Spokesperson of the Afenifere Renewal Group, Yinka Odumakin, says his criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is born out of the need to ensure that the government does the right things and lead the nation on the part of development.
He said this during an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics during which he was questioned about the security situation in the country, the detention of the convener of the #RevolutionNow Movement, Omoyele Sowore, among other things.
According to him, if the government does the right thing such as when it gave national honours to the Chief MKO Abiola, other heroes of Democracy and declared June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day, then it would receive praise as it did then.
“When they do good things, we say it,” Odumakin said when asked whether he believes in the activities of the government.
“When this government decided to honour June 12, didn’t we commend it? We did. We are not mad people who will see (a) good thing and say it’s bad but we are also not sycophants who will see (a) bad thing and say it’s good.”
Odumakin is sceptical about the possibility that the Buhari administration would do more good things in its second term.
But he believes he has no other country than Nigeria and is keen to see things improve because “every day that we spend under bad conditions” helps no one and “every day that we spend under good conditions is a plus for all of us”.
Consequently, he added, “Even if you do not support the government, you will not say that the country should be destroyed. We will be happy if they (the government) get it right.”
According to him, getting it right involves “creating happiness all around”, ensuring economic growth, jobs and prosperity as well as security for Nigerians.
He, however, said the reality was that there were more wrongs than good, and faulted the approach to security challenges in the country including the decision to deploy soldiers to the highways in the South to tackle kidnapping and crime.
Citing the recent killing of some policemen by soldiers in Taraba State, he argued that there were more questions than answers.
He also faulted the detention of Sowore, insisting that the government were too hasty in clamping down on the protesters who he says were only expressing their unhappiness with the way things were in the country.
Odumakin said although the government had “promised to create three million jobs annually”, the reality is that the promised number of jobs is being lost annually.
Another issue the Afenifere spokesperson is unhappy about is the amount of time it has taken for the President to nominate ministers after his inauguration.
He said, “When they said they were waiting for the cabinet – five months after elections, two months after elections, we thought that ‘oh, maybe they are going to bring some experts from World Bank, some professors from Havard… We waited.”
In the end, he said the ministerial list was unimpressive.