Tinubu’s Independence Day speech uninspiring, empty – Atiku


Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s Special Assistant on
Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, has described the speech delivered by
President Bola Tinubu on Independence Day as insipid, uninspiring, empty and
exudes renewed hopelessness.


Shaibu said in a statement on Sunday that Tinubu had failed
to increase the minimum wage after destroying the naira and removing petrol
subsidy which ultimately pushed inflation to over 25 per cent.


He said, “Many workers were hopeful that minimum wage would
be announced today. However, what Tinubu decided to do was to add an allowance
of N25,000 ($25) to the lowest paid workers for six months only. This is a man
that is clearly callous and lacking in ideas.


“He claimed he refused to increase the minimum wage in order
not to worsen the inflation rate. If he cared so much about the inflation rate,
he ought to have planned properly before removing the petrol subsidy and forced
the central bank to embark on a failed exchange rate unification policy which
has not been backed by a corresponding boost in exports.


“In effect, Tinubu put the cart before the horse and now that
the horse has trampled on the cart, he is making excuses for his own
incompetence. This is shameful.”


Shaibu added that the industrial action by the organised
labour was evidence that Tinubu had failed to carry along the average Nigerian.


“He told the organised labour and Nigerians at large to be
patient. While they gave him the benefit of the doubt and delayed a bit, he
decided to proceed to court to obtain a court order barring them from going on
strike. This has become the stock in trade of the APC.


“However, now that Nigerians are drowning from Tinubu’s
ill-conceived policies, the organised labour and even the majority of Nigerians
are threatening to disobey the court order. This is the sort of chaos that
Tinubu’s illegitimate administration is about to push Nigerians into.


“Rather than negotiate with labour in an honest manner,
Tinubu has been sponsoring crisis in affiliate unions of the NLC like the NURTW
where his minion, MC Oluomo, and others are constantly attacking the NLC.
Tinubu should be reminded of the fact that money cannot buy everything.”


He further described Tinubu’s promise to distribute
palliatives to the poorest of the poor as another ruse to fool innocent and
desperate Nigerians.


According to him, the recent embarrassment at the Ministry
of Humanitarians Affairs where appointments were made into non-existent offices
and defunct World Bank projects was evidence that the Tinubu administration was
not ready for governance but was only after enriching party supporters.


Shaibu stated, “The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and
Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu, made fresh appointments into non-existent
entities and defunct World Bank- supported projects, according to media


“Edu announced the appointment of 13 persons to head different
entities and programmes under her ministry. Most of these appointees were APC
members who have no expertise whatsoever as regards humanitarian affairs.


“She appointed one Olubunmi Bello as the national
coordinator of the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP), a defunct
$415million World Bank-funded intervention project that was launched in 2009
and officially concluded in June, 2021.


“She appointed one Richard Romanus as the national programme
manager of the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO), another
defunct World Bank-supported project. It is obvious that people are being
appointed into non-existing offices just to share the national cake. There is
no plan whatsoever to distribute any palliative. This is the sort of sham that
the Bola Tinubu administration is known for.”


Shaibu said Tinubu must note that the removal of petrol
subsidy is not an achievement. “Rather, it is what is done with the money that
is saved from the removal of subsidy that would determine if the regime is a
success or not,” he noted.


He akso faulted Tinubu for describing himself as an achiever
for removing subsidy and for saying that subsidy ought to have been removed


Atiku’s aide noted that Tinubu was one of the loudest voices
against subsidy removal back in 2012 when the Goodluck Jonathan administration
decided to remove it.


Shaibu said, “Tinubu should bury his face in shame for
criticising former Presidents for retaining subsidies. Here is a man who
described petrol increase back in January 2012 as ‘Jonathan tax’ when subsidy
was removed at the time.


“Tinubu told Jonathan to go after the oil thieves rather
than Nigerians. Let Tinubu also be brave enough to expose and prosecute the
so-called subsidy thieves he loves to reference in every speech. Let Tinubu
also be man enough to apologise for sponsoring protests in Lagos back in 2012
over subsidy.”


Atiku’s aide also knocked Tinubu for claiming in his speech
that he had been fair to all segments of Nigeria.


He said Tinubu was only being clever by half as his
appointments had shown that he was only bent on rewarding his kinsmen with the
biggest of appointments.


“Tinubu’s claim that he has been fair to all segments of
Nigeria is another lie that is as palpable as the claim that he was the first
African leader to ring the NASDAQ bell. This is a man who appointed only five
statutory ministers from the southeast because they didn’t vote for him and
then appointed 10 from his own region.


“He has also put almost all key revenue generating agencies
in the hands of his kinsmen including customs, FIRS and the CBN. The NNPC is
the only one that remains outside of the southwest for now,” he said.


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