Buhari At 78: If Only We Knew This President, “By Femi Adesina”

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

Ask for a President beleaguered from all sides, and I’ll show you Muhammadu Buhari, the ramrod straight man from Daura, in Katsina State, who turns 78 today.

In the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, we used to say everything had been thrown at him as projectiles, except the kitchen sink. Permit me to update that expression. Today, everything possible has been thrown at President Buhari, including the kitchen sink. Anything. Everything. Fake news. Hate speech. Lies. False propaganda. Evil thoughts. Malediction. Odium. Opprobrium. Ogbunigwe. Ogulutu.Surface to air missiles. All offensive weapons. But the man trudges on. Calmly, sedately, peacefully.

If only more Nigerians knew this President. If only they knew the essential Buhari, the quintessential patriot and gentleman, they would behave differently, handle him with more care, and show him more kindness. Yes, everyone needs kindness, even Presidents.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Remember that song by Mary Mc Kee and The Genesis?
You’ve got to try a little kindness
Yes, show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you’ll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people, on narrow-minded streets.

Too many people have chosen to believe the wrong things about President Buhari, and have ossified their minds against the truth. But then, those of us who have had the privilege to work with him studied and known him at close quarters, have a duty to tell what we have seen. And what better day to do it, than on his birthday.

Oh, he eats from the President. What else would he say than to sing his praises? True? False. If need be, I will serve this President for free. I consider it a great privilege to serve a man I admire. Even gratis.

Somebody commented that a blitzkrieg has been launched against Buhari and the government he leads, from all quarters. Some elements in the media, human rights groups, so-called activists, NGOs, Boko Haram, ISWAP, all at once. But is Buhari the loser? Not at all. It’s the country that ultimately loses, just as Eric Donaldson sang in ‘Little Did You Know:’
You think that you are hurting me
But little did you know you are only hurting yourself
Little did you know you are only hurting yourself.

In about two years and five months, with God being merciful as He always is, President Buhari will land safely, and retire to Daura for a well-deserved retirement at 80. And if those engineering distractions against his government continue, it is the country that would have lost. A great deal.

What are the things some people hurl against the President, which shows that they don’t know him at all?

He’s a religious bigot. Really? I’ve not seen a scintilla of evidence in the past five years. Every Christmas and Easter holiday, he calls those of us who are Christians, working with him, and asks us to stay off work, and enjoy the season with our families. That’s not the way of bigots, who would never acknowledge any religion, except their own.

As a military commander, history has it that Buhari would always give soldiers working under him time to go for worship on Sunday mornings, just as he did to the Muslims on Fridays. Yet, bigot, bigot, some people continue to shout.

He’s a Fulani, he rears cows, and all Fulani herdsmen are criminals, that’s why he tolerates them. Really? Some people even say all Fulani are herdsmen, whether they see them with cattle or not. Truth is; every ethnic stock has its deviants, its criminal elements.

You can’t just demonize all Fulani, simply because you want to excoriate the President. Did he choose to be born Fulani? Did I choose to be born Yoruba, and did the Ishan, Idoma, or Ijaw man choose the ethnic stock he wanted to be born into? It’s a biological accident. You have nothing to do with it. A man then doesn’t go repudiating where he comes from, simply because some people have decided to tar his people with the brush of infamy.

He’s nepotistic. A common refrain, but non-scientific. About three years ago, we did a scientific exercise. We chronicled all the appointments made by the President since 2015 and allocated them to states and regions. The result showed that the Southwest had the largest share. Followed by Imo and Kano states. Then Edo and Katsina. And on and on. But the naysayers ignored facts and figures and stuck to their false narratives. Nepotism.

One day, the President had given me an appointment to announce in the early days of the administration. By then, some people had started talking of northernisation agenda. So I said, “Mr President, this is the murmur we hear. Why don’t you consider giving this position to another part of the country?”

He looked at me calmly, smiled, and said: “If a search has been conducted for a position, and someone has been thrown up as the best candidate. And I then bypass him because of where he comes from, or because of his religion, haven’t I been unfair to that person?”

Food for thought, indeed.

This is Jubril from Sudan and not Muhammadu Buhari, who had died during the medical vacation in 2017, some people say. You have a clone in Aso Villa, not Buhari. Idiocy, sadly believed by even some intellectuals.

Let me tell you a story. On the day the President finally returned to the country in August 2017, after months of absence, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin, was giving out his daughter in marriage. I had attended the church service, decked unusually in complete Agbada, with a cap to match. From the wedding, I went straight to the airport to join the reception party.

We formed a welcome line, as we usually do. And as the President shook each person, he had one wisecrack or the other to say. When he got to me, he took my hand and said: “Adesina, this is the best I’ve seen you dressed.” We both laughed heartily, and the television cameras captured it. I remember that many people asked me later what had tickled me and the President, that we laughed so uproariously.

Jubril from Sudan? Would he know my name as Adesina? Would he know I rarely wear Agbada? How ridiculous can some people be?

Another story. The journalist Lindsay Barret had been a long time friend of the President. One day, he sent me to give his greetings. When I did, the President said: “Lindsay Barret. I remember meeting him at the war front in 1968. He was covering the war. There was a day he was almost killed in an ambush, and he then described himself as a ‘devout coward,’ who was lucky to be alive.”

Jubril of Sudan? And he remembers Barret, whom he met at the war front in 1968? Tell it to the marines.

Ask me for a loyal man, who never forgets a good turn, and I’ll show you Muhammadu Buhari. Among the last class of Ambassadors, he had personally picked Justice George Oguntade, who was sent to the United Kingdom, and Justice Sylvester Nsofor, who he deployed to America. The latter died only last week, aged 85.

How did the two men gain the favour, loyalty and respect of the President? In his many legal battles after disputed election results in 2003, and 2007, they had given dissenting judgments at both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, nullifying the election results, saying Candidate Buhari had been cheated. The man never forgot, and sought them out in due time. The same also happened to some of us working with him today.

A kind man. I have lots of stories to tell, but let me restrict myself to a few. In December 2015, I had lost my elder sister, a Professor of Dramatic Arts, in an auto crash. While I was crying like a wailing wailer, who was on the phone, consoling and condoling with me? Muhammadu Buhari.

And before he became President, when my mother passed on in 2013, and we had a commendation service for her in Lagos, who flew in all the way from Kaduna to attend? Muhammadu Buhari. He sat through the Christian service. Yet, they say he’s a bigot. I hear. Bigot from Sudan.

And in January 2017, I was to receive the traditional title of Nwanne di Namba of Mmaku Kingdom, in Enugu State. Courtesy demanded I tell the President. This man, who prides himself as ‘very stingy’ gave me a handsome amount of money to ferry my friends and family to the ceremony. How much? I won’t tell you, lest you ask for a belated share.

And in May 2018, I was billed for China for a 12 days course for senior government officials from Africa. He said when the journey was two days away, I should come to see him. I did. You know what he said? “Adesina, I know that you don’t have money. But you are too shy to ask.” We both laughed, and he gave me an envelope which contained foreign currency. How much? You think I’ll tell you? For where?

This President is a patriot. He loves this country dearly. A man of personal discipline. Single-minded about the infrastructural development of the country. And he’s succeeding at it. I have loads of stories to tell to justify each virtue. But time and space won’t permit.

However, let me tell this final one, as told to me by a retired Colonel of the Nigerian Army.

He said he was a Major at the Second Mechanized Division, Ibadan, when the then Major General was posted there in early 1983, as General Officer Commanding.

There was a cocktail reception, billed for 8 pm. Fifteen minutes to the time, the new GOC walked briskly in. Only a sprinkle of officers had arrived. He moved round the venue, surveying the place, and at the dot of 8 pm, with the hall still scanty, he went to the gate and directed the sergeant-major on duty to lock the inner one firmly, admitting nobody.

Nobody.

Yes sir!

The GOC went back inside, held the cocktail with the few officers available. Event over, he went back to the gate, to see the battery of latecomer officers huddled there. He surveyed them, and then instructed:

All of you, see me in the office tomorrow by 8 am.

Yes sir!

The GOC walked briskly away. And you know what? As early as 6 am the next day, most of the officers had reported in his office. Once bitten, twice shy.

At 78, the President still scrupulously respects time. Do they make them like this anymore? Doubtful.

Yet, many people are plotting, and engineering all sorts of artifices, to ensure Buhari does not succeed. Who loses? The country!

There is this classic Yoruba film, Saworoide, which I watched years back. Adebayo Faleti, who wrote and starred in the film, looked at the stratagems and underhand dealings of man. And he sang, rather philosophically: Koi ye won, yio ye won lola.

Translated freely, it means: They don’t understand today. They’ll understand tomorrow.

It’s better for a lot more cynical Nigerians to understand this President today, rather than tomorrow, for the good of the country. That would be the best birthday gift they can give him.

Looters Not Necessarily Hungry, It Is Pure Greed – Femi Adesina

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says the looting of warehouses and shops by hoodlums were not necessarily caused by poverty but greed.

Adesina who disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, insisted that the looting spree which occurred in days after the #EndSARS protest was propelled by greed and criminality.

He said he completely disagrees with the idea that the pandemonium which accompanied the #EndSARS protests is a true reflection of the people’s hunger and anger.

“I wouldn’t agree completely with that (that the looters are hungry) because criminality is criminality, would you justify armed robbery because the man was poor?

“Just as you can’t justify armed robbery because a man was poor and then he took a gun to rob another person. You can’t also justify the lootings that are going on. It is pure criminality.

“It is not everybody engaged in that looting that is hungry, that is the truth. It is pure greed and criminality,” Adesina said.

He added that a situation was created for anarchy in the country and this created room for criminality and looting.

Adesina insisted that the looters are not necessarily hungry and angry they took advantage of the breakdown of law and order.

The President’s spokesman said further that, “Criminality will always be criminality and mere anarchy promotes criminality. What has happened in the last two or three weeks led to what has happened now. If there was cohesion and tranquillity in society, this wouldn’t happen.

“Therefore, it was a corollary to the mere anarchic situation that came on the country because of the protests. If you didn’t have people burning police stations, killing policemen, burning private and public property, you wouldn’t have this spate of looting.”

Adesina Defends Buhari’s Broadcast, Insists Lekki Shooting Not Omitted In Speech

 

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has defended his principal over the national broadcast to the Nigerian people on Thursday.

Adesina, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, said President Buhari’s speech did not omit the Lekki shooting.

The presidential spokesman said contrary to the belief that Buhari did not talk about the tragic incident in Lagos, the President’s message to the international community was on Lekki shooting.

“It was not omitted. That message to the international community was on Lekki shooting,” the presidential spokesman insisted.

“It is not true. Somewhere in that speech, the President spoke to the international community. He thanked those who had sought understanding before they made comments.

“He was also telling those who were hasty in their judgement to seek more information. He didn’t miss out anything.”

READ ALSO: Full Text Of Buhari’s Address To Nigerians On The #EndSARS Protests

Speaking also on a virtual meeting President Buhari held earlier today with former Nigerian presidents, Adesina said the ex-leaders praised his principal for addressing the shooting in Lagos.

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on October 23, 2020.

 

Many had believed that the Buhari’s speech came late and rather lacked empathy, however, the president’s spokesman quoted Obasanjo as saying, “I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended.

“Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you.”

Adesina’s reaction comes three days after several people were killed and others injured after security operatives opened fire at #EndSARS protesters in Lekki.

Security operatives had stormed the scene of the protest on Tuesday night hours after the Lagos Government announced a 24-hour curfew and opened fire.

The action drew global condemnation both within the country and outside of Nigeria with the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS calling for a thorough probe into the tragic shooting.

On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, condemning violent clashes that claimed multiple lives and caused many injuries.

According to a communiqué issued by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief has been following recent developments in Nigeria and has called for an end to police brutality and abuses.

Similarly, Chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, offered his sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

Mr Mahamat appealed to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.

 

#EndSARS: My Phone Lines Have Been Bombarded With Curses, Says Adesina

A file photo of Presidential aide, Femi Adesina.

 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina says he has been insulted and abused by Nigerians since the #ENDSARS protests began in the country. 

In a post on his website late Thursday, Adesina said the abuse followed a video of an old interview he granted Channels Television on the Revolution Now protests – an agitation he described as a “child’s play” – but was manipulated to appear like he was refering to the #EndSARS protests.

He said, despite clarification from the media outlet that the video was manipulated, “Those who wanted to, believed the television station. A large number chose not to and bombarded my phone lines with curses, expletives, and messages from the pit of hell. Well, if anybody chooses to belong to that nether region, it’s a matter of choice.”

‘Flurry Of Hateful Calls’ 

The presidential aide explained that he kept mum, even though, after his number was posted online by a “hateful mind”, he was bombarded with calls until his phone batteries went dead.

“Talking of bombardment of my phone lines, it had begun on Sunday. A hateful mind had published my two numbers on Twitter, urging people to troll me,” he added.

“They called till the phone batteries went dead. Mum was the word from me. “He was reviled, but responded not,” that is what the Good Book said of my master, the one I try to pattern my life after.

“So, I said not a word to any of the callers. The flurry of hateful calls was petering out on Wednesday when the doctored video was launched. All hell broke loose again.”

A file photo of #ENDSARS protesters.

‘Enemy of the People’ 

Adesina equally claimed that many Nigerians demonize anyone in government and try to bring them down, labelling such people as “evil hearts.”

“The heart of man is evil and desperately wicked. If you are in any form of elevated position, they would love to see you fall,” Adesina noted. “Man is in a fallen state, and the more they see you bite the dust, the happier they are.”

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Protest In Edo Turns Bloody As Thugs Attack Protesters

According to him, bagging an appointment to serve in a public position in Nigeria instantly makes people tag an individual as an “enemy of the people,” not minding the sacrifices the person made to take up that position.

“They never care what you were, and where you were coming from,” the spokesman lamented.

“Whether you came down several notches in your income in order to serve your country does not matter to them. Did you lobby for the job or not, it does not matter. The moment you get appointed into a government position, you are poised to become an enemy of the people.”

Protesters Not Backing Down

A file photo of protesters at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

 

The #EndSARS protest – an agitation calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and reformation of the police – has not abated despite the dissolution of the force unit.

Nigeria’s police authorities had announced a new unit – the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) squad – to replace the disbanded SARS.

But the protesters are not backing down with their agitations – which is now in its 10th day –  insisting on the implementation of their demands.

 

 

 

 

Beware Of People Smarting From Suspended Labour Strike For Selfish Reasons

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

Since Organized Labour toed the path of sense and sensibility last week, seeing reason with the imperatives of fuel price adjustment, and opening a further window of dialogue on the service based electricity tariff, some groups of Nigerians have been dolorous, disgruntled, and disconsolate.

They had apparently perfected plans to use the strike by the labour unions as a smokescreen to unleash anarchy on the land, fomenting mayhem and civil disobedience. But the plan blew up in their faces, and they have been in severe pains since then. They have launched series of tirades against Organized Labour.

For some interest groups, their intention was to use the umbrella of the strike to further their whimsical and pie-in-the-sky dream of a revolution in the country. It went bust in their faces.

READ ALSO: Shelved Strike: It’s Normal For People To Say ‘You Sold Out’ – NLC

For some others, Bitter-Enders, who have remained entrenched in pre-2015 and 2019 elections mode, it was an opportunity to avenge the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protests, which they believe largely devalued the government of the day, and led to its eventual ouster in 2015.

The strike that was to have come up last week, they wanted to use as an opportunity for a pound of flesh, which they calculated would weaken the government so much, and influence the 2023 elections. For them, it was all about hankering for power, its trappings and appurtenances. Nothing about the love of country. They have since then been calling Organized Labour all sorts of names, claiming they deceived Nigerians.

The times in which we live-with severe security, economic and social challenges-call for all hands to be on deck, and goodwill and support for the government, as it strives to put the nation on an even keel. We commend Organized Labour for putting the country first.

Those sponsoring and encouraging discord and anarchy, either for selfish ends or as revenge for perceived injuries, are enemies of the country. Nigerians are urged to beware of them, as the Muhammadu Buhari government is only interested in engendering better quality of life for the citizenry. Nothing more.

Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina

 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, says not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.

Mr. Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today made the comment in reply to recent criticism by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The former president while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.

At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

Reacting to comments by the former president, Mr Adesina said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward. He, however, argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.

According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.

“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.

The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.

Earlier in the week, the Presidency asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to help in proffering solutions to the problems plaguing the country instead of being Nigeria’s “divider-in-Chief.”

While reacting to the recent outburst by Obasanjo that Nigeria is becoming a failed state, the Presidency in a statement on Sunday, called on him to quit critiquing the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

“In his most recent statement, former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempts to divide the nation while President Muhammadu Buhari continues to promote nation-building and the unity of Nigeria,” the presidency said.

“The difference is clear. From the lofty heights of Commander-in-Chief, General Obasanjo has descended to the lowly level of Divider-in-Chief (to adapt the coinage of Time).”

READ ALSOObasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Obasanjo, according to the Presidency, should “once again sheath the sword and rest the pretentiousness about the Messiah that has (mis)led him to pronounce often wrongly, as he disastrously did in the 2019 elections, about the life and death of Nigerian governments.”

It restated that Buhari’s comments on West African leaders sticking to their constitutionally allowed terms is for the good of the region.

Criticising Buhari Not Personal, I Am His Boss – Obasanjo
A combination photo of President Buhari and former President Obasanjo.

While accusing Obasanjo of a failed attempt at elongating his tenure when he was in office, the Presidency called on him to stop the “mushrooming of a poisonous atmosphere of ethnic and religious nationalism.”

“Surely, he must have disappointed many of his local and foreign admirers by showering commendations on a few extremist groups who have vowed to shun the invitation to the National Assembly to participate in the process of a constitutional amendment,” the presidency added.

Criticism Doesn’t Change The Fact That Buhari Is Working – Adesina

 

Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina has said that criticising the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration cannot erase the gains that have been made.

Mr Adesina made the remarks during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

“In a country of 200 million people, you will always have critics,” Adesina said. “Even in a home of five, ten people not all of them will agree on the direction and things to do and how to do it.

“So you will always have those who won’t agree with certain things, but it does not change the fact that government is at work and it continues to do what it has set out to achieve for the country.”

He said while the country continues to face security challenges, the Buhari administration has worked hard to reduce threats to life and properties across the nation.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

“There are security challenges in the country,” he said. “You can’t rejoice when you have a loss of lives and wanton destruction of properties. But is relative to say it is worsening. We are not where we were.”

Mr Adesina noted that there was room for improvement among Ministers, who are scheduled to hold a retreat with the President in September.

“I am proud of this government,” he said. “I am proud that I am a partaker, that I am an insider. I believe that it is genuinely serving the country and to the best of its ability.”

Mr Adesina said while some Nigerians have chosen to play politics with criticising the administration, others have shown understanding.

“In a democracy, you are responsible for the people,” he said. “But you have people who are playing politics with development, security, and loss of lives.

“But those who understand what is happening in the country show that understanding and they know that government is working on these things and it is a work that will be accomplished; those who are playing politics, is another kettle of fish.”

 

 

#RevolutionNow Not A Protest, It Is A Child’s Play – Adesina

 

The Presidency has reacted to the protests by members of the #RevolutionNow movement in parts of the country.

Speaking during his appearance on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, the President’s Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, dismissed the demonstration by the protesters.

“Well, was it really a protest? By my estimation, that just seemed like a child’s play because protests by their very nature are spontaneous things; they are mass things,” he said on the Channels Television’s breakfast programme.

The President’s spokesman added, “I just saw a sprinkle of people trying to be funny. As far as I am concerned, it is nothing to worry about because when you talk of a revolution, a revolution is always a mass thing.

“Not the sprinkle of young boys and girls you saw yesterday in different parts of the country. I think it was just a funny thing to call it a protest and a revolution protest.”

‘The Country We Get’

Dozens of youths had taken to strategic areas in Abuja and Lagos, among other parts of the country in protest to demand the resignation of the present administration.

Among the various issues raised, the protesters said the government has failed to tackle the security challenges in the country and provide jobs for unemployed youths.

A file photo of #RevolutionNow protesters during a demonstration in Ondo State on August 5, 2020.

 

In his reaction, Adesina insisted that there was never a revolution march and the action of the youths was a mere child’s play.

According to him, revolutions, by their nature, are quite well-known and the government has been living up to its responsibilities.

The President’s spokesman said, “Revolution is something that turns the normal order; what happened yesterday, would you call it a revolution? It was just an irritation; it was just an irritation and some people want to cause irritation in the country.”

“And what I will say is that when things boil over, they boil over because you continue to heat them. So, Nigerians need to know that the country we get is what we used our own hands to build.”

Magu Is Being Investigated, Not Tried For Corruption Allegations – Adesina

Ibrahim Magu                                                                                                  Femi Adesina

 

The Presidency has reacted to the release of the suspended boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from the custody of the Nigeria Police Force.

Speaking on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Magu’s probe by the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel is a plus to the Federal Government’s stance in fighting corruption.

The presidential spokesman, however, said that Magu, who is also a Commissioner of Police, is being investigated over allegations of corruption and not being tried yet.

“Mr Magu is not being tried, at least not yet because what lawyers call prima facie has not been built against him.

“He is rather going through investigation. So it is a plus for the anti-corruption war rather than something that will rebuild the bite and impact of that war,” he said.

READ ALSO: Suspended EFCC Chairman, Magu Released From Police Custody

Reacting to the suspension of the chairman of the anti-graft agency, Adesina noted that nobody is above scrutiny.

He explained that there is no need for Nigerians to be worried about the anti-corruption war, adding that Magu’s travails will rather strengthen the fight against graft.

Speaking further, the presidential spokesman warned critics of the administration not to pick faults with his principal for quizzing Magu.

The EFCC boss has been in the eye of the storm following his invitation by the Federal Government panel set up in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on July 6.

He was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he has since been detained.

On June 11, President Muhammadu Buhari affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu and it took effect immediately.

According to a statement from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.

Insecurity: It Is Uncharitable, Wrong To Say Buhari Has Failed, Says Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity speaks on the security situation in the country during an interview on Politics Today in Abuja on June 15, 2020.

 

The presidency has cautioned Nigerians against criticising President Muhammadu Buhari of failing to address the security challenges in the country.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said it is wrong and uncharitable to accuse his principal of failure.

“Government is working at it and it is work in progress. Let nobody come and say nothing is being done and the government has failed, that will be uncharitable,” he said.

When asked if the current administration considers changing strategy in confronting the problems of cattle rustling, terrorism, banditry among other crimes, the presidential spokesman noted that it is left for the security agencies to do that.

Adesina noted that President Buhari receives briefings from security agencies on a regular basis, stressing that security tactics change from time to time.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila Urges Resident Doctors To Reconsider Strike Action

“When it comes to strategy, it is not for us to say or determine. It is for experts in that area to review strategy and if there is a need to change it, they will do.

“From time to time, there are reviews. How do you know that the strategies remain the same? Strategies change from time to time. We don’t go to the front, we don’t know. It is not for us to determine whether this strategy is right or wrong,” he said.

Amidst the several loss of lives and properties due to attacks in the country, Adesina reiterated the commitment of President Buhari to fight criminals.

The presidential spokesman explained that securing Nigerians and the country’s territory remains the preoccupation of the President.

According to Adesina, the myriads of security challenges will come to an end one day.

His comments come 24 hours after the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) lamented over the high rate of insecurity in the north, accusing President Buhari of failing to tackle the situation.

The forum in a statement by its Convener, Ango Abdullahi, said the situation is getting worse by the day.

He said the constant attacks by bandits and Boko Haram insurgents are indications that the Buhari administration “has failed woefully” in terms of security and welfare of citizens.

Presidency Slams Northern Elders Forum Over Comments On Insecurity

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

 

The Presidency has taken a swipe at the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) over its comments on the nation’s security challenges.

In a statement on Sunday, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, accused the group of being political in its activities.

The group had said that the insecurity in some Northern states of the country was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors of those states have lost control over the protection of the people.

It added in a statement by its coordinator, Ango Abdullahi, that President Buhari’s government has failed in its fight against bandits and Boko Haram insurgents.

According to the NEF, the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who wreak havoc at will in towns and villages, as a result of the recent escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers, and insurgents.

In his response, Adesina believes the statement by the group is not strange and the Presidency’s position on what the group represents remains unchanged.

“A mere irritant and featherweight,” he said in the statement. “The former vice-chancellor signed the statement under the banner of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF). Hearing that title, you would think the body was a conglomeration of true elders.”

“But the truth is that NEF is just Ango Abdullahi, and Ango Abdullahi is NEF. It is a quasi-organisation that boasts of no credible membership, and its leader is akin to a General without troops.

“Before the 2019 presidential election, the one-man army called NEF had shown its antipathy against President Buhari and its preference for another candidate. They all got beaten together,” he added.

The President’s aide insisted that the NEF was merely waving a flag at half-mast, stressing that its comments should be disregarded.

He, however, stated that President Buhari has steadily and steadfastly focused on the task of retooling Nigeria.

Study The Budget And See What Abacha’s Loot Is Being Used For, Says Femi Adesina

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has asked Nigerians who are concerned about how the Abacha Loot is being spent, to take a deeper look into the budget.

Mr Adesina gave this advice on Wednesday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

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He said, “What the loot had always been used for had always been in the budget.

“If people just take the time to study the budget properly, they will see the sub-heads that accounted for those funds.”

“Every year’s budget in the preceding years had that sub-heads – ‘recoveries’ and that is the Abacha loot and what it was used for is clearly stated in the budget.

“Particularly last year and the year before, it was used for the Social Investment Programme,” Adesina added.

The presidential spokesman stated that the monies recovered have always been and will continue to be used for Social Investment Projects.

Mr Adesina also noted that there are subheads awarded to the funds within the budget.

The President’s media aide stressed that contrary to claims in some quarters, the funds have been judiciously put to use and the breakdowns within the budget give deeper insight as to the specifics of use.

He assured Nigerians that the recovered loot cannot be squandered because even before it was released, the American government made it mandatory for the Buhari administration to state exactly what it will be used for.