Posted by News Express | 20 February 2017 | 1,677 times
For Nigerians who expect a quick fix of the economy from President Muhammadu Buhari, they will have to wait for a long time as the Presidency has said that the Federal Government will not rush to do so.
The Presidency said that Buhari is taking time to build solid structures upon which the Nigerian economy can firmly stand and will therefore need more time to undertake the task.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, once the structures are in place, Nigeria will in no time be out of its current economic mess.
Shehu therefore pleaded with Nigerians to exercise more patience so that the President can turnaround the economy, describing Buhari as a “long distance runner rather than a sprinter.”
In an interactive session organised by the Citizen Support for Good Governance in Nigeria (CSGGN) in Abuja at the weekend, Shehu enumerated the achievements of the Buhari administration within its short stay in office and appealed to Nigerians to appreciate the achievements the President has recorded in the spheres of security and anti-corruption campaign.
He insisted that the president has achieved a lot in the security sector of the country, stressing that the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents has yielded an enormous dividend, arguing that the Boko Haram insurgents would have taken over the seat of power, Aso Rock, had the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under former President Goodluck Jonathan continued in office.
Shehu said: “Your support for Muhammadu Buhari, I assure you, will not be in vain. If you look at him, he has achieved everything one desires to achieve and he chose the military career and rose to become an army general. Beyond that, he became a military head of state.
“So, if the ambition of one is to rule one’s country he has achieved that already. But President Buhari fought three times and won on the fourth count with the firm belief that he has something to offer the future generations of this country. In essence, what I am saying is that he doesn’t have a personal wish for fortune, power, or to acquire houses or money, no! That is not Buhari.”
“He wants a future that is secure and stable for the younger generations. This why in his messages he has stayed on three key issues; he has reported this over and over again, that this country cannot make any progress without security.”
“Look at all the efforts that have been put in tackling Boko Haram. There are many people who believe that if not for President Buhari, and if PDP had continued to rule this country in 2015, Boko Haram would have taken over Aso Rock by now.
“We have achieved so much in terms of security. On the war against corruption people are stealing money, huge amounts of money, the kind of money that they don’t need; what do you need that kind of money for?
He also noted that the introduction of the whistleblowing policy has started yielding results in the country.
“The president is working hard to restructure the economy; this is very much misunderstood by Nigerians. Unfortunately, it is easier to destroy than to build. We met a situation that the economy had been ravaged and people are used to lifestyles that can no longer be sustained. No country will develop when you have to import everything, including toothpicks and tissue paper”.
Shehu’s explanations were however greeted with different reactions from the gathering, even as a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ismaila Ahmed, insisted that the APC will hold Buhari accountable for the fulfilment of all the party’s campaign promises in 2015.
Ahmed, who pleaded with members of his party and the Presidency to be open to criticisms, noted that the administration must convince Nigerians with their performances.
According to him: “As a government, we have to be open to criticisms. Some people are not happy and they have to express their frustration; people have to express their anger, we cannot and we should not have a problem with that.”
“We campaigned all through because I headed the youth wing during the campaigns. I knew from day one that it is not going to be an easy task, even the President knew it won’t be an easy task. So, the responsibility is not for us to start promising anymore because we are two years into the administration.
“This administration has to convince us by its own performance and not its own promises anymore. We made promises during campaigns, now we have to act on those promises and that is what the President will continue to do.”
“Our responsibility as members of this party is to tell Mr. President ‘you can choose who you can work with but we will make sure that we can hold you and those you appoint to account, how you do that work because of the promises we made outside’,” he stated.
Earlier, the CSGGN’s National Convener, Moses Abdullahi, told the gathering that Nigerian youths are at the receiving end of various lootings that have taken place in the past, hence the need to support the present government of President Buhari to fight corruption to a standstill.