“You can’t defend the indefensible – anything you say sounds self-serving and hypocritical.” – Diane Abbott
Either President Muhammadu Buhari’s handlers have never come across the quote above or they are just not as good a judge of the pulse of Nigerians like they think, if the statements they have put out in the public space in recent times is anything to go by.
Apart from the entire messy affair of the President’s state of health which has remained shrouded in unnecessary mystery, the President handlers have failed to shown that they fully grasp the extent of the angst against the present administration.
For example, Nigeria’s economy had not only refused to grow since the advent of this administration in 2015, it has also shrunk to its lowest level in 25 years. Added to this is the fact that Nigeria is presently in the tight grip of a biting recession with the resultant effect that the price of most commodities have almost been driven out of the reach of the ordinary Nigerian.
Despite all of these, those close to the President either insist things are bad because of the frivolousness of past governments or try to paint a picture of the situation which is not at par with reality.
On Monday, National Leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, asked #IStandWithNigeria protesters, who had thronged his residence, to hang on and endure a little longer for the change the present administration promised to arrive.
According to Tinubu, the Buhari-led government which the people voted into power is not running away from the change it promised Nigerians during campaigns.
This is Tinubu's response to protesters.
The political class take us for fools. pic.twitter.com/a1K873HDH9
— Tenacity (@NewDawn9Ja) February 6, 2017
However, the former Lagos State governor neglected to mention the time-frame within which Nigerians should expect things to turn around or what they should do to survive while they are waiting for things to change.
President Buhari’s aide on social media, Lauretta Onochie, recently wrote on her blog:
“The recession is biting hard. Many Nigerians who were abandoned for many years to live below the poverty line are groaning. President Buhari is working with his team in the face of dwindling oil revenue, to alleviate the sufferings of these Nigerians.
“Jobs are being created. Apprenticeship schemes have taken off through the Federal Government’s Social Investment Schemes. Billions of Naira have been injected into the economy. The Social welfare scheme, where the poorest and the most vulnerable receive N5000 a month, is in place. Three, times, billions of Naira have been released to states to pay owed salaries so families could meet their financial obligations. Many Primary School children are enjoying school dinners. Low cost housing units are being built. Major dilapidated roads in ALL the states, are under construction. Farmers are becoming millionaires through the Federal government’s collaboration with states, Central bank and Bank of industries. Aba-made products are receiving more patronage and the attention they deserve, Etc.”
Many public affairs analysts have asked where these jobs created by this administration as stated above by the Presidential aide are located. The social welfare scheme for the vulnerable is still in its pilot stage and yet to get to those who need it, school feeding is yet to commence in majority of the states, and farmers are still struggling to survive. Yet, Lauretta Onochie along with Femi Adesina and the Lagos state commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni mounted pressure on 2face Idibia until he stepped down from the #IStandWithNigeria protests.
Governor Yahya Bello even said Nigerians are resolute in their support for President Muhammadu Buhari despite the ongoing wave of protests in many parts of the country.
Last week, another media aide to the President Femi Adesina infuriated renowned afrobeat exponent, Dede Mabiaku, and made him to almost leave the studio when he asked Nigerians to be patient and allow Buhari to carry out his mandate.
It is obvious that President Buhari’s handlers still believe that he is still as popular as he was before the elections whereas nothing could be further from the truth.
The time has come for those close to the President to wake up and smell the coffee and know that Nigerians are no longer happy with the president and do what they can to change this perception.
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