Fair Criticism of Government Devoid of Dirty Politics As A Tenet of Modern Democracy

By Musa Ilallah

If recent comments by President Muhammadu Buhari to the effect that “critics of his government should do so fairly” are anything to go by, this has once more reconfirmed that PMB is the best President and leader Nigeria has ever had in it’s chequered history.

President Muhammadu Buhari who spoke in Abuja when he received in audience Reverend Yakubu Pam, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission in his usual manner seized the opportunity to call on Nigerians especially the elite to be fair in their criticism of his administration.

“Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources.

In the words of the President,

“His government had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. “This is what I hope the elite, when they want to criticise will use to compare notes.”

It will be recalled that in his speech on the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day in 2019, he stressed: “This Administration inherited a skewed economy, where the oil sector comprised only 8% of Gross Domestic Product but contributed 70% of government revenue and 90% foreign exchange earnings over the years.

“Past periods of relatively high economic growth were driven by our reliance on oil sector revenues to finance our demand for imported goods and services.

“Regrettably, previous governments abandoned the residual Investment-driven Non-Oil Sector, which constituted 40% of Gross Domestic Product and comprised agriculture, livestock, agro-processing, arts, entertainment, mining and manufacturing activities that provide millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilize locally available raw materials and labour for production,”

He said to address the said imbalance and achieve economic prosperity, his government designed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP and launched jn April, 2017.

Buhari said this medium-term development plan charted the trajectory for the country’s economy to exit from recession and return to the path of sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth for Nigerians.

“Pursuant to these reforms, the economy has recovered and we have had 9 successive quarters of growth since our exit from recession.

“The exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.

“Learning from the mistakes of the past, this Administration is committed to responsibly managing our oil wealth endowments.

We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.

Typical of a leader driven by the serious need to develop the economy and the people, PMB noted that his government had significantly increased investments in critical infrastructural development of the country.

Unfortunately, all these visible giant strides and more of the PMB administration were deliberately or out of sheer mischief not noticed by critics of government .

Undaunted by the numerous challenges in the economy, Security, general well being of the people and infrastructural decay among others when he took over the mantle of leadership of the country on May 29 of 2015, President Buhari as a former military head of state moved on with his vision to free the country from the challenges militating against the country’s growth and development with military fiat.

Talking in full confidence that his government has performed creditably well in tackling Boko Haram in the North East region of the country, the President remarked: “What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe. What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now?

Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems,  but they know the difference  because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja). We were not spared of the attacks at a time.

Sounding philosophical and and confident, PMB added that his government is doing its best and expressed the hope that “eventually, our best will be good enough.”

Recent comments by an un repentant critic of the PMB administration,  Dr Junaid Muhahammad should be ignored totally as it looks like he is still living in the primitive past. A second Republic house of Representatives member, Dr Junaid had said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed woefully, while describing him (Buhari) as “a threat to the security of the country.

President Buhari’s call is therefore a Clarion call to order to individual elites and groups to desist from their partisan, blinded and myopic assessments of his administration in the interest of Justice and fairness. The likes of  Bishop Kukah, Buba Galadima, Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Afenifere, Ndigbo among others form part of such critics.

It is therefore very heart warming hearing President Buhari commending Reverend Pam for his activities on peace building efforts across regional and religious divides of the country despite his short time in the saddle.

For me, once more President Buhari has demonstrated the courage to show tolerance to his critics who see nothing good done by his administration. My conclusion is that it’s all sheer in healthy, dirty politics saying that PMB had not done much for the country since coming into office in 2015.

Such comments sound more like tales from the great beyond as they are not in anyway in tune with the realities on ground. Nigerians are no longer gullible to such biased assessments.

No matter the attempts to distract and derail his government, PMB is determined to deliver the dividends of democracy to all Nigerians irrespective of region, religion or tribe.

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