A senior advocate of Nigeria, Festus Keyamo, has said that since 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence, no government has touched the lives of the poor like the Buhari-led administration has done in the last 3 years.
While speaking at the inauguration of the ward and local government canvassers in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Thursday, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said previous administrations before President Muhammadu Buhari’s government mismanaged Nigeria’s resources.
According to PUNCH, the Director, Strategic Communications for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 presidential campaign, also alleged that the previous leaders cared less for the masses and enabled the rich to loot the national resources to the detriment of the poor.
Keyamo who gave a lecture titled ‘Milestones of sustainable economic and social development in Nigeria’ , argued that governments in the past 16 years established a system of sharing national resources.
The past governments in the last 16 years are those of the immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
Keyamo said, “For 16 years, the previous administrations before President Buhari’s administration re-established a warped system of government. It was an orientation they gave to our youths and all of us. It was a system of government that was based on a sharing formula. That was what they had before 2015.
“Most of those bad eggs that have left us in Kwara State and others, when you hear them talk of inclusiveness and not being carried along, what they mean by inclusiveness is a euphemism for a sharing formula. That is a system of government that was established before 2015 when Buhari came on board. And that is the system that Buhari had tried to change in the last years that has not gone down well with so many people.
“There is no government in the history of this country that has concentrated on the poor and vulnerable as much as this government in the last three years. No government! There is no government that has gone after recovering what belongs to Nigerians with serious mindedness like this government in the last three years. You saw the humongous amounts recovered in pit latrines, flats, water tanks, villages, graveyards. No government has done that.
“What Buhari has done in the last three years was to take the bullets from the rich in order to protect the poor. He has not bothered about re-election and political correctness in order to get a second term. He has not conceded anything to anybody. He has not made deals behind you.”
He added, “Presidents before Buhari sold you (Nigerians) out because they wanted political correctness. The former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in her book, said in order to appease the National Assembly, they had to insert N17bn for them to pass the budget. That is how all of us were sold off by previous governments. But President Buhari refused.
“For six months, they (National Assembly members) refused to pass the budget and he was looking at them, they were looking at him. He said until we get to the end, they will not see one kobo. When they were tired, the same people who left us here in this state were the champion of these courses.
“Because monies have been diverted by people at the top for many years, they have not remembered the vulnerable. This is the first government that has the four cardinal programmes of social intervention programmes.
“One of them is to give stipends to the venerable and certain amount to small and medium enterprises from N250, 000 and N300, 000 to start small businesses. The social intervention programme is an indication that the government is thinking more of the poor more than the rich.
“While President Buhari is boasting that he has provided social intervention programmes for the poor, the past government was boasting of how many rich people it created and how many private jets were parked at the international airports. That is the difference of philosophy.”
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