Nigeria @59: You Are Myopic, BMO Tells Atiku
The anniversary of Nigeria’s independence should be a period for sober reflections by all Nigerians, regardless of political affiliations, social, economic or tribal inclinations.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) expressed these sentiments in its reaction to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s comments where he raised issues on the repression of the press, persecution of judges, poverty level and high cost of governance in the country.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said Atiku’s views were myopic and reminded him, that it was on the basis of the atmosphere for free speech provided by the Buhari administration that he is able to release statements to the media unhindered.
“Since President Buhari assumed power, the Nigerian press has enjoyed unfettered access to information, ably aided by the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).
“It is also worthy of note that contrary to Atiku’s assertion that the Judiciary is being hampered under the present administration, judges are free to deliver judgements and such judgements are promptly obeyed by the Buhari administration as it believes in the rule of law. Perhaps we need to re-state that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his quest for the Presidency of Nigeria, had pursued his case through the courts up to the highest court in the land, and this is a clear evidence of his faith in the Judiciary.”
BMO also said it totally disagrees with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that poverty level had risen in the country, “considering that the President Buhari administration had taken steps to reduce poverty, especially with the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) which have gained international acclaim and recognition.
“Similarly, the engagement of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in agriculture, based on the support being provided by the Buhari administration has significantly reduced the poverty level that various PDP administrations bequeathed to Nigerians after being in charge for sixteen years.
“Obviously, these are deliberate policies and programmes put in place by the Buhari administration to alleviate poverty in the land and it is still work in progress.”
On the allegation that the cost of governance in the country was on the increase, BMO drew the attention of the former vice president to the 50% voluntary slash in the salaries of Mr President and his deputy as their exemplary sacrifice as leaders.
“The Buhari administration was also able to weed out tens of thousands of ghost workers from the civil service, thereby reducing the federal wage bill by several billions naira monthly. The federal government is also looking into ways to reduce reccrrent expenditure in the legislative arm.”
The Buhari group also recalled that up till 2015 recurrent expenditure and other non-capital expenditure gulped up to 80% of our national budget, leaving a paltry 20% for spending on infrastructure and other capital developments.
“It is to the credit of Buhari administration, since 2015, that this is no longer the case.
“It is also on account of reducing waste, curbing corruption and blocking leakages that the Buhari administration conceived and implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA). The positive results are there for everyone to see.”