By Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
The statement credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, warning Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose to stop speaking on the running of the economy by the federal government has been described as a demonstration of military dictatorship mentality.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Monday, said it was sad that the presidency could be warning a Nigerian, who is heading one of the country’s federating units on what to say and what not to say.
Olayinka, who said he was sure that Garba Shehu must have spoken for himself, and not President Mohammadu Buhari, added that “Governor Fayose will continue to say the truth in the interest of Nigeria and its people because the Governor is not one of those that will go underground because of political persecution.”
He maintained that the country’s economy was in serious recession, adding that; “the president himself attested to this when he said that the country was broke and this has also been corroborated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group financial report, indicating that the corporation incurred a total loss of N120.07bn in the months of August and September.
“JP Morgan is also removing Nigeria from its Emerging Market Bond Index, a move analysts say would have far-reaching
implications for the country’s dwindling economy as investors could move their funds to competing countries, resulting in higher lending rates.
“It is therefore a sad reminder of the military era that in a democracy, under a federation in which all federating units enjoy
some degree of autonomy, the Presidency is warning a State Governor on what to say and what not to say.
“Top functionaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including State Governors criticised the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, the Presidency did not go about warning them.
“Certainly, these people working with the President need to be purged of Acquired Immune Military Dictatorship Syndrome (AIMDS), even as they must be told that Governor Fayose won’t stop speaking his mind and exposing their hypocrisy in the overall interest of Nigeria and its people.”
Speaking further, the governor’s aide said “Nigerians are desirous of the change promised by the APC led federal government,
but as it stands, no clear direction yet.
“Rather than engage credible Nigerians to help in the revive of the ailing economy, what we have seen from the APC Presidency is appointment of their cronies and political robbers as well as harassment of perceived political opponents with anti corruption agencies and men of the Department of State Security.”
He said it was not in the interest of the President for his aides to take on Governor Fayose, adding that; “leaving issues and
attacking Fayose is like hitting ones head on the rock.”