The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesinahas said that the opinion of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah on national issues is “coloured by politics”.
Speaking on a national television on Monday, Adesina said Kukah should understand that the Buhari-led administration had tackled insurgency and banditry in the country more than the situation was in 2015.
“The figure has been coming down progressively over the years and it’s a fact of history. Nobody can change it,” Adesina said.
Kukah, in a statement on Sunday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari if he had fulfilled his “tall dreams of ending banditry and defeating corruption”.
“As you prepare to return to Daura or Kaduna, I do not know if you feel fulfilled or that you met the tall dreams and goals you set for yourself such as: ending banditry, defeating corruption, bringing back our girls, belonging to everybody and belonging to nobody, selling off our presidential fleet and traveling with us,” Kukah had said.
Reacting to Kukah’s comment, Adesina said Buhari did not promise to sell the presidential fleet during the 2015 presidential election campaign.
“Someone has said it is even better he (referring to Kukah) puts off his cassock and becomes a full-time politician,” he said.
“He is rather too partisan. He is someone we had always admired for his intellectual bent.
“But his opinion has been coloured by politics. He talked about selling the presidential fleet. Was that ever promised? In 2015, there were a rash of promises made that even the candidate then did not know about.
“The question is – are we where we were on the issue of banditry in 2015? The job is not fully done but are we where we were?
“If Kukah is true to himself and true to his calling as a cleric he will know that this country is nowhere like it was in terms of banditry as of 2015.”
Asked if the Buhari-led administration will be leaving Nigeria better than it met the country, Adesina said the administration is leaving Nigeria “far better”.
The presidential spokesperson said the administration knew the situation of the country in 2015, citing the activities of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
“In 2015, we knew where Nigeria was. A minimum of 17 LGAs in this country was under the control of insurgents,” he said.
“Talking about control, I mean they were sitting in emirs’ palaces and seats of LGA chairmen. NYSC could not do orientation and post people to those places. Is that what is happening today? No!
“Emirs are back in their palaces. LGA chairmen are back in their offices.
“NYSC orientations are happening in those states and corps members are being posted to those states.
“Are you now telling me there have been no improvements?”