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Economic downturn caused by Buhari’s administration – Afenifere

…Says Tinubu did not cause economic hardship

 

The current economic downturn was caused by Buhari’s administration which was built on a platform of hope and a defective federalism as promises made were not fulfilled.

 

The Pan-Yoruba Socio-political group, Afenifere, in a statement signed by the groups Publicity and Organising Secretaries, Jare Ajayi and Kole Omololu, argue, adding that the immediate past administration, dug political and economic holes for the administration of his successor, Bola Tinubu.

Afenifere submitted that the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should be blamed for the present economic hardship being faced by Nigerians and not President Bola Tinubu.

According to the group, the Buhari’s administration “did not make provision for oil subsidies in last year’s budget which made Tinubu cancel the regime of oil subsidies in his inaugural speech.

It added that the “economic downturn was caused by Buhari’s administration which was built on a platform of hope and a defective federalism saying promises made were not fulfilled.

The group said that “Under Buhari’s watch, terrorists and banditry were operating effortlessly. Law and order broke down.

“Many innocent citizens including the daughter of our leader were killed and or kidnapped.

“President Buhari could not rein in his critical officials like the then Governor of CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who was printing money rather than facing the reality of taking the difficult decisions, which were postponed till the evil day.”

The group said a probe panel accused Godwin Emefiele and his team of printing N22.7 trillion through ways and means and the federal government was borrowing to pay salaries and pensions during the years of the Buhari administration.

It added that some ministers suggested the removal of subsidies, among other economic decisions but President Buhari did not agree until his last year in office to lay a booby trap for the incoming administration of President Tinubu.

“It was, therefore, obvious that we were simply postponing the evil day. The CBN Governor denied leaks flying around that the books were being doctored. He reassured the federation that all was well.

“He even wanted to contest the presidential election! There were no penalties for his infractions by President Buhari.

“These inactions and false lives continued till May 29, 2023, when the new helmsman, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, was sworn in as President.

“President Tinubu wasted no time amending his inauguration address and declared the subsidy regime over! This was obvious as there was no appropriation for subsidy from June 2023.

“He quickly followed up with the deregulation of the forex regime, which resulted in the free fall of the Naira.

“A man who is not shy about making difficult decisions, he probably underestimated the capability and capacity of the beneficiaries of the old order to make things ungovernable for his administration.”

Afenifere noted that “those sleeping and snoring during the eight years of Buhari suddenly woke up forgetting that these remedial actions should have been taken many years back.

“The major sin of President Tinubu was in his contesting and winning the presidential election and making these decisions, which will hurt in the short term but bring us back to reality in the long run.

Afenifere, therefore, suggested a vibrant Ministry of Information to regularly stay in touch with the people, as a way out of the economic downturn.

It also suggested regular town hall meetings across the country where ministers would go back to their constituencies to engage with the people.

The group said “there should be the realignment of the National Assembly budget and launch of operations go back to the people by the legislators and each member must take palliatives back to the constituency.

“Governors receiving almost double allocations due to the removal of subsidies and readjustment of the exchange rates should deliver to their people. The allocations of each state of the federation should be published monthly.

“Implementation of operation grow what we eat and eat what we grow policy. Make banditry, kidnapping, and terrorism a capital offence punishable by death.

“Return to true and fiscal federalism with state police, for which we commend the President and Governors’ endorsement, and state ownership of mineral resources.

“This is not the time for some elder statesmen to make incendiary comments that can put our unity in jeopardy. Rather, it is a time to deepen peaceful co-existence to navigate through our current challenges.

Afenifere noted that” Orchestrating anarchy will be resisted in our dear nation. We fought through our blood to achieve democracy. We will also vigorously defend it, as it is here to stay.”

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