When President Buhari broke the news that he won’t be paying N5,000 to 25 million Nigerians(which is contrary to his campaign promise), there was a reaction of feelings of betrayal of trusts across the country (though some of us weren’t surprise). As if that was not enough pill to swallow, the Vice President’s office released a statement denying the existence of such promise. This denial came 24hours after the government’s spokesman Alhaji Lai Muhammed insulted Nigerians intelligence when he appeared on Channel’s TV on February 28. According to Lai Muhammed
Nigerians may forgive President Buhari for failing to meet any of his unrealistic pledges but can we swallow the denial and insults on our collective intelligence from the government? I think it will be appropriate to address the claims of the Vice President and that of the Information Minister squarely before gullible Nigerians swallow them as truth.
1. VP Yemi Osinbajo Claim of No “Unemployment Benefit” Promise:
It is never my intention to pick on Yemi Osinbajo, a man many see as the face of the righteous in government. It is however worrisome when the supposed model of Christians in politics engage in barefaced lies just to suit interest of his government and group. First, he desecrated the pulpit by claiming that President Jonathan(and Yar’adua) built no road in 10 years. Haba! As if that was not enough he has gone further to deny a key campaign promise of his party.
Was Yemi Osinbajo in limbo when APC Campaign team put up this billboard during the electioneering period?
Is Yemi Osinbajo saying that Hajiyya Aisha Buhari, the President’s Wife was out of her mind when she reminded them to fulfil the promise on November 10, 2015 through her spokesperson Mrs Adebisi Ajayi?
“The wife of the President, Her Excellency Aisha Buhari has appealed to the ruling party All Progressives Congress, APC not to renege on their campaign promise of paying N5,000 to 25 million unemployed Nigerians and giving school children one free meal a day.”
Was Yemi Osinbajo in limbo when in November 2014 the Youth Minister in the presence of the National Chairman of APC, John Oyegun reiterated the government’s pledge to pay the unemployment benefit?
“I would want the youth to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5, 000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So, definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that,”
Is the VP telling us that Nigerians are silly? I won’t be surprised if the VP comes tomorrow to deny ever pledging to pay the elderly and disabled that he made on January 7, 2015 in Osun state. Quoting his own words….
“The elderly and the physically challenged would also not be left out, as our government would be giving them allowances.”
Or will Osinbajo also deny ever making such statement?
2. Alhaji Lai Muhammed Blame on “Oil Price Fall”:
Speaking on Channels TV on Feb 28, 2015, Lai Muhammed said…
“When you campaign, you say you will do A,B, C, but when you win election, you prioritise. “We are still faithful to those promises, but as you have rightly said, when we were campaigning the price of crude was $100 a barrel, today it is $30 a barrel so definitely, we will have to downsize some of the things intended to do but this does not mean abandoning those promises.
While I will not spend time to address the effort of the Information Minister to justify a deliberate act of deception, I find his deliberate act of blaming oil price as offensive and inappropriate.
Firstly, oil price started dropping in July 2014 when Buhari was yet to pick up APC Presidential nomination form. As at November 2014, the oil price downed to $77 per barrel from $105 per barrel in July 2014. As at December 2014 when Buhari won the APC ticket, the oil price was at $60.70 per barrel. As at January 2015 when APC inaugurated their Presidential campaign council and rolled out their gigantic promises, the oil price was at $47 per barrel. As at March 2015 when Buhari won the election, the oil price shot to $52 per barrel. As at April 2015 when Buhari was declared winner by INEC, oil price was $57.54 per barrel. There was NEVER a time that APC made ANY promise when oil price was selling at $100 per barrel. Is it that it is only Alhaji Lai Mohammed that was unaware of this?
(See more on oil price history here ycharts)
The positions of VP Yemi Osinbajo and Alhaji Abdulai Muhammed is not only a slap on our intelligence but a scandal on the government of Buhari. The statement by Yemi Osinbajo, that is supposed to be the face of born again Christian believers(which I belong) is worrisome. Is this a government of promised change or a government of change of promise?
May God Bless Us All and Bless Our Nigeria
Tonye Barcanista is a Patriotic Nigerian, a Public Relations professional and Socio-Political Analyst! He is Unapologetic PDP and Fan of FC Barcelona