By Sam Egburonu/Bolaji Ogundele,Abuja/Dare Odufowokan
Vows 2021 budget ‘ll be implemented to the letter
PDP, Olajide: Elite have cause to be disappointed, angry
President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday alleged harassment of his person and administration by the Nigerian elite “despite our performance.”
He said that their criticisms often do not take into consideration where Nigeria was when he assumed office in 2015.
Speaking in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State after revalidating his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Buhari urged the elite to be ‘reflective’ in assessing him and the administration he leads.
Reacting to the president’s statement, however, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Secretary General of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, and the Secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, said the elite had cause to be disappointed and angry with the administration
“The problem is that I will like especially the elite to please be reflective. When we came, where we were, the resources available from them and the condition of the infrastructure,” Buhari said yesterday.
According to him, he was “compelled to go over it several times to tell Nigerians that between 1999 and 2014, let them check with the NNPC, let them check with the governor of Central Bank, production was 2.4 million barrels per day and the average cost was $100 per barrel.”
He added: “So for a year’s daily production, Nigeria would earn 2.4×100 dollars every day. But look at the condition of infrastructure. You know this better than I do.
“I know I went to every local government of the country in my three consecutive attempts to become the President. You know the roads more than I do. You know the condition of the rail; the railway is dead. Now look at it everywhere we go, what did they do with all these monies?
“When we took over the administration, production went down to about half a million barrels per day, the price collapsed. We had to do what is called a bailout, wherever we got the money from.
“Upon all the money from 1999 to 2014, we gave out money from the centre to pay salaries. No, Nigerian elite are not interested in rating the competence but they are interested in harassing us with all efforts we are making.
“You, who are in the field in charge of your constituencies, you have to make efforts to convince the elite to please give us the due relevance and respect we deserve that we are working so hard with limited resources.”
President says 2021 budget will be implemented to the letter
President Buhari pledged that the 2021 Budget would be implemented to the letter.
The budget, according to him, aptly captured some of the visions of the administration, and all efforts would be poured in to ensure its effective implementation.
He said the budget would be implemented with all transparency and openness in meeting the targets.
He hailed the National Assembly for the effective and detailed attention before its passage.
He said: “We have directed all the ministries, departments and agencies to follow what is in the budget so that we can get the National Assembly to easily support the next budget. We can tell them what we have received and how it was spent.
“We are always ready to make the balance sheet available for all Nigerians and the National Assembly. We have nothing to hide.’’
President Buhari said the administration had given more attention to agriculture in order to diversify and strengthen the economy.
He thanked Morocco for “the support they gave us in producing fertilizer in the country. We have 42 companies producing fertiliser in six geopolitical zones.’’
Why the elite are angry – PDP
Reacting to the President’s statement on the elite, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said Buhari himself “knows that he has failed.”
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said: “Part of the indicators of his failure is that less than two years of his second tenure, members of his party are already running round the opposition looking for his successor.
“Buhari is no longer blaming the PDP; he is now blaming the elite.
“The three things he promised to do for Nigerians, he has also failed.
“He promised to revive the economy, the economy is today comatose. He promised to fight corruption, corruption is today worse than ever. He promised to fight insecurity, today even his own state Katsina is a no go area. What more do we have to say to show that he has failed?”
He should do more, says YCE scribe
The Secretary of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, said: “Mr. President has done his best and we can see a few of his achievements.
“But if you look at the three cardinal points of his administration and you asses him based on those, you will agree with most of us that he hasn’t lived up to expectations.
“Take security for example. Yes, he has been fighting insurgency since he took over. But Boko Haram is yet to be defeated. I will say we are more challenged now than we were when he took over.
“Under Goodluck Jonathan, insurgency was just in the Northeast, Northcentral and Abuja. But today, insecurity is everywhere.
“And Buhari has contradicted himself on too many occasions about how he is fighting insecurity. He once said foreigners are the cause of insecurity. Then he said foreigners can come to Nigerian without visa or take visa at the entry point. That worsened the situation of our porous borders and opened the country to the influx of these killer herdsmen and kidnappers.
“Talking about economy, our economy today is at the lowest ebb ever. Yes, the price of oil went crashing when he took over, but we have witnessed more than 200 per cent devaluation of our naira too. That is not a record for which he will be praised by the elite.
“And then the fight against corruption too has been unimpressive. When he started, he started so well that looters were so afraid that they started returning their loots on their own. We were happy and we thought the messiah had come.
“But after a while, he fizzled out and even his own men joined in the corruption. We were disappointed. He disappointed us all with his lack of capacity and consistency in this area too.”
Nobody is harassing Buhari, Nigerians are disappointed in him- ECA’s Uko
In his own reaction, the Secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, said no one was harassing Buhari
He said Nigerians, including some elite, are only expressing disappointment over the President’s performance and attitude to governance.
He said: “Nobody is harassing him. In fact, he is the luckiest President. Either by some hypnotism or sheer intimidation he seems to have silenced the whole of Nigeria. He will go down in history as the leader who did all he wanted, the way he wanted it with so much impunity and yet the people are not demonstrating.
“Some Nigerians are now forced to express disappointment that it appears the President they first elected in 2015 with so much enthusiasm is not capable to run a multi-cultural, heterogeneous country; that he does not understand the dynamics of modern economics; that he does not know how to check the job losses or how to create jobs; that he does not know how to unite the country.
“So, Nigerians are disappointed that under Buhari Nigeria is moving towards a failed state. Recall that it was the failure of PDP; the abuse of power by PDP leaders and the brazen fleece by the PDP which bankrupted Nigeria before 2015 that validated Buhari’s victory.
“He said then that he was coming to save the country; that he was coming to grow the economy; that he was coming to quench corruption. But today, Buhari has disappointed everybody. So, the people, not only the elite, are angry.”
Source: The Nation