ABUJA-The presidency has said that President
Muhammadu Buhari is committed to inventing a
new and prosperous Nigeria despite the current
economic meltdown in the country.
It also described as unfair the flood of criticisms
which it said had greeted the government in recent
The presidency spoke through an article by the
senior special adviser to the president on media
and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, “In Defence of
President Buhari: Is This The Change We Voted For?
Yes, It Is!”
He said that Buhari’s critics had already forgotten
the ruinous years of the People’s Democratic Party,
He said “When they ask the question, is this the
change we voted for, the critic forgets how far we
have come from the scam-tainted years of the PDP
“Unfair criticism of the Buhari administration
especially on account of escalating prices of
foodstuff and the liberalization of the currency
exchange needs to be challenged before it
overshadows the commendable job the President
has done in fighting terrorism as part of overall effort to secure the country, reducing corruption
and yes, arresting the economic slide before it sinks
According Shehu, Buhari’s government would be
commended for its effort to exterminate insurgency
in the land and the eradication of corruption.
He also said that the APC government under Buhari
had reinvented a new image for the country
“It is a proud moment for many citizens that the
country is being perceived differently now that it
has a different kind of leader creating a positive
buss abroad, the kind of sentiment that can lead to
foreign investments when properly capitalized
“Wherever they go these days, in London, Dubai,
Beijing, Washington, New York or Tokyo, Nigerians
get the good feeling of being asked the question,
how is President Muhammadu Buhari?”
“How many people have given a thought to the
possibility of Nigeria doing something that the
combined strength of Europe and America have
failed to do?
“There are many today who take for granted the
declared victory over the Boko Haram terrorists,
forgetting the reign of the bomber who made it
almost impossible for regular attendance in
Churches and Mosques in many of our cities,
including the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
“Victory over Boko Haram has brought peace not
only to Nigeria but to the countries in the Lake Chad
region”, he said.
The presidential media adviser regretted that
president Buhari has not had it so good with prices
of crude as was the case when he was the Head of
He however believed that with the efforts of the
president, coming months would herald goodness
for the country.
“In addition to hard work, all leaders need luck on
their side to create what is sometimes seen as
economic miracles. As leader, President Buhari
never had the luxury of high oil prices as did his
predecessors in office.
“When he first emerged as the military Head of
State, General Muhammadu Buhari saw oil price, the
mainstay of the nation’s economy sank to as low
eight Dollars a barrel.
“He rolled up his sleeves, worked on diversification
strategy of the economy only to be eased out of
power just as they began to take hold. Thereafter,
his successors abandoned these efforts.
“On his second coming, this time as a democratically
elected leader, the collapse of oil prices has
challenged President Buhari to quicken efforts
towards the diversification of the economy with
emphasis given to agriculture and solid minerals
“Every crisis, it is said, is an opportunity. Not so in
Nigeria. This is a county that inherited massive
technological inventions from Biafra, yet failed to
take it forward. We must not lose this opportunity
to diversify the economy and our foreign earnings
presented by the present oil crisis.
“As the country hopes for a bumper harvest this
year, government is taking steps to ensure that no
farmer will sell at a loss or fail to find markets for
their harvests. Grain silos are being readied
nationwide to receive excess produce for
warehousing to ensure food security, avert market glut and price collapse. By this, government will
ensure a minimum guaranteed price”, Shehu