President Muhammadu Buhari said he stopped his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina from replying former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter against his administration because of Adesina’s age.
The president explained the reasons when members of the Buhari Support Organisation visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday night.
Buhari said the second reason why he did not want to reply the letter was because he and the former president were from the same (military) constituency.
He, however, noted that Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, who “disobeyed’’ him not to reply the letter, did a good job.
He observed that the reply by the minister showed Nigerians the realities on ground when the present administration assumed office in 2015 and its on-going efforts “to revive the inherited damaged economy”.
“I really appreciate how you chose this time during Ramadan to come from across the country to see and congratulate me on what we were able to do.
“We were constrained to explain our position when the former head of state wrote a letter; Adesina was agitated and wanted to immediately reply; I stopped him for two reasons; first, he is much younger than me and Gen. Obasanjo.
“Secondly as I am from the same constituent as Gen. Obasanjo; so, I wouldn’t know how it will affect him if I allow him to go wild or to go public, but when Lai Mohammed came, I said he shouldn’t and he insisted. He disobeyed me.
“He said I must allow him to talk; then, of course, being a professional information person, I listened to him and asked him what we were going to say.
“He said he was going to remind Nigerians where we found ourselves when we came in as a government, where we are now and what we have done inbetween with the resources available to us.
“And I understand he did a good job because a number of people rang me and said Lai Mohammed has done a good job.
“I said it is on record and I challenged anybody to check from Europe, United States and Asia that between 1999 and 2014 the 16 years of previous administration there was an average of 2.1 million per day of crude oil at the average cost of 100 dollars per barrel,’’ he said.
The president said that he deliberately refused to replace the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria when his administration took over the mantle of leadership of the country because he wanted to give him the opportunity to salvage the economy from its terrible condition.
Buhari, who thanked his teachers during his primary school days for their efforts in inculcating good morale in him and his mates, stated that his administration would continue to invest heavily in education to correct social ills in the society.
He said further that his administration has resolved to put money in infrastructural development to address deficits and subsequently ensure speedy socio-economic transformation of the country.
In his remarks, the leader of the organisation, Sen. Abba Ali, who listed the achievements of the Buhari administration in the past three years, said they were on solidarity visit to the president to reassure him of their support.
He said the organisation had established offices in all the 36 states and 774 local government areas of the country, while efforts were being made to ensure the re-election of the president in 2019.