Aides in war of words over how Nigerians see their principals
By John Eche
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has riposted that Nigerians do not trust his successor but it is rather fear that they express in their relationship with him.
His remarks are coming after Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Friday, said, Nigerians did not protest when the incumbent administration increased the pump price of petrol to N145 per litre because of the trust they have in President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adesina said this on his Twitter handle, @femadesina, while responding to a statement made by former President Goodluck Jonathan that those who criticised him for leaving the pump price of fuel at N87 are not speaking out now that his successor had jerked up the price to N143.
The presidential media aide pointed out that the difference between the two scenarios painted by the former President was trust.
“When petrol went to N145 under PMB, Nigerians held their peace, unlike when they shut the country in 2012. The difference is trust. Simple,” Adesina tweeted.
Speaking on Thursday when a chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Tunde Adeniran, visited him, the former President had expressed surprise that those who criticised his moves on fuel price had remained silent under Buhari.
“My government was severely criticised for increasing the pump price of petroleum from N67 to N97 at a time that global crude price was going for over $100.
“The pump price was later reduced to N87 when the price of crude oil dropped and they attacked us that it was supposed to be lower.
“Those who criticised my administration are not talking again now that the global crude oil is about $53 per barrel and the pump price of petrol is N143,” Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan’s spokesman, had quoted him as saying in a statement.
Responding to Femi Adesina tweet, Reno Omokri, a former adviser to President Jonathan, said, that Nigerians do not trust President Buhari, rather, they fear him.
He noted that it was not Nigerians that rose up again the Jonathan administration when that government increased the price of petrol on January 1, 2012. It was actually members of the All Progressive Congress who sponsored the protests.” Omokri said.
Hear him: “When Femi Adesina says that it is because of trust that Nigerians did not rise up against the Buhari administration when it increased the pump price of petrol from ₦87 to ₦145, he betrays a deep ignorance and arrogance.”
“First of all, it was not Nigerians that rose up again the Jonathan administration when that government increased the price of petrol on January 1, 2012. It was actually members of the All Progressive Congress who sponsored the protests.”
“Nigerians have not so soon forgotten how Malam Nasir El-Rufai led other chieftains of the opposition to the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos, where they attracted crowds by inviting top musicians to perform and giving out free food and drinks.
If anyone cares to Google the pictures of that event, they will see pictures of people who are currently on President Buhari’s media team directing ‘protesters’ at that event.”
“To now pass that sponsored protest as a sign that Nigerians trust Buhari but did not trust Jonathan is another propaganda in the long line of lies and deceit that the APC has come to be known for.”
“The truth is that the reason Nigerians did not come out to protest against the fuel price hike by the Buhari administration’s from ₦87 to ₦145 was because of fear, pure and simple.”
“On December 15, 2015, the Nigerian Army, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s command, killed 347 unarmed Shiite men, women, children and infants and buried them in a mass grave as revealed by the panel of inquiry instituted by the Kaduna State government.
The excuse given by the military for this massacre was that the Shiites had blocked a road during one of their procession and this allegedly affected a trip by the chief of army staff.”
“After killing his followers and destroying their place of worship, Sheikh Ibrahim Zak Zaky, the spiritual leader of the Nigerian Shiite community, was illegally and unconstitutionally detained and has not been seen or heard of in public since December 15, 2015.”
“So when the Buhari administration increased the pump price of petrol, Nigerians wisely reasoned that if the Buhari administration can kill 347 unarmed Shiite men, women, children and infants for blocking a road, it would be suicidal to give them an opportunity to do the same thing to them on a wider scale.”
“Under the Buhari administration, human life has become so cheap that the military and security services routinely kill innocent Nigerians whether it be Shiites, peaceful demonstrators or IDPs at the Rann IDP Camp.”
“To say Nigerians trust an administration that publicly boasted that it would not tell Nigerians how much of their own money the President spent in treating himself in London when the State House Clinic cannot boast of ordinary panadol (by his own wife’s testimony) is to speak a lie.”
“Nigerians can judge the nature of the man whose number one campaign promise was that “no Nigerian Public official should receive medical treatment overseas at public expense”. For him lies are cheap even if they are expensive for the Nigerian public who has to pay the price.”
“Nor have Nigerians forgotten the promise to end corruption when the $25 billion Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation scam is ringing in their ears along with the denials by the Vice President that he never approved any contracts.”
“How can they trust a government that has still not released or acted on the SGF’s grass cutter contract prove after six months?
In the five years that he GOVERNED Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan spent ₦16 trillion. The economy grew. The Naira was stable. We had the greatest expansion of infrastructure since the Gowon years and inflation was in single figures.”
“In the two years that President Muhammadu Buhari has RULED Nigeria, he has spent ₦15 trillion. We have had recession. Naira collapsed. Inflation has gone back to double digits and the only infrastructure that he has started and completed is the Daura helipad.
So Femi should spare us his propaganda and accept the truth that he is the mouthpiece of a murderous regime sustained by propaganda and surviving on corruption.”
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria