By Ayo Dada
The Presidency has rebuked the Financial Times’ Africa Editor, David Pilling, over an article on the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), published on January 31, 2022.
In an open letter to The Editor, Financial Times, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said, “The caricature of a government sleepwalking into disaster (What is Nigeria’s government for? January 31, 2022) is predictable from a correspondent, who jets briefly in and out of Nigeria on the same British Airways flight he so criticises.
“He highlights rising banditry in my country as proof of such slumber.
“What he leaves out are the security gains made over two presidential terms.”
According to Shehu, the terror organisation, Boko Haram, used to administer an area the size of Belgium at inauguration of the regime; but now, they control no territory.
He stated, “The first comprehensive plan to deal with decades-old clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers – experienced across the width of the Sahel – has been introduced; pilot ranches are reducing the competition for water and land that drove past tensions.
“Banditry grew out of such clashes. Criminal gangs took advantage of the instability, flush with guns that flooded the region following the Western-triggered implosion of Libya.
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Mataaz Arising published the damning report by David Pilling of the financial Times on Tuesday February 1, 2022. In the publication David Pilling wrote, “On the British Airways flight between London and Nigeria’s administrative capital of Abuja, one of the airline’s most profitable routes, nearly all the space is taken up with flatbeds. The unfortunate few making their way to a crunched economy section at the back must trudge through row after row of business class”. “Evidently, there is plenty of money to be made in Abuja’s corridors of power. Nigeria’s economy may be flat on its back, but the political elite flying to and from London will spend the flight flat on theirs, too”. How the above is a criticism of the British Airways is beyond anyone’s understanding.
Pilling noted that “Buhari has overseen two terms of economic slump, rising debt and a calamitous increase in kidnapping and banditry — the one thing you might have thought a former general could control. Familiar candidates to replace him, mostly recycled old men, are already counting their money ahead of a costly electoral marathon. It takes an estimated $2bn to get a president elected. Those who pay will expect to be paid back”. Everything about this statement is true whether Buhari likes it or not. Nigerians voted in Buhari for change, but not for the worse, which unfortunately is the lot of Nigerians under his administration.
It is very obvious to fair minded and objective Nigerians that Buhari’s government hates criticisms of their incompetent, nepotistic, fraudulent and oppressive regime, and would rather feed Nigerians and the international community with falsities and outright lies. To many Nigerians, it is a welcome development that the international press are reporting the incompetent administration of President Buhari.
If the Buhari’s handlers and advisers were savvy enough, the would have ignored the report and let the story die. But no, they have to respond to every rightful criticism of the government which always deem more light negative light on, and prolongation of such that they need not.
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