Demands constructive criticism from elite
By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assessed his five-year-old administration with a submission that Nigeria now fared better than when he assumed office in May 2015.
He also tasked the Nigerian elite to be fair in their critique of his administration.
Buhari, who spoke while receiving in audience the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Rev. Yakubu Pam, painted a bad picture of the economy, infrastructure as well as the security situation in the North-east as at the time he became president on May 29, 2015.
Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, in a release, said his principal in charging Nigerians, especially the elite, to be fair in their criticism of the present administration having at the back of their mind the position of things in 2015 and post 2015.
He said: “Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.
“We had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. This is what I hope the elite, when they want to criticise will use to compare notes.”
On the security situation especially in the North-east, the president pointedly asked: “What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe. What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now?”
Buhari added that although there were still some security skirmishes in the North-east but the situation had since improved.
He said: “Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems, but they know the difference because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja). We were not spared of the attacks at a time. The government is doing its best and I hope that eventually, our best will be good enough.”
The president also assured Nigerians that the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) was paramount on the agenda of government.
“The people in IDP camps, the weak, aged, I feel sorry for the young because this is the time they are supposed to get education. We must not allow this time to pass because it will never be regained. So we are really interested in what is happening there and we are doing our best.”
He commended the Executive Secretary on his appointment and activities on peace building around the country despite his short time in the saddle and assured him of the listening ear of the government whenever he has contributions to make.
Speaking earlier, Rev. Pam intimated the president with some of the activities of the Commission since he was appointed in July 2020.
These, he said, included the organisation of Peace Summit on Southern Kaduna as well as peace building efforts in Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States, adding that the Commission is proposing to host Christian religious leaders at a summit to help douse pressures within the polity.