The spokesperson to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has admitted that the Nigerian “boat” under his principal is going through a bumpy ride, but said the president knew where he was going.
Mr. Adesina, who admitted that the situation in the country was very tough, expressed the conviction that Mr. Buhari would eventually “steer the ship in the right direction”.
He appealed to Nigerians to have faith in the current administration, saying the problem Mr. Buhari inherited was underestimated.
Mr. Adesina said this on “Seriously Speaking”, a programme on Channels Television.
“We all must agree that the enormity of the problem was underestimated. John Oyegun, chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that; Segun Oni, former governor of Ekiti state, has said that, too,” he said.
“Whoever thought that Nigeria had been run into a hole like we have now seen! There was façade that made you feel that everything was okay with the country, but the country was in a hole. As of November 2014, the average income of Nigeria for a month was $3.2 billion. By June, July 2015, it dropped to $500 million.
“You couldn’t have foreseen that because nobody knew that the crash of oil price would have such effect and when the crash came, the next thing was to say: ‘Where are the savings?’ But we looked and found nothing. So, it was real trouble.
“This administration is not the type that will manipulate, that will twist issues, whatever you hear us say, just take it that we mean it. The good thing about the president is his integrity. He also means well.
“If you have your doubts about the captain of a ship and you run into a storm, you begin to panic. But if you know that this captain is tested, he is seasoned, and he will not abandon the ship, then you will stay with him.
“I will like to tell Nigerians that the captain of our ship, the president is someone who knows where he is going. He knows where he is steering the ship to. It may be tempestuous for now, we will get to a safe harbour.”
In reaction to the criticism of his performance as the president’s spokesman, Mr. Adesina said: “Well, even Jesus was accused. They even said he had a demon. So, if they say that about the son of God, it’s not surprising to me. Don’t they say that to the president? People will accuse people, but in my heart of hearts, I know that I am giving this assignment the best, and I will still continue to give my best to it.
“My job is to project the president, inform Nigerians on whatever he is doing, educate them, and then amplify what he has done, and when it comes to defending him, I also defend him.
“When you are a spokesman, you need to understand the person you speak for. You don’t go ahead of him, you either stay with him or come behind him. If you go ahead of him, you are a wrong person. So, I understand my principal, I know the things he wants me to react to, I know how he wants me to react to them, and that’s what I do,” he said.