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Many Nigerians said they prefer Buhari as a military ruler, says Adesina

Daily Gist Staff



Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, says many Nigerians have said they prefer President Muhammadu Buhari as a military ruler because he is too tolerant to unnecessary criticisms.

Adesina stated this in an interview with TheCable on Saturday.

When asked that some Nigerians think President Buhari is highly sensitive to criticism he said, “Those people have a right to their opinion. Do you know that some other Nigerians, a lot of them think the president is over tolerant?”

He said, ‘A lot of people say,’ ‘’we want General Muhammadu Buhari. We do not want this President Muhammadu Buhari. We want the General Muhammadu Buhari we knew in 1984 and 1985.” A lot of people say that, so that shows you the president is quite tolerant now.”

On insecurity, the presidential spokesman said that Boko Haram almost captured Nigeria in 2015 if not for the intervention of the ruling. He said that due to the level of insecurity in the country, the insurgents were about entering into South-West under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.

When asked that Nigerians are wondering about their next level of consolidation he said: “You see, if you want to be cynical and skeptical, there is nothing anybody can do about it. Those who have made up their minds to be cynics and skeptics that is where they have decided to sit. They do not want to see anything positive, when we know that positive things are happening. Talk of security. When the government came in 2015, can you compare what was happening in the country then to what is happening now?”

“As at 2015, we did not know what lay ahead of the country because Boko Haram was running riot in all the geopolitical zones. They were even about entering the south-west. Boko Haram had gone as far as Kogi. It started from north-east; it took over north-west, it took over north-central, including Abuja the capital, and it was in Kogi and going to south-west before it was stopped – beaten back. At a point, it became circumscribed in Jos, Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and at a point it became even located just in Sambisa forest till they were chased out. Now, it is like the rump of it that is left.”

“That rump is still deadly enough but you cannot compare 2015 and 2019 in terms of that insurgency. It is only somebody who is being unfair to the government who will say there is no difference. There is a lot of difference and if you ask those who live in the north-east, they will tell you that there is a lot of difference. That is on insecurity. That is just one part of insecurity which is the insurgency.”

“Other challenges have arisen- farmer-herder clashes- but do you want to tell me that today that challenge is the same as it was two-three years ago? No. No! It is being curtailed. It is reducing and there are promises that it will be completely curtailed. Then kidnapping, banditry. Banditry, six months ago in Birnin Gwari, in Zamfara, in different parts of the country. Do you want to say the same way it was six months ago, one year ago, even three months ago, is what we have today? No, you would not be fair if you say that.”

“So all the challenges of insecurity are being tackled and they would be decisively and conclusively tackled. It is a work in progress. In any country of the world, the security situation is a work in progress and this government is working at it and working on it.”

“Then the economy, of course. Nigeria has always run a bubble economy- an economy that was just predicated on oil. Therefore, if all prices crash at any time, Nigerian economy crashes with it. And that was what happened in 2014-2015. Oil prices that had reached as much as $100 per barrel, even up to almost $140 per barrel at a time, crashed and came to $39. It came to $37. Of course, Nigeria simply crashed with it, and this government is determined to now diversify our economy, so that we are not solely dependent on oil again.”

“Since I was in primary school, and that was well over 40, almost 50 years ago, I had heard about diversifying the Nigerian economy. Nothing got done. But this government is doing it.”