The senior special assistant to president Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, has reacted to the numerous criticisms which has followed President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day speech delivered on Sunday, October 1st.
Buhari’s speech has been trailed by a lot of condemnation from many Nigerians.
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA and Human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, described the speech as divisive and very unceremonious.
Ozekhome went further to say that the speech showed president Buhari’s fixated hatred for the Igbos.
Similarly, second republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, in his reaction, said the speech lacked substance, adding that there was nothing interesting about it.
In reaction to their criticisms, the senior special assistant to president Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement released last night, said those who are fond of criticizing government policies want to be “settled” to keep quiet and that the era of settling critics by government officials are over.
Garba in his statement said:
“As for those critics who are used to being settled by successive governments, with false claims to being so-called conscience of society popping out from the cupboard on and off to drive the country towards religious and ethnic polarization, they have no other motive but to rock the boat of good governance.
“What they yearn for is to be picked out to be paid to keep quiet. The Buhari government has abolished ‘settlement’.
“Polarising speeches that aggravate Nigerian against a brother Nigerian are causing damage to our democracy, rocking at the very foundation of our unity and they better not cross those red lines as warned by the president.
“President Buhari was not abdicating his responsibilities. He didn’t request any political leader to do anything seminal or out of the box. All he said is, ‘talk to your out-of-the-line-youth so that we have some peace.
“Igbo leaders need not to be on the defensive for the misbehaviour of IPOB which they rightly condemned. The President was simply saying that the regional leaders also have a role to play in keeping their hot-headed youths in check”.
Mr. Garba Shehu said successes being recorded by the Buhari administration are everywhere to see.
“We inherited a country in tatters- its economy, its security and its social relations. President Buhari deserves credit for rebuilding what has been destroyed.
“If anyone thinks this a failure, let them talk to those millions of farmers we have empowered to create riches for themselves and the nation, for whom fertilizer is available everywhere at the regulated price of N5,500 instead of N13,800, a year ago.
“Let them ask the manufacturers and importers of goods who bought the Dollar at N525 and are happy that it is down to N360 and still improving.
“Let them go back and read the accomplishments highlighted in the speech, to see the advancements in security, agriculture, the ease of doing business and anti-corruption, to mention a few.”