By Felix Morka
In an unfledged statement, Phrank Shaibu, Media Aide to the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, outed himself in his warped and misleading suggestion that the APC-led Administration was hoodwinking Nigerians by propaganda. He further alleged that the administration was only interested in “telling lies rather than rescuing citizens from the bottomless pit of bad governance.”
In his pathological and cynical flippancy, Atiku’s Aide delved into matters he clearly does not understand or lacks the constitutive capacity to understand as a result of post electoral traumatic stress disorder (PeTSD) arising from his boss’ serial electoral failure.
Unsurprisingly, Shaibu’s only ‘evidence’ for such an arrant conclusion is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed more media aides than economic and security advisers, conveniently glossing over the fact that Mr. President was swift in rejiging the security architecture and repositioning the Armed Forces for optimal performance in defence of lives and property.
Certainly, he does not understand the issues and the interplay of statecraft and economic management initiatives by President Tinubu to remove age-old distortions and contradictions, accelerate and solidify all round recovery and prosperity for our country.
That Shaibu described as “lies”, the administration’s courageous decisions to remove fuel subsidy, harmonize the foreign exchange regimes, and sign into law the Students’ Loan Act, only buttresses his poor understanding of economic development and governance. That the fine details of these visionary and people-centred policies are still being worked out and have yet to run their due course cannot and do not negate their valid objectives and potential transformative impact. The President has dutifully appointed experienced and highly skilled professionals to key institutions of the economy, including the Ministry Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in a patriotic zeal to reposition and grow the economy.
Shaibu’s claim that fuel subsidy is back is not correct. Government’s intervention to ensure some measure of price stability and predictability does not amount to return of the ruinous fuel subsidy of recent past.
Lifting Visa ban on Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should ordinarily make any well meaning Nigerian happy. Diplomatic rapprochement between Nigeria and UAE authorities is ongoing and details of outcomes will soon be made public.
The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter.
Nigeria is facing pressing challenges that require focused efforts and undivided attention. Issues such as economic recovery, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, and social welfare demand continuous, sustained and innovative efforts.
President Tinubu is committed to ensuring an inclusive, honest, transparent and accountable governance system. We encourage citizens to actively participate in democratic processes, ventilate their views, and contribute constructively to national conversations. As the discerning people that we are, we remain confident that Nigerians will continue to differentiate between genuine, constructive and development-oriented criticisms and those driven by self-interest, mercenary considerations and disruptive political agenda.
While we urge Nigerians to ignore purveyors of fake news and other inanities, it is obvious that Shaibu and his likes will stop at nothing in their desperation to distort facts and give oxygen to their politically knocked out principal. But that can only worsen his infamy in the light of the President’s determined commitment and strides to improving the social and economic conditions for all Nigerians.
The PDP and all its agents of misinformation should know by now that no amount of sleazy propaganda, muckraking, lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinformation or disinformation will confer the presidency of Nigeria on their candidate.
Nigerians have freely chosen our party, the APC, and President Bola Tinubu, to continue to steer the ship of state. And the President is making good his campaign promises to deliver purposeful leadership to remake Nigeria, open the economy to rewarding investments, promote inclusive growth, create jobs, secure lives and property and renew hope for a vibrant future.
▪︎ Morka, Esq. is the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC)