I read Lauretta Onochie’s article with a mixture of amusement and concern. At the time I wrote the article to which she responded, I had the feeling it would elicit a response from some quarters. I just did not expect that the response would come from someone who so obviously lacks the capacity to do so.
The response she gave is typical with the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) that she serves – incoherent, lacking in substance, written to redirect readers from the salient issues and calculated to ultimately deceive. It is not surprising that she follows a well worn path of a government more interested in propaganda & deceit than it is in actual governance.
Lauretta, unable to respond on the salient issues, tried to paint a vivid picture of an Aso Rock under former Presidents from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) that did not exist, a picture purely from the figment of her imagination, an insight into perhaps what goes on there.
For the avoidance of doubt, the salient issues I referred to include:
• the mass murder of more than 1000 people in Zaria in December 2015 by the military for which no one has been prosecuted;
• the continuous extra-judicial murder of Nigerian citizens in the South Eastern part of the country by security agents;
• the disjointed FX policies of this administration which have seen the Naira become the 3rd worst performing currency in the world in 2016;
• the galloping inflation rate – currently standing at 17.5% (it was 9.6% at the inception of this administration);
• 4.58m people have lost their jobs since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari administration;
• Nigeria currently wallows in a recession for the first time in more than two decades with our GDP sliding from -0.36% in Q1 2016 to -2.26% in Q2 2016 (Nigeria averaged a 6% GDP growth in the last 5 years), and
• The mass murder of more than 1000 people in 2016 alone by herdsmen supported by an armed militia in the North Central region of the country;
One would expect that a person who goes by the moniker “Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media” would be able to respond on these issues, even if she copied the answers from somewhere or someone else. But alas! One would be very wrong.
As needless as Ms (or is it Mrs? I am genuinely unaware) Onochie’s job is, seeing as she serves in a government that already has an Information Minister, an SA to the President on Media & Publicity, an SSA to the President on Media & Publicity, an SA to the President on Digital Communications and a Personal Assistant to the President on New Media; the expectation from Nigerians is a certain level of professionalism from this unnecessary drain on public finances.
While she was preparing her response, Mr. President was delivering an Independence Day address to the Nation that was as uninspiring as it was filled with unnecessary falsehood.
Simple fact checks have shown that contrary to Mr. President’s assertions, Nigeeria was not a pariah state before the inception of his inauguration, he has indeed become the subject of comical lampoons in the Ghanaian presidential elections, investors are fleeing the Nigerian economy in droves with billions of dollars in investment, and that General Electric did not plan to invest $2.2b in Nigeria but had in fact planned to invest $150m in Nigeria by 2017. One wonders, how a President with so many media aides makes such schoolboy errors.
In ending, as much as Lauretta Onochie would like to put lipstick on a pig that is this administration, the facts show it in all its ugliness. I am sure that in her private moments, while eating seedless grapes taken from Aso Rock, she must admit to herself that life has become almost impossible – if not for her, for the 4.58m Nigeria’s who have lost their jobs on her principal’s watch, for the millions of Nigerians who have to buy food at exorbitant prices, for the sons who have watched their fathers be murdered in cold blood & daughters watch their mothers get raped while waiting their turn at the hands of herdsmen in the North Central amongst others.
Only then, perhaps will she be able to tell her boss properly about the hell into which he has forced Nigerians.