From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians, particularly the elite, to be fair in their criticisms of his administration.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari made the appeal when he received in audience Reverend Yakubu Pam, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Christian Pilgrims Commission.
‘Those criticising the administration should be fair in terms of reflecting on where we were before we came, where we are now and what resources are available to us and what we have done with the limited resources,’ the President said.
‘We had to struggle paying debts, investing in road repairs and rebuilding, to revamp the rail and try to get power. This is what I hope the elite, when they want to criticise, will use to compare notes.’
On the security situation especially in the North-East, the President remarked: ‘What was the situation when we came? Try and ask people from Borno or from Adamawa for that matter and Yobe. What was the condition before we came and what is the condition now? Still, there are problems in Borno and Yobe, there are occasional Boko Haram problems, but they know the difference because a lot of them moved out of their states and moved to Kaduna, Kano and here (in Abuja). We were not spared of the attacks at a time. The government is doing its best and I hope that eventually, our best will be good enough.’
President Buhari also assured that the welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) was paramount on the agenda of government.
‘The people in IDP camps, the weak, aged, I feel sorry for the young because this is the time they are supposed to get education. We must not allow this time to pass because it will never be regained. So we are really interested in what is happening there and we are doing our best,’ the President stated.
He commended the Executive Secretary on his appointment and activities on peace building around the country despite his short time in the saddle and assured him of the listening ear of the government whenever he had contributions to make.
Earlier in his remarks, Reverend Pam had intimated the President with some of the activities of the Commission since he was appointed in July 2020. These include: organisation of Peace Summit on Southern Kaduna as well as peace building efforts in Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa States. He added that the Commission has proposed to host Christian religious leaders in a summit to help douse pressures within the polity, among other plans.