The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina has said that even if an angel comes to rule Nigeria, people will still complain.
The President’s aide has equally accused those who lost in the 2015 general elections and corrupt politicians as the brain behind the proposed anti-Buhari protest slated to hold on Monday, February 6th.
Adesina who spoke in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital Friday morning at a BCOS “AM 120” magazine program monitored by newsmen informed that those who believed in free money while in government will also join the protest.
Innocent Idibia, fondly known as 2Face has concluded arrangements to mobilise Nigerians in a protest to kick against the inability of the present government to find solution to the plight of teeming Nigerians who are going through serious economic hardship occasioned by high inflation, shortage of food and other social problems.
The protest which is titled “Occupy Nigeria” according to reports will take place simultaneously in major cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano.
Reports also indicated that some activists in Ibadan have indicated interest to join the Monday protest.
It will be recalled that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni has refused to grant 2Face the permission to stage the protest in his State.
But Mr. Adesina, while answering questions from the anchors informed that Nigerians have right to protest but the police also have the right to deny them the permit so as to avoid crises.
He said that those planning the protest were people who will always complain even, “if the angels come to rule”.
“In a democracy, protests are legitimate, also the security agencies have the right to ensure that they do not degenerate.
“The president is not home now, in Nigeria today you have a large number of people who seem not to forget that the 2015 elections have gone and have been won. The other group is the group that will always complain, even if angels come to rule Nigeria, they will always complain, they will complain.
“Then you have people who believe in free money, there is no more free money, those people will also join the protest.
“Genuine concern people have ways to protest, there are millions of people who are with the president, and I believed that the people who are with the president are more than those who are not with the president.
“If the concerns were genuine, once those who speak with the president once they said all is well, they should have to go and rest”
“When he returns to the country, will the rumour continue?”
He said the presence of social media which has been a tool for social mobilisation has been abused by many Nigerians.
“It depends on the way social media is being used. Social Media is a tool for social mobilisation when used in good ways. Some people are using social media for malice.
“You must tell yourself I am going to be responsible, if they want to make legislation on social media now, people will say that it is tyranny.
“Change is both tangible and intangible, there are many ways that change is manifesting both tangible and intangible. There is less impunity now. So, you have intangible change, yes people are going through economic crises but yet things will turn around. We will exit recession this year, the world bank has said it, the government has said it.
“What people expect is that President Muhammadu Buhari will change things overnight, but the administration has a mandate of forty eight months, change is manifesting and it will continue gradually.
Mr. Adesina said antagonism, malice and hatred are not the best options but the people should continue to cooperate with the government.
“Antagonism, hatred and malice are not an option for Nigerians to keep government on its toes, but good will, patience and cooperation with the government is the best option.
“What the people need is to cooperate with the government. Nigeria over decades turned itself into a mono-economy, look at the country that is earning 3.5 billion dollars, but now it has reduced to about 190, what is happening in Venezuela is very hard, we don’t pray such thing will happened in Nigeria, things is gradually changing”.
Mr. Adesina said the problems facing the country did not come overnight but gradually and will fade gradually.
“The problem of Nigeria is a cumulative problem, all the refineries are down, but now the three refineries are working, so the problems did not start today, what Nigerians need to do is to encourage the government.
Speaking on the backlog of salaries many states are owing their workers, Adesina posited that the only thing the federal government can do is to bail the state out but cannot intervene on the payment.
“In a federalism, that is the only thing the federal government can do is to bail the states out, but the federal government cannot go to those states and pay the workers, the federal workers are being paid, the government has said the no worker should lose his job because they are not the ones that led us to the economic crises.
“The problem is a human problem, when the Israelites were passing through hardship. They cry but they later forgot when those problems passed away, so it is a human problem”.
He asked people to support the anti-corruption war of the President so that it will manifest as expected.
“Unless the whole populace own the anti-corruption war, it will be a Buhari thing. There is heavy corruption in Nigeria, when they asked the president he said it was true, he always speaks his mind”.
On the rescue of Chibok girls, Adesina said there is still hope that the remaining girls will soon be rescued. If you want to be honest with Nigerian government you will know that the level is not the same as it was in the past. What is going on is mopping up process.
“A president should always engage his citizens, we will talk with him for another presidential media chat.
“What Nigerians need to do is to understand is that they can not hand over a template on how they want to relate with the president, the president has the right to hand over the template on how he want to relate with them. If they have issues, let them speak up. Well you know that there are certain things that are off limit like the age of the president, I don’t talk about his family. Presidential media chat is just one of the many ways the president can speak with Nigerians.
“My message is that Nigerians have a leadership they can true, a leadership that is people focus, people need to give them time, at the end of this administration people will be happy that they voted for him. I go to the market, I know how much things are going”. Adesina maintained.
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