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Festus keyamo SAN speaks on his new appointment as Buhari's spokesman.





Some of those same forces and interests that saw the back of General Buhari in 1985 are still very much around with us. You can hear their voices getting louder of late, preaching hate and toiling hard to incite the people against the President. They want us to go back to our old ways, disguised as if they genuinely care for the masses of this country.

“When you look at the profile and ignoble antecedents of these characters – the emergency heroes, some of us have no option but to undertake this role we have been called upon to assume just to ensure that they do not succeed in their selfish enterprise.

“For all, I have said above, my convictions about this job are deep and well thought-out. Given my background, it is clear that I cannot be a sycophantic rabble-rouser, looking for some personal gains. Having reached the top echelon of my career, some of us can conveniently stay away from all these, and continue to earn a good living from our thriving law practice. However, the call of duty beckons because we are at a critical crossroads in our history where one wrong turn may take us back to the sorry state from which we are emerging. We are here to convince and appeal to the masses not to allow us to take that wrong turn.

“Now, it is important I elaborate a bit on this “sorry state” from which we are coming. Some people always attempt to befuddle the issues by continually reminding us of certain statistics that existed before 2015 and after 2015. However, our situation before 2015 is comparable to that of a car on a high speed, seemingly doing well on the road, but with the temperature gauge already rising. That car is in trouble. But to the uninformed, the car would be seen as doing well. However, the callous driver, fully aware of the rising temperature in the engine, continues to speed on. After some time, it is inevitable that the engine of the car would overheat and crash. In that state, the callous driver hands over the car to the new driver.

"The new driver, seeing the condition of the vehicle, decides to fix the radiator first which is responsible for the overheating in order to protect the engine, before setting out on the road again. Yet, the callous driver mischievously calls everyone to come and see how the new driver has parked the car to fix the engine before setting out once again. The callous driver tells everyone that the new driver is clueless; that that is why the car was parked briefly.

“The above anecdote is a graphic reflection of the situation we find ourselves. With the crash in oil prices just before 2015, the previous government resorted to borrowing to pay salaries and recklessly drew down on our foreign reserves, just to give the impression that all was well. So much unearned money was also circulating in the country amongst a few, giving the false impression that we were in a buoyant economy. However, the economy was headed for a crash. All the indices show that the slip into recession started shortly before this government took over, like the car which engine was already over-heating.

“The attempt by a few to deceive the people that all was well with us before this government took over, is one of the reasons some of us have decided to come out of our shells to put a hole in that false narrative. It is simply a big lie. I am persuaded that the Buhari Government took the right measures to halt a bigger disaster awaiting our economy had it been otherwise. Those who are persuaded otherwise are within their legitimate right to do so. We are all patriots, trying to find the right answers to our problems as a nation. However, if you are persuaded otherwise, kindly state in details what exactly should have been done to run the economy better, given the crash in oil prices and production that dropped to around 700,000 barrels per day. Surely, discerning Nigerians would no longer buy the fable of “Buhari destroyed our economy”.

“That is why I have made my choice for 2019 and I will publicly stand by it. That choice is President Muhammadu Buhari. For those who are persuaded otherwise, I challenge them to also name their choices because you cannot criticize my choice of a candidate without naming your own choice. After all, the President would not be running against ghosts or against a vacuum. Therefore, this is not a time to hide behind a blanket criticism of any candidate. Each candidate should be assessed in comparative terms with other candidates.

“The choices before us have never been so CLEAR in the history of our country. On the one hand are those who are already in the mud and seeking to drag others into the mud. These are the ones who keep saying “We are all corrupt together”, and who keep confessing and apologizing like people coming out of a trance. They say they should be forgiven because they have been “honest” enough to confess and apologize. Fellow Nigerians, there is nothing like that.

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