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“Nigeria is lucky to have Buhari as President” – Lai Mohammed

Valentine Chinyem

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has reacted to the statement made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying Nigeria is more divided under President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement issued in Abuja, Lai said the country was enmeshed in terrorism and treasury looting until the current administration came into power.

“President Buhari came into office at a time that a swathe of the country’s territory was under occupation, a period when many Nigerian towns and cities, including the capital acity of Abuja, were a playground for insurgents.

“It was a moment that the nation’s wealth had been looted dry, with little or nothing to show for the nation’s huge earnings, especially in the area of infrastructure,” the minister said.

The minister added that, it is unfortunate that those who were supposed to create great opportunities to give the nation a socio-economic balance were the ones putting the administration in a bad light.

He said, many of those speaking ill of the Buhari led-administration, are the same people who planted the seed of the insecurity in some parts of the country.

Lai Mohammed said, despite the fact the country is going through some challenges, it is not as worst as it use to be, all thanks to the deft management of resources and unprecedented fight against corruption by the Buhari government.

He noted that, contrary to the opinion of a certain political leader, Nigeria is not a failed state.

More so, the minister said, no government in the history of the country had done so much with so little as the Buhari administration has been doing.

“With 60 per cent less national income, the administration is making progress on all fronts and setting the country on the path of sustainable growth and development,” he said

While naysayers were hyping the instances of insecurity in the country, thr minister said, they have quickly forgotten that the country could have been overrun by insurgents and bandits if the president had not rallied regional and international allies to tackle headlong the Boko Haram insurgency.

“Bombs were going off like firecrackers” before the president’s assumption of office while an estimated 20,000 square miles of the nation’s territory were occupied by insurgents.

“They tout the downturn in economic fortunes without putting things in context.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a global shutdown and a drastic fall in global oil demand, Nigeria lost 60 per cent of its earnings.

“Even with this downturn, the administration has ensured that not a single worker has been retrenched, has paid salaries as and when due and has continued to build infrastructure like roads, rails, bridges and power, among others, that will serve many generations.”

He accused them of aggravating ” the national fault lines with their angry and unguarded actions and rhetoric.”

“The critics had forgotten that while national fissures are amplified at a time of dwindling economic fortune, what is needed to foster peace and unity is not reckless elocution but responsible and responsive leadership, the kind being offered by President.”

Lai Mohammed reiterated that Nigeria is on the road to greatness inspite of the challenges confronting it.

Citing the effort towards food sufficiency, the modernisation of the rail system, the nationwide construction of roads and bridges, the reform in the oil and gas sector and the unprecedented anti-corruption battle as achievements of the administration.

Lai Mohammed also cited the diversification of the economy and the renewed effort to ensure a steady power supply anchored on a three-phase project that was expected to deliver 25,000MW of electricity in the next few years.

Lai Mohammed thanked Nigerians for their perseverance and understanding, especially against the backdrop of the stifling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Alhaji Mohammed, also appealed to Nigerians, to continue to support the administration as it seeks to lift 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years.

”In one of the most difficult moments in the nation’s history, Nigeria is fortunate to have at the helm a leader who is not only dedicated, selfless and patriotic, but one who is globally acknowledged for his discipline, integrity and vision.

“Those who genuinely love Nigeria will support, rather than subvert, this committed leadership,” he said.