By Wale Odunsi
President Muhammadu Buhari has reacted to comments, articles and newspaper editorial, which accused him of not being in control of his administration.
Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant on media, in a statement on Sunday, said the views were the language of the opposition.
He labeled them people who ruined the country during their 16 years of corruption on an industrial scale.
Shehu said influencers, celebrated columnists and editorial comments, do no more than endorse the opposition’s wrong and fallacious position that the president is not in charge of his government.
He told the authors that their criticisms are evidence of the right to freedom of expression prevailing in Nigeria.
Whether it is Ibrahim Magu, Godswill Akpabio, NDDC, NSITF or others, Nigerians are bound to write letters, opinion columns, editorials and even stage lawful protests, Shehu said.
He noted that detractors pick up isolated issues like the ones in the EFCC, NDDC, and incidents of crime and corruption which have been with the country for years.
Shehu suggested that the opinions were orchestrated and that Buhari was being attacked because his administration decided to pursue cases of suspected wrongdoing in the anti-corruption agency, pension funds, NDDC and other agencies.
He stated that the Buhari government was the first to point out the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by the EFCC leadership would cause the administration.
”Did they expect the President to draw a curtain over these suspected scandals by not ordering audits and investigations? And for them to turn around to accuse him of a cover up?”, he quipped.
Shehu insisted that President Buhari’s integrity, uprightness and probity are intact and well known.
He reminded critics that ECOWAS, Africa Union and the international community at large recognized Buhari “as Champion of the Anti-Corruption fight in Africa”.
The presidential aide pointed out that Nigerians are convinced that Buhari is honest.
He said they voted for him against the background of corruption, public policy paralysis and growing menace of terrorists threatening to take over a sizable portion of the nation’s territory.
The spokesman stated that in Buhari’s five years in office, there was not a single charge of corruption against his person.
Shehu noted that his principal fully understands and bears the full weight of the oaths he swore to defend the nation’s constitution, its citizens and territory.
The aide further stressed that the Buhari government had done nothing to warrant condemnations.
The statement added that under the law, an accused is innocent until proven guilty.
To carry out investigations before condemnation or conviction should not be misconstrued as a weakness or a vacuum in leadership, he stressed.
Shehu assured President Buhari is determined not to be diverted by unfounded attacks, neither would he compromise the sacred mandate of Nigerians.