Osuntokun: How Not To Be A Blind Critic Of President Muhammadu Buhari, By Bernard Omomia

One time media aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Mr Akin Osuntokun had hate and vile in mind as he turned his last Column published by Thisday newspaper into an arsenal for denigrating the Person of President Muhammadu Buhari, while attempting to bring his government into disrepute. It was all for obvious political reasons.

Mr Osuntokun was probably working in concert with co-haters of President Buhari, all in a seeming resolve to obviate the popular will by Nigerians to have the President return to power in 2019 and continue his good work towards lifting Nigeria from doldrums and imminent collapse. That bid seems to have hit a brick wall already.

Given the tone of his diatribe, Osuntokun betrayed the status of a moral ranger he ascribed to himself. He also betrayed the experience he had garnered in pubic service, more importantly as a presidential aide on media. For calling a sitting President names and writing him off as a non-achiever without a modicum sense of balancing, Osuntokun exposed himself as a blind and implacable critic who, any day, will identify with falsehood rather than pitching tent with facts and reality.

The misconceptions he had bandied against President Buhari have, in no small measure, deconstructed him as a loafer, not really meriting a serious attention. All the same, he should be told the truth and the high value that President Buhari represents for Nigeria.

Osuntokun the critic, attempted to impress it on his readers by translating public criticism of President Buhari to meant that he has been ‘demystified’ as a mystic. While doing that, he failed to take into reckoning the groundswell of support the President continues to draw from all parts of the federation, most especially from those who appreciate the revolution launched by his government of three years to re-invent Nigeria. Indeed, it is not possible for a ‘demystified’ President to be greeted with mammoth crowd as witnessed during his visits to some states of the federation lately.

In what appeared as a desperate search for a dart to cast on President Buhari, Osuntoku ran to the archives of the defunct Petroleum Tax Fund, (PTF) and with ruptured sentiment, linked the name Buhari with some misgivings allegedly booked against the interventionist agency.

He failed, however, to establish that President Buhari was never named in any wrong doing as the head, just as he shifted gaze away from the landmark achievements the PTF recorded on infrastructural development, anchored on construction and repair of poor road network across the federation under the regime of late General Sani Abacha. Here, the hypocrisy of the writer stuck out like a sore finger.

Again, Mr Osuntokun did not get his facts right even as he quoted Junaid Muhammed to accuse President Buhari of nepotism. He missed the point by failing to note that till date, President Buhari has not fixed any of his children or family member in appointive positions.

None of them is known to be profiting from juicy contracts, dropping the family name for that purpose. It is also trite to remind Osuntokun that the south-west where he hails from is not doing badly on patronage by the President on Federal appointments. What could have been more profiting for a zone than to be part of the real deal in the
management of the nation’s economy and being in control of key cabinet appointments?

By alluding to the controversial poor rating of the present government by the Transparency International on fight against Corruption as a hard stick to pummel President Buhari, Mr Osuntokun a supposed professional again faltered. It is more surprising that he failed to properly dissect the issues raised by the TI to sift out the incongruities in its assessment of Nigeria and come out with unsalable facts.

The question now is; why would a media guru like Osuntokun feign ignorance of the unequalled attention placed on the fight against corruption by the government of President Buhari and the great results trailing efforts in that regard? What about the attention on loot recovery and seizure of ill-gotten wealth and proceeds from corruption
made so far by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies?

It amounts to treachery for any critic not to take into cognizance the infectious puritanical disposition by an agency like JAMB to fund management and its ability to return a total of N7.8 billion unspent finds into the Federation account when indeed, similar remittances by same agency during past administration did not amount to N5 million.

In truth, Osuntokun and other critics should know that the spirit of probity and accountability infused into governance by President Buhari has been impactful, prodding agencies like FIRS, the Nigeria Custom Services and others to keep remitting trillions of naira into the federation account on quarterly basis, an improvement from what
obtained in the past.

On the mounting loans obtained by President Buhari’s administration, one fact that should not elude attention is that such loans as planned, are channeled towards the productive sector. The loans have been disbursed to boost infrastructural development, visible through railway, power, roads and other ongoing projects across the
federation. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that the loans are being misappropriated.

For instance, the southwest is the first beneficiary of the bumper Lagos-Kano rail projects already awarded by the Buhari’s government. Electricity generation has risen from less than 3, 000 megawatts to 7.1 megawatts all within a spate of 3 years, while network of roads are being constructed and rehabilitated in all the geo-political zones
of the federation at the moment.

Critics should also not forget that the national economy, which was deeply recessed as at 2015 when President Buhari assumed power, has bounced back. Foreign investments have also started to trickle in following the stability attained on economy. Nigeria’s external reserve has risen to N46 billion while Agriculture is increasingly rising in prominence as an alternative to oil, creating millionaires out of the present day Nigerian farmers. With agriculture on the drivers sit of economy diversification, Nigeria is now on record as an importer of rice and other produce, defining Nigeria now as a foreign exchange earner.

Bernard Omomia, APC Chieftain and Public Affairs Analyst wrote in From Auchi Edo State

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