The Federal Government on Wednesday replied to an elder statesman, Olusegun Obasanjo’s criticicm of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying it had taken his admonition in good faith.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Lai Mohammed, gave the response in a seven-page statement read to state House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council Meeting.
He thanked the ex-president for the letter.
The Minister said that the administration had no reason to believe that Obasanjo’s motive was not beyond the well-being of the nation.
“We have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement.
“We have also taken his admonition in good faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.’’
Mohammed noted that the said Obasanjo’s statement had praised the administration’s fight against insurgency and corruption, two of the three cardinal areas of focus of the administration.
He added that his criticism on the economy indicated that his busy schedule denied him appreciation of government’s efforts and resounding successes recorded in the economic sphere.
The FG responded to Obasanjo’s call on Buhari to forgo the 2019 re-election bid, describing both the call to or not to recontest as diversionary.
“On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return.
“However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time.
“This is because Mr President spends every working hours tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his administration by successive past administrations.
“He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015.
“And that’s where we are right now.’’
The minister acknowledged that the administration was not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but added that it was up to the task.
“We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits.
“We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason,’’ Mohammed added.
On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, he stated that the administration was determined to end the crisis resulting from it once and for all, “not minding the fact that the clashes predate us’’.
He urged Nigerians to have faith in the administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures in that regard.