100-day Promises: Why Presidency Is Adamant

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The Presidency has reacted to criticisms from Nigerians about President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s first 100 days in office by giving reasons why it insists that the President never made any specific promises.
Responding to questions raised about the source of two documents titled, “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and “My Covenant with Nigerians,” Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, insisted on Tuesday that the President never promised Nigerians that he would achieve specific things within his first 100 days in office.
Shehu who was the Director, Media and Communications of the Buhari Campaign Organization explained that the documents in question did not emanate from the official channel of Buhari’s campaign media department.
He therefore urged Nigerians to ignore the claims in those documents arguing that Buhari did not specifically promise certain achievements within his first 100 days in office.
“We prefer to talk about milestones instead of achievements; whether the milestones represent achievements or not, that is left for the people to decide. Milestones have been achieved, which is important for the country,” Shehu said.
To buttress his argument, Shehu recalled the Chatham House, London lecture where, he said, the President responded to questions relating to how to manage expectations within his first 100 days of office.
“The President never promised anything to anyone. It is on record in that lecture at Chatham House; they asked him a question relating to expectations and what he specifically would do in relation to certain documents that were flying around, committing him to this thing or that thing within 100 days,” he said while adding that Buhari disowned the documents, saying they contained falsehood.
“My point is that as the Director, Media and Communications of that campaign, I was responsible for internal and external communications and these so-called documents that were being flown around didn’t have my signature.
“I didn’t fund them and I didn’t authorize them. From what President Buhari said at Chatham House, he had no iota or knowledge of those documents. So, people cannot hold him to account on something to which he did not commit himself,” Shehu said.
Confronted with the fact that the President’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, actually went as far as uploading the documents he is now distancing the President from on its website, Shehu argued that the party had many centers of communication, some of which, he said, “were on the loose.”
“APC had a campaign in which there were so many centers of public communication and unfortunately there were some among those centers that were more or less on the loose. Yes, it was possible that things were being done without the knowledge or the usage of the proper channel of communication,” Shehu said.
As far as the Presidential spokesman is concerned, Buhari distanced himself from the “100 days” concept even before the election. Shehu recalled that Buhari categorically stated that he would remove the idea of ‘100 days’ because it was fraudulent.
To buttress this claim, Shehu quoted Buhari as saying, “The second one, high expectations and what to do with the first 100 days. Yes, I respect that question because quietly I was thinking about these high expectations. Those who are following the trail of our campaigns can see how people are turning out, some becoming emotional and crying.
“I am really getting scared that if I get there they will expect miracles within the next week or months. It would be very dicey handling that one. I think we have to have a deliberate campaign to temper high expectations with some reasonableness on the part of those who are expecting miracles to happen.
“Just to go first to the ‘first 100 days’, some of it is fraudulent and I don’t want to participate in any fraud in any form. Nigerians know that we are in trouble as a people and as a country. When we get there we will quickly get correct intelligence of what is on the ground and inform Nigerians.
“We will make sure that the misappropriation and misapplication of public resources will not be allowed. You would be surprised by how much savings we will realize. That saving will be ploughed back into development and this is what I can promise. But I would remove that ‘100 days.’”
In spite of these explanations, some Nigerians are of the view that it amounts to fraud for the President, his handlers and his party to have possibly recorded some appreciable number of votes based on the now contentious 100 days promises without disowning them during the campaigns only to now turn round to disown them.

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1 comment
  • Ayodeji Adeyemi

    Well done, good one