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After harsh criticism of Buhari, FG says ‘thank you’ to ‘patriot’ Obasanjo
The Federal Government has expressed its “appreciation” and “thank you” to former President Olusegun Obasanjo despite his harsh criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari, as contained in his “special press statement” released on Tuesday.
Reacting, in a statement issued by Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House on Wednesday, Mohammed described the ex-general with kind words.
“For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again,” he said.
“We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.
“Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
“We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.
Mohammed insisted that the Buhari administration has recorded many verifiable progress, even though there are a lot of grounds more to cover.
“This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason,” he said.
“Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ‘good Nigerians’ who could help.
“This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing.
“These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now.”
On whether Buhari should seek re-election come 2019, Mohammed said there are many Nigerians calling on the President to contest again while many others are opposed to it.
“It is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return,” Mohammed explained.
“However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations.
“He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!”