Politics

Nigerians are quick to criticise Buhari – Femi Adesina complains

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Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina has accused Nigerians and the media of underplaying the achievements of the Buhari-led administration.

Appearing as a guest on Arise News, an Arise TV programme on Monday, Adesina lamented that the Buhari administration faces “unfair criticism” because the public and the media point out the government’s mistakes.

While proclaiming the successes of the Buhari administration in the areas of budget, government providing funding for states, creation of modular refineries and the various infrastructural projects despite the 2020 pandemic and EndSARS protests, he claimed that they received lukewarm reactions.

Adesina said, “Last year (2020), this administration said it will return the budget to January – December cycle for the first time in 20 years, yet no plaudits.

“Then that budget despite coronavirus, despite shutdown performed 97.7%, did you hear anything positive reported about that?

97.7% in a year of pandemic, lockdown, in a year of EndSARS, so many things that affected the economy. The budget still performed to that extent.

“In years, when you didn’t have all that, you had maybe 50%, 60% at the best. 97.7% budget performance, have you heard that in Nigeria in the past 20 years? No.

“Last year alone, the federal government refunded states to the tune of 700 billion Naira on federal roads they constructed. The highest of that refund went to an opposition state, Rivers. 70 billion. Did you hear positive things about that? I am sure you didn’t hear. He complained

“We have talked about modular refineries in this country for years. Only one was working before last year. Last November, the Walter Smith modular refinery was commissioned by the President.

“Some 3 or 4 are lined up for commissioning this year. Did you hear any positive about it? I am sure you did not hear.

“What about the infrastructural revolution? Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kaduna, Kano expressway, Borno, Benue road. The rail revolution, people behave as if they are not happening.”

Increased kidnappings and insurgency in the south-west has been linked to the Fulani herdsmen occupying the region; thus fuelling a crisis where Fulani residents in the regions have been profiled and given quit notice by some native Southwesterners.

Adesina was queried on the Federal Government’s effort to manage tension in the crisis and he said the government is working on providing a solution.

“One thing I would like to say about the farmers-herders issue is that it is older those of us speaking. The degree may have escalated more than what it was in the past, but it had always been there.

“So we don’t need to carry on as if it is a new development that came with this administration. Is government working to resolve it? Yes, government is working to resolve it.

“The meeting in the southwest is one of the ways that will lead to a resolution and you will see that after that meeting, tension went down considerably.

“It is not as if hands were folded and the issue was allowed to fester.” he said.

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