Presidency: Buhari, Tinubu Are Hypocrites
Major General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu
By Jaiyeola Andrews
The presidency has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and particularly its leadership comprising Major General Muhammadu Buhari and former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, of double standards and being inconsistent on national issues.
In a paper titled, “Nigeria in 2014: Facts Versus Fiction”, written by the Special Assistant to the President, New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri, the presidency described the opposition and its leadership as a bunch of “hypocrites” who would stop at nothing to “secure political power by whatever means necessary”.
Omokri recalled that on December 18, 2013, several newspapers had carried the statement from APC which called on President Goodluck Jonathan to respond to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter on the grounds that the allegations contained in the letter warranted a response.
However, he expressed surprise that after the president did exactly what the APC had recommended, it changed its tune and on December 26, the party berated Jonathan’s response to Obasanjo’s letter.
According to the presidential aide, the example above showed that APC stood for nothing and was only against action or utterance of the president.
In another instance, he said: “Senator Bola Tinubu had been one of the most vociferous champions for the convocation of a National Conference. He had championed this cause for years and many had come to think of the idea as his pet project.
“At the first Anthony Enahoro Memorial Lecture in Benin City, Edo State which held on November 24, 2011, Bola Tinubu had said ‘I submit to you today that because of the multiple issues surrounding our skewed federalism and constitutional flaws, the Nigerian nation is weak…
‘The 21-member Presidential Committee on the Review of Outstanding Constitutional Issues (PCROCI) recently set up by President Goodluck Jonathan falls short. It is a backdoor approach to the issue of national conference. In memory of Chief Enahoro we must convoke a national conference.’
“But when on October 1, 2013, President Jonathan listened to the cries of Nigerians and decided to convoke the very National Conference that Bola Tinubu advocated, the Asiwaju made a characteristic 360 degree turn and went on attack mode saying on October 6, 2013: ‘The national conference is by whom, for whom, and at what stage? How many levels of deception? I see a contradiction. I see diversion. I see deception, lack of honesty and integrity’.”
Another instance pointed out by Omokri was Tinubu’s irreconcilable flip-flop as far of Obasanjo was concerned, stating: “On March 25, 2013, after a birthday party that was reported in the media to have cost N1 billion, Bola Tinubu gave an interview to The Sun Newspaper and said,
‘There are so many news items that are seriously more newsworthy than to be looking for Obasanjo’s congratulatory messages in the newspaper. A man who had great opportunity to put Nigeria on the right path and failed to do so; failed to do even the Ota road, not Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
‘What am I celebrating about him? That’s the truth. He deceptively dealt with the country and he handed over to a man who knew he was ill. Obasanjo is a leader that could not find another successor capable of driving through his vision for the country’.”
Omokri, in the article, expressed dismay when nine months later on December 22, 2013, the same Tinubu was at Obasanjo’s residence in Ota, Ogun State, and told the former president they (APC) had resolved and was determined to rescue Nigeria and wanted him as their “navigator”.
The presidential aide said it was glaring to any objective minds that the APC is a party without ideology, and a vision for Nigeria cobbled together by people without scruples who would be willing to work with anybody no matter how odious as long as that person has a grudge against the president.
“This is why they cannot argue with facts and figures against President Jonathan and must therefore conjure up lies, innuendo and propaganda.
“The APC’s attention is focused on the short term goal of securing political power by whatever means necessary. They have no long-term focus of transforming the lives of Nigerians.
“Who has been to an APC rally, or heard an APC chief or chieftain being interviewed and heard them talk about their plans for the transformation of Nigeria?” he asked.
He added that over the past year, as if choreographed, APC leaders have talked about 2015 in terms of doom, soaking people in blood, civil war, destruction and such militant language.
“Politicians ought to think in terms of welfare for the people not warfare for them. Talk of blood/war in 2015 is a result of poverty of vision. They have no vision so they feel they must use scare tactics.
“What makes these yesterday’s men bitter enough to call for blood and gore? I posit that it is the misuse of the opportunities God gave them and the refusal to accept that it has shifted to others.
“While the president stays on point talking about his vision for the future, their focus is on insulting and disparaging him. A persuasive leader is not weak and a coercive leader is not strong. Anyone can compel obedience by force but only the strong get it by non-violent persuasion,” Omokri argued.
He maintained that the Jonathan presidency was run on ideas because at the helm is a Ph.D leader who has voiced out severally that he believes in transforming lives rather than conforming to the status quo.
“Ideas are the building blocks of the Transformation Agenda. Ideas lead to cooperation thus expanding our sense of what is possible. Insults lead to isolation thus limiting our sense of what’s possible. This is the basic difference between President Jonathan and the current opposition,” he said.
The presidential aide went further to do a comparative analysis of the accomplishment of the Jonathan administration with that of the APC leadership, using internet websites to separate fact from fiction.
He said under Jonathan, Nigeria’s economy has grown to become the largest economy in Africa (tinyurl.com/pbbld8r).
• In 2009, Nigeria’s per capita income was $1091. Today it is $1,721, an increase of almost 70% (tinyurl.com/y5tfwwd).
• In 2007, average life expectancy in Nigeria was 47 years. Today, it is 52 years (tinyurl.com/yyl5xy2).
• In 2010, inflation in Nigeria was 15.60%. Today, it is 7.0% (tinyurl.com/6pyhylf).
• In 2007, the maternal mortality rate was 750 per 100,000 births. Today, it is 580 (tinyurl.com/lfr4jjb).
Omokri further highlighted the promises kept by the president, which comprised the privatisation of the power sector; establishment of an international airport in the South-east; revival of the railways; construction of one federal university in 12 states of the federation that previously had none; construction of 123 Almajiri model schools with Malam’s quarters, hostels, Qu’ranic recitation halls and science laboratories, with 277 more in the pipeline; repair of federal highways; and the construction of 389 health centres nationwide, as well as national cancer screening centres.
In addition, he made reference to the overhaul of the sports sector, which he said led to the country’s victory at the African Cup of Nations, World Under-17 Championship and the country’s qualification for the World Cup; the drop in the food import bill through the revival of agriculture and agro-allied businesses; creation of three million jobs through the agriculture value chain; and improvement in education as evidenced by the increase to 70 per cent in the number of students with five credits in WASSCE in 2013.