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Ajimobi’s ex-Chief of Staff flays Buhari’s June 12 speech

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A former Chief of Staff to former Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Dr. Gbade Ojo, on Friday picked holes in the June 12 speech of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking with The Guardian in Ibadan, Ojo, who is an associate professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, pointed out that some claims in the speech are far from the reality.

The former Political Adviser to Ajimobi emphasized that the current administration failed security, economy and infrastructural development.

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Dr. Ojo said: “The President spoke very well. The speech,no doubt, is all-encompassing in the sense that it touches many areas of our national life. And at a point the speech was emotional, trying to whip up sentiment in support of his government. But the truth of the matter is that the correct understanding of the speech shows that: One, the capacity of Mr. President to diversify the economy is almost zero. He mentioned how much realized in the last one year, in term of exportation of cocoa and solid minerals, which is a pittance when you look at the size of our national economy. I expect a president in the last five year that will be more serious with the diversification of the economy, in term of exportation.

“Another hole in the speech is that Mr. President celebrated his administration in term of security. But we know very well, until the last 24 hours, that scores of people were massacred by Boko Haram insurgents such that the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives are calling to meet with the president that Nigerians are gradually getting fed up. So, in term of security, the capability of the Federal Government is not good enough in managing national security.

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“He spoke about infrastructural deficit especially what Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) is doing; that it has repaired 400km of roads out of 500km marked for this year. But what you look at the size of this country and you’re talking about 400km of roads by FERMA that is not enough. Ordinarily, Federal Ministry of Works should have Resident Engineers in each state capital. So, when you look at Federal highways they are death traps. 400km is nothing when you look at the size of the country.

“When you look at the speech again, the President talked about job creation. That is what he has been doing at the level of government. But on a more serious note if the public sector is shrinking that government is not recruiting, the private sector should not be shrinking. Without electricity, industries are folding up and Mr. President forgot to tell us that price index has unfortunately gone up. The exchange rate of a dollar to naira is around N500. If today in the whole of the African continent, our currency is the weakest – If Ghanaian, South African, Tanzanian currencies are far stronger than the Nigerian currency, there is no other evidence that the economy is not well managed.

If care is not taken, the national economy may collapse after COVID-19 because of high cost of production. Producers will transfer the cost to the consumers who are Nigerians and Nigerians are getting poorer on a daily basis because of our national policies”.

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