By MUSA ILLALAH
Spokesman to Former President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu in a recent treatise titled ‘one hundred days after Buhari’s’, undoubtedly summed it up as an abridged highlight of the success story of PMB’s eight years governance of the country from May 29, 2015- May 29, 2023.
There isn’t any ambiguity in the fact that PMB’s decision to relocate to Daura, his home town in Katsina state, is deliberate and strategic. It is also quite significant, cogent and down to earth for PMB to embark on a temporary ‘Hijrah’ to his beloved ancient Bayajidda city for obvious reasons.
Simply put, PMB’s reasoning not to distract the President Bola Tinubu administration with his presence in Abuja, and most importantly, to enable him interact freely with his people, cows, crops and fruits on his farm which he had missed for more than eight years now, will resonate with all Buharists and most people in the country.
The countless number of visitor’s, big and small and from far and near he has been receiving in Daura over the last 100 days had further reinforced the fact that his stewardship of the country was driven by nationalism, patririotism, transparency, high sense of responsibility and accountability. Like PMB’s spokeperson said, ‘more and more Nigerians will continue to cherish and admire him as a leader who is not dirty’.
Indeed, in his eight years leadership of the country, Muhammadu Buhari had taken many decisions out of which one or two missed the point as a human being.
What cannot be disputed even by naysayers is the extent to which Nigerian lives were positively impacted by PMB’s years through massive and all inclusive infrastructural, financial, agricultural, educational, health and social investment programmes.
Regrettably, despite such huge and unprecedented successes of the PMB years, some of his Ex Ministers and heads of key MDAs have disappeared into thin air without coming forward to, in black and white, blow the trumpet as it were in order to put the records straight in reaction to some misrepresentations, misinformation and ignorant data flying around in respect of works, projects and policies undertaken by PMB.
PMB’s landmark achievements that cannot be washed away as captured in his 3-pronged campaign agenda of improving the economy, improving security and taming corruption, have gone a long way in saving the country from total collapse due to the maladministration of the 16 years of the PDP governments from May 29th 1999 t0 May 29th 2015.
In the words of Garba Shehu: “the promise of tackling corruption and establishing a strong democracy was a prime factor in the rise to power by Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC party in 2015.”
On coming to office in 2015, the administration directed all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs to close their bank accounts with deposit money banks to fully operationalize the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
For the avoidance of doubt, TSA was launched in 2012 by the Olusegun Obasanjo led PDP government but left it un implemented and on the drawing board.
According to Garba Shehu, “more than 17,000 bank accounts were closed and an average of four billion Naira saved as monthly bank charges. Government revenue, it was found out, was being banked in personal accounts and signatories were, in some instances by big men and women who had even retired from service”.
The institution of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System, IPPS to cover all MDAs in spite of great opposition by the armed forces and the Universities, ghost workers in excess of 50,000 were flushed out and saved the country hundreds of billions of Naira.
Others include the establishment of “project lighthouse,” as a financial data integration engine room that identified unpaid debts put at more than N5trillion; subscription to Open Government Partnership, OGP in 2016; instituting Whistleblower mechanism; fast-tracking National Identity Management; boosting assets recovery at home and abroad with enhanced laws towards transparency in management of funds thus increasing latitude of power and authority of anti corruption agencies and the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
Other all encompassing giant strides of the PMB years brought to light and put forward by PMB’s spokeperson include sectors in diversification of the economy, agriculture, security, aviation, national intelligence, drugs war and controlling Covid 19, among others.
Also on record as notable achievements of the PMB years, Buhari government launched programs to streamline 46 million vulnerable people into the country’s development process; 2 million poor and vulnerable households paid N10,000 bimonthly stipend; and 10 million school children received a meal per day under the federal government’s school feeding programme which boosted school enrollment nationwide.
One wonders where the PMB ex Ministers are now while some misrepresentations about their government are daily being churned out to the unsuspecting public without them making the necessary clarifications. Are they afraid to speak because they have skeletons in their cupboards? They have an obligation to speak to Nigerians and clear the air. , moreso when they enjoyed the spoils of offices in the past.
Even then, President Buhari admitted that his government has done extremely well. Way back to last year PMB regretted: “I have to say it because those who are supposed to say so are not saying it. I don’t know why?”Time is of essence for the Honourable Ministers to speak out. And both ways and whether they speak now or not, one day they must depend their actions or inactions in government.