Okwe Obi, Abuja
Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has declared that anyone who criticises President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has a sinister motive.
This is even as he said that the present administration is working tirelessly to put the country aright.
Akume, who spoke when the management of Television Continental (TVC), paid him a courtesy call in Abuja, again, blamed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for destroying the country’s economy, turning blind eye to insecurity and siphoning funds meant to provide electricity, in its 16 years rule.
“When people talk so much about this government negatively, I believe they have a sinister motive and purpose. Sincerely, they are no angels in government but there is a big difference between what was and what is.
“The system was bad when this government came on board in 2015. And at the time we came virtually all sectors of the economy had broken down; (there were) serious security breaches.
“You can testify that a lot has been done by this government in that area to stem the tide of insecurity. When I was in the Senate, I happened to be a member of the committee on defence; we visited the North East and virtually everything was bad.
“I knew what was going on in the North East. Frankly, about half of that place was taken over by Boko Haram. Today, Boko Haram has been seriously degraded. Of course, they strike from time to time which is normal even in Iraq, Egypt and so on. Boko Haram can never ever operate with immunity.
“What the military is doing is now is a mopping up of pressure. Banditry, robbery, and kidnappings are pains of democratic transition. The offences against these vices are very strong.
“When you are outside the country and you hear people talk about Nigeria, you will think it is a place where life is nasty, brutish, and short – where you cannot do business. But when you get into the country, look at the rich opportunities that the country offer.
“The fact is that those who are doing business here also smile to the bank. If you like, do a programme on power beginning from 1999 when this country returned to participatory democracy to presidential democracy, so much has been put into the power sector and yet the result was very appalling until 2015 when this administration got to power.
“I say it on the bases of my own experience as one of the founders of the PDP. I know that government of the day decided to add 60, 000 megawatts of power to the national grid at the end of 2007. At the end of the day, I don’t know what the whole thing ballooned to N16 billion and nothing to show for it,” he said.
He, also, appealed to the media to remain objective, and if need be, be constructive in criticising government.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the media group, Andrew Alon, said the meeting was to strike a deal with the ministry in the area of advertising and publicity.