President Muhammadu Buhari Monday hit back at former President Goodluck Jonathan, sayingÂ our achievements are there for all to see.
Buhari also reminded the former president that unlike his time when they chunk outÂ between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion Naira as â€˜subsidyâ€™ yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this Administration is not paying any subsidy, yet the product is available and queues have disappeared from the filling stations.
Nigerians are brilliant and discerning, and wonâ€™t be taking in by the former presidentâ€™s claims.
Jonathan last week took a swipe atÂ the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), accusing the party of lies and propaganda, sayingÂ â€œMy 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 dollars.
â€œThe 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.
â€œThose who criticised my administration are not talking again now that the global crude oil is about 53 dollars per barrel and the pump price of petrol is N143,â€ Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathanâ€™s spokesman, quoted him in a statement.
But the president punctured his claims with facts and figuresÂ at the Nigeria Government Forum (NGF), Media Conference For media handlers of stateâ€™s chief executive governors with the theme: â€œGovernors Public Perception: Changing the Narrative Agendaâ€
Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, saidÂ â€œThose who accused this Administration of â€˜propaganda and liesâ€™ in the fuel supply sector, for example, did not tell Nigerians that whereas they paid between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion Naira as â€˜subsidyâ€™ yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this Administration is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are currently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history.
â€œIn their time, they paid subsidy of 3.7 billion Naira DAILY in 2011; 2.2 billion Naira DAILY in 2012 and 2013, and 2.5 billion Naira DAILY in 2014, all for products that were never available.â€
Describing disinformation and fake news, as â€evil twinsâ€ in the public space, the president said thatÂ they have become potent weapons in the hands of opposition, expressing worry that they will be the biggest obstacle as the 2019 general elections.
He said, â€œLet me be straight: This is the most difficult time for anyone to find himself or herself in your position.
Why? Because in addition to working with a tight budget, you face the double tragedy of disinformation and fake news, buoyed to a large extent by the advent of Social Media.
Never before have these â€evil twinsâ€ of disinformation and fake news permeated the public space as they have now and, make no mistakes about it, they have become potent weapons in the hands of naysayers.
Sadly, they will be the biggest obstacle facing you from now till the 2019 general elections, whether you believe it or not.
â€œIn recent days, you have all seen the dangers posed, not just to you but even the general public, by those who have chosen to deploy disinformation and fake news as a weapon of choice.
First, they created unnecessary panic in the society by claiming that Monkey Pox resulted from the Federal Governmentâ€™s deliberate injection of peopleÂ with the virus in certain states.
We had hardly dispelled that when they claimed that the military, which is going beyond the call of duty to support the civilian populace, has been injecting school children with Monkey Pox, forcing many parents across a number of states to withdraw their children from school for days. Imagine the implication of this on the affected childrenâ€™s education and health.
â€œNow, the disinformation is that ahead of the forthcoming election in Anambra, the government has been providing IPOB uniform to some people to cause mayhem, so they can in turn blame IPOB, and that many roads leading to Anambra will be closed before and after the elections, hence they advised Anambra residents to stay at home and not come out for the election.
This is all disinformation, pure and simple. There is no such plan.
â€œNow, going hand in hand with disinformation and fake news is theÂ new strategy of the naysayers to label the achievements of the government of the day as â€˜propaganda and liesâ€™ in order to discreditÂ them.
It is for you, at your level, to use concrete facts to showcase the achievements of your principals. Nigerians are brilliant and discerning, and wonâ€™t be taken in by such deliberate denigration. But they also need facts and figures.
â€œFor our Administration, our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of ourÂ policies: Security, fight against corruption and the economy, which includes the massive provision of infrastructure, ease of doing business and agriculture, just to mention a few.â€
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