The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, stated this in a write-up titled; `The Real Price of Change the Change’’ campaign (2)’ issued in Abuja on Sunday.
Shehu revealed that recent internal polling on the popularity rate of the Buhari administration had indicated that the government had been consolidating its support and acceptance among majority of Nigerians.
“In fact trends from our internal polling suggest that this should hold up, or even grow all the way to 2019, the reason being that the ordinary citizens concede it to the president that he is trying to do his best for the country.
“His concerns for the poor citizens and the nation are among his greatest assets.
“This is why he has led the country through difficult changes, such as the increase in the pump price of fuel and the landmark steps to stabilize the Naira, at grave risk to political capital, but measures that had become necessary for the benefit of the nation,’’ he said.
According to the presidential aide, the distinguishing characteristic of the administration is its habit of not being bombastic.
He said: “Look at the simple programme drawn up to celebrate the third anniversary: prayers in mosques on Friday and churches on Sunday; Democracy Day Lecture by Prof. Attahiru Jega, erstwhile chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC in the morning of May 28.’’
Shehu further disclosed that a banquet would be held in the evening of May 29
He said at event the nation would also be expected to say farewell to the Super Eagles of Nigeria, one of the teams representing Africa in the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.
“The most telling event of the day is expected to be the broadcast on radio and TV by the President at 7:00 in the morning.
“To mark the occasion, some ministers and senior officials of government are expected to be on radio and TV for much of the day, parading what has been achieved by the government in the three years.
“While the claims will be verifiable, the opposition is expected to continue their political jibes much of it, unfortunately, promoting hate and intolerance that does not fit with the traditions of modern democracy.
“When they ran the government at the centre, the opposition PDP showed aptitude in only one thing: the toppling of elected state governments using the police and secret service under their control.
“A five-man legislature met at 6:00 am and “impeached” Governor Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed Governor Ladoja of Oyo from office; in Anambra, APGA’s Governor Obi was equally impeached at 5:00 a.m. by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“His offence was that he refused to inflate the state’s budget,’’ he said.
He added that the lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba, Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit.
He explained that the PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.
“In Ekiti, Gov. Fayose in his first term faced allegations of financial corruption and murder.
“Following the failure to heed the instruction of the presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency,’’ he buttressed.
Shehu added that retired Brig.-Gen. Adetunji Olurin was appointed as the sole administrator of the state on Oct. 19, 2006.
He said: “In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.
“The parliament at the centre seized the law-making powers of the Rivers State House of Assembly as a way to save Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the then chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum from impeachment by the PDP presidency.
“Thank God for Buhari, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch but the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order.
“If not for ‘dry eyes,’ as said in our common parlance, what is it that would push this party to write a letter to the United Nations, laying false claims to constitutionality and alleging that democracy is presently under threat?
“But then, we all understand that by its tone, this is an angry opposition unhappy about the loss of privileges they desperately want to hang on to, privileges now abolished by the prudent, austere Buhari Administration.’’
Shehu observed that former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, shocked the world by the revelation in her new book, titled, Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines, that they paid N17 billion bribe to the National Assembly to get them pass the 2015 budget.
He, however, stated that President Buhari’s first budget in 2016 was the first year of passing the budget without the bribing of legislators.
“He came to power to clean up the mess and has so far managed a cleaner government than all of the past administrations,’’ he noted.