spent two years which is like a midterm, the first half of a game, you don’t then determined that it has succeeded or it has failed. No. You can be accused it be atomistic using a small part to determine the whole.
“You can’t write the report card of this administration when it is just hitting the half way mark that will not be fair. The term is four years and the promises are going to be stretched over that four year period. Like the Minister of Transportation said recently, APC did not promise to solve all the country’s problems in one year or two years.
“The mandate the party has is four years and it is pacing itself as it goes along and I am sure that by the end of those four years we will have a lot more to record. It is not by a sudden flight, it will not come by a snap of a finger but will the promises be fulfilled? Yes, I believe it will be fulfilled.
“This administration will take Nigeria far beyond how it met it. So if anybody says APC has failed just tell them it is too early in the day because it is a four year-term and this is just two years. You don’t reach definitive conclusions in two years,” he added.
On alleged coup plot, Adesina said: “The Army has spoken and let us take that position. What the Chief of Army Staff said was a routine warning that goes to military officers, don’t hobnob with politicians and the army has explained the position, let’s take that position and not stretch it beyond what the military has said because they are the ones that can give us the definitive position and they have spoken on it.”
On job creation, he said that the government is mainly focusing on creating enabling environment.
He said that PenCom appointment is a developing issue and being looked into.
On selective anti-corruption war, he said that there are no friends and no foes in the anti-graft battle.
According to him, anyone who has questions to answer would be queried.
He also explained that the status quo remains on the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal and suspended Director-general of National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, just as Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had declared.
On Boko Haram regrouping, he said that the remnants of Boko Haram would be dealt with by the Army.
Urging Nigerians to look at the brighter side of issues, he said that there many failed suicide bombing than those that succeeded.
Stressing that the masses are happy with President Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu said the President will win any Presidential election conducted today.
“If elections were held today, Buhari will win overwhelmingly. The masses are still with him.” he said
Asked when the ordinary man will start feeling the impact of the government, he said “The ordinary Nigerians are the pillars of Buhari administration and their confidence in his administration has remained unshaken. The whistle-blower policy has excited them. They are happy that their stolen money is being recovered. The masses are happy but those elites whose sources of ill-gotten wealth have been blocked would not.”
He gave reasons why the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki is still being held in detention.
Shehu insisted that Dasuki was being kept in custody in spite of court orders because there are more cases against him that are being investigated.
He urged Nigerians to allow the agencies to do their jobs.
On the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMAN), Sheik Ibrahim El-Zak Zaky , he said that he was being kept in custody to ensure his safety.
He explained that his family members and relatives have unhindered access to him.
On Chibok girls, he said, government does not have any peculiar interest in keeping the girls, stressing that most of them prefer to stay in Abuja and don’t want to return home.
Speaking on Human rights records of the administration, Shehu said “The Human rights records of this administration are impeccable, thry are unimpeachable. I think we should avoid speaking in general terms. The thing to do is to pin point specific cases to butteres assertions that people make and then we can tackle them.
“As we speak to you now, we are not aware that the administration of Muhammadu Buhari is in breach of the constitution of Nigeria with regards to the protection of the rights of Nigerians.
“Journalists in this country ought to bear testimony on this, there is no single journalist that has been expelled from his duty because he has reported or failed to report, there is no single journalist who is in government detention because they have expressed some views that the government does not like.
“This administration is complying with the decision of the courts of the land, I assure that if anybody tries to do otherwise the President will not allow him to get away with it.” he said
On alleged power deterioration, Shehu said: “It is also a mistake to say power has deteriorated under this administration because when we came in 2015, power generation it was 3,324MW, it increase to 4,357MW as at August 2015, barely three months after President Buhari came to power and rose to the peak of 5,077MW in 2016, it was the highest power generated in the country.
“Presently, the average generation is about 3,000; this is as a result of vandalism or gas pipeline infrastructure and also low water in our dams. The power sector is also gaining gradually from the peace in the Niger Delta. Usually we experience low generation of power during dry season and this is not because of Buhari’s administration.
“Government is investing heavily in power and has been licensing a lot of renewable energy projects, which is the future. We are doing what is called energy mix, we are not just doing gas power, we are doing hydro, etc. you cover some of these decisions from FEC you have covered them.” he said
Speaking on alleged weak prosecution, Akande said: “The truth of the matter is that our criminal justice system does need a profound and deep reform. The important thing is that this government is working on it. As a matter of fact now, the Acting President has put together a national coordination prosecution team for all the prosecution trying to see how in the medium term we can bring some progress but also working on justice sector reforms on the long term on criminal justice system to strengthen both the investigation and prosecution at the courts. And I know it is going to take a while for us to address it.”
Stressing that the committee on food crisis is still working, he said that the government has reduced importation of food items especially rice.
According to him, the government policy has made farmers millionaires.