By Lawrence Olaoye
Ahead of the 2019 general elections barely two months away, the federal government said yesterday that the avalanche of achievements to the credit of the Buhari administration is intimidating the opposition, forcing them to prepare grounds for their eventual defeat.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed who gave the indication while fielding questions in Abuja yesterday also said the preferred candidate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will be defeated ‘roundly and comprehensively.”
He said Obasanjo has never hidden his preference for Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to emerge president in 2019. “We wish him well for supporting the former Vice President because he has not hidden his support for him.’
The Information Minister said no government in Nigeria has impacted positively across sectors in less than four years as the current administration has done, adding that the records of achievements are verifiable.
He said, for instance, the opposing elements are jittery of the success of the trader money empowerment programme across states of the country, not minding whether or not they are APC controlled states.
Fear of the success of the trader money, he said, prompted them to brand it as ‘vote buying’, rather than seeing it as poverty eradication programme that it truly is.
He said the government has also achieved a milestone in the fight against corruption, which he said is not all about jailing people, but more in putting structures in place to prevent people from dipping their hands into the public till.
He said also that the government has the political will to implement the Treasury Single Account, TSA, which has reduced mindless stealing of public funds, it introduced efficiency unit in the Finance Ministry and save over N17bn from travel expenses translating to more revenue to government treasury.
He said also that about N138bn was recovered from the whistle blower policy alone, and more agencies of government like JAMB are remitting unprecedented amount which were hitherto diverted for personal use in the previous administrations.
The success story of this administration, according to Lai Mohammed, includes payment of N33 billion for the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge, improvement of power generation from about 4000 megawatts prior to this administration to over 7000 megawatts now being generated among others.
He also disabused the minds of the public over the Electoral Act, saying the refusal of president to assent to the bill is in the best interest of the country, adding that the opposition elements are only making a political capital out of the pending electoral act, apparently preparing ‘excuses for their eventual loss at the polls.
The president has already communicated reasons for his refusal to sign the bill to the National Assembly.
He said the opposition has resorted to fake news which is their ‘biggest arsenal’ to discredit the electoral process out of fear of losing the elections.
“My admonition to the media is that let the campaigns be issues based.
At this time of our development, we should not waste precious time on silly and idiotic fake news. One of the down sides of technology is that you can stay in your room and concoct story and before you know it the whole world knows about it. What is painful to me is that many otherwise intelligent people would also buy intothese stories.