5 Takeaways From Buhari’s Response To Obasanjo
The much anticipated response from President Muhammadu Buhari to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s denunciation of his administration has been released.
Buhari took time to respond to the ex-president with details of his administration's achievements in the last two and half years.
Buhari, through his Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in his response said the ex-president was not aware of the achievements of the administration due to his busy schedule.
Bounce News picked five takeaways from Buhari’s response to Obasanjo.
1. Buhari took his time
Unlike other scandals of his government in which presidential spokesmen sometimes issue conflicting statements in a haphazard manner, this time there was a studied silence from every mouthpiece of the government. In fact, not even Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, offered a comment when he was approached on Tuesday.
In the end, it fell on Mohammed, to speak on the matter – and he delivered.
2. Playing down on Buhari’s second term bid
One of the most interesting parts of Mohammed’s response addressed the strongest part of Obasanjo’s statement which was that President Buhari should consider a “deserved rest at this time and at his age.” In other words: Don’t run for a second term.
Mohammed said: “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 waking hour 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!”
3. Unlike Jonathan
Even though they share similarities in their style of governance, Buhari on this one was miles apart from his predecessor, Goodluck Jonatahan.
Jonathan’s action only helped to aggravate the matter.
Buhari's response through Mohammed was done in a gentle manner, deliberately ignoring some of Obasanjo’s harsh rhetorics.
Despite Obasanjo’s harsh words, Mohammed pointed out that Obasanjo had proven time after time again that he is only driven by the well-being of the nation and conveyed the government’s appreciation to him for his concern.
Read Mohammed’s opening statement to Obasanjo’s letter: “For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again.”
This was the tone that Mohammed adopted throughout his response..
4. Highlighting the positives
Knowing that his response to Obasanjo would get a lot of airtime, he spent a massive chunk of the statement listing what the FG considers as its achievements on the economy, agriculture, social security and infrastructure.
In the coming days, there would be ample conversation, fact-checking and debate on each of those highlighted achievements. But as a response, it was the smartest thing to do.
5. Using Obasanjo’s statement to score a political point
Mohammed thanked Obasanjo for commending the government on its achievement in tackling insecurity and corruption.
“We appreciate what he said concerning the administration's performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.
However, the truth is Obasanjo did not completely hail the government on those two issues.
Here is what Obasanjo said: “I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!” Notice the highlighted word: “thought” there.
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