President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration defended yesterday its integrity — and achievements.

It scored itself better than its predecessors.

It was all in reaction to  Tuesday’s ”public statement” by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which criticised the administration for not doing well and advised President Buhari to exit “in a dignified manner” and not seek reelection. The government said Obasanjo might have been too busy to appreciate how well the administration had performed.

Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation Lai Mohammed told State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting that Obasanjo is a patriot with a right to his opinion.

He described the ex-president’s comment on the 2019 election as a distraction. “Mr. President spends every working 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,” Mohammed said.

The minister acknowledged that the administration was not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but said: “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.’’

On the herders/farmers’ clashes, he said the administration was determined to end the crisis 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.

The government said it had not cause “to believe that Obasanjo had 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”.


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