The presidency has reacted to a scathing Financial Times article centered on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure as Nigeria’s President.
David Pilling, African editor of Financial Times who wrote the article titled ‘What is Nigeria’s Government for?’, which was published on January 31, 2022, claimed that Buhari has “overseen two terms of an economic slump, rising debt and a calamitous increase in kidnapping and banditry”.
Pilling further claimed that under President Buhari, Nigeria has sleepwalked closer to disaster. The article read in part;
“Next year, many of the members of government will change, though not necessarily the bureaucracy behind it. Campaigning has already begun for presidential elections that in February 2023 will draw the curtain on eight years of the administration of Muhammadu Buhari, on whose somnolent watch Nigeria has sleepwalked closer to disaster.”
Presidential aide, Garba Shehu who reacted to the article, claimed that the “security gains” of the current government was left out.
Pilling was further described as a correspondent who jets briefly in and out of Nigeria on the same British Airways flight he so criticises.
“We wish to correct the wrong perceptions contained in the article “What is Nigeria’s Government For” by David Pilling, Financial Times (UK), January 31, 2022.
“The caricature of a government sleepwalking into disaster (What is Nigeria’s government for? January 31, 2022) is predictable from a correspondent who jets briefly in and out of Nigeria on the same British Airways flight he so criticises.
“He highlights rising banditry in my country as proof of such slumber. What he leaves out are the security gains made over two presidential terms.
“The terror organisation Boko Haram used to administer an area the size of Belgium at the inauguration; now, they control no territory.
“The first comprehensive plan to deal with decades-old clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers – experienced across the width of the Sahel – has been introduced: pilot ranches are reducing the competition for water and land that drove past tensions.
“Banditry grew out of such clashes. Criminal gangs took advantage of the instability, flush with guns that flooded the region following the Western-triggered implosion of Libya.”