The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday said President would be one of Nigeria’s best presidents even as he described the last couple of weeks as those the president witnessed the heaviest public criticism since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
Shehu said much of the criticism which he (Shehu) described as unfair had been on account of the unresolved social and economic problems facing the country.
Shehu said this in an opinion article he made available to journalists.
He said, “The currency liberalisation and the deregulation of the petroleum products sale will make President Buhari one of the best presidents till date. “The removal of subsidies on the petrol products has saved the government more than N2tn annual expenditure in this respect.
“President Buhari’s foreign trips have brought many things to the country. He has energised our foreign policy. Beyond the enormous goodwill reaped from “resetting” age-old but damaged relations with neighbours and distant partners and friends, the President has attracted foreign development assistance and direct investments. It is generally accepted that good foreign relations bring foreign direct investment. So much is currently being done one year into the administration. This is in spite of the world economy being sluggish and recession-stricken.”
He said the criticism, especially on the increase in prices of foodstuff, needed to be challenged before it overshadowed the President’s achievement in the anti-terrorism and anti-corruption wars.
Shehu said contrary to what obtained in the local media, Buhari got lavish praise abroad for his efforts at repositioning the country.
He said the Boko Haram leader, Shekau, or the pipeline vandal from the Niger Delta region was more likely to get newspaper front pages today than the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, or the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, talking about jobs creation or the economy.
He said, “I don’t say that media criticism is not reflective of the feeling of the citizens. President Buhari has himself on numerous occasions admitted that the change mantra has brought with it pain and suffering which he likened to the pains of labour. It is a passing phase.
“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 (Peoples Democratic Party) rule. 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.
“The world leaders are still at work trying to contain the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, ISIS, which threat sadly continues to become more potent.
“Everyone living in Nigeria knows that there is a major movement against corruption as part of the ongoing change. This war has forced the return to the treasury of billions of Naira and millions of Dollars stolen by past officials.”