· Knocks president on false claim of planned meeting with Biden
· Says fuel subsidy back, despite government’s silence
Chuks Okocha Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, yesterday, unveiled what he described as the 10 big lies that had so far characterised the President Bola Tinubu administration.
In a statement in Abuja, Shaibu stated that the “repeated lies” were evidence that Tinubu’s only plan was to use propaganda to deceive Nigerians rather than do any proper work in rescuing citizens from the bad governance foisted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
He noted that the apologies offered by the government, in some instances, were only because they had been caught and not because they were penitent.
Shaibu said the fact that Tinubu had more media aides than economic and security advisers was enough proof that his administration would rely on propaganda as state policy.
“My advice to the Nigerian media is to always fact-check any claim made by this government, as this would help maintain their credibility. If the Tinubu government says it is morning, go outside to verify if the sun is shining,” Shaibu said.
The first lie told by the administration, Shaibu alleged, was during Tinubu’s inaugural speech, where he stated that petrol subsidy was gone.
With oil prices now at $94 per barrel and naira exchanging at N1, 000/$1, the price of diesel, he argued, had risen to about N1, 000 per litre while petrol remained about N620 per litre.
Shaibu stated, “It is obvious to the discerning mind that petrol is now being subsidised, a position which all oil marketers have espoused. Nigerians should not be deceived. Tinubu’s claim that there is no subsidy is a lie from the pit of hell, and the fact that they are even hiding the information means there is no transparency, and the money is probably being stolen again.
“The second lie told by these charlatans was that the United Arab Emirates had lifted the visa ban on Nigerians immediately and that all Nigerians were free to visit Dubai.
“This lie was well celebrated by many undiscerning Nigerians whose only crime was to believe the deceptive words of an illegitimate government. UAE authorities later confirmed to CNN that it was all a lie. What a national embarrassment!”
Shaibu said a third lie told by the administration was that Tinubu was the first African president to ring the NASDAQ bell, noting that it has since been established that Malawian President, Jakaya Kikwete, rang the bell on September 21, 2011.
Another false claim, Shaibu stated, was the one by the presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, on August 27, that Tinubu was the only African leader the American president, Joe Biden, requested to see in New York, explaining that it has now turned out to be another embarrassing lie, as Tinubu departed without meeting with Biden.
Shaibu said a fifth lie was a claim made by Tinubu on the floor of the NASDAQ where he stated that he had retooled the exchange rate to a reliable, dependable one-figure floating of the naira, where investors would be able to repatriate their funds.
He stated that on August 14, the Nigerian government said on its official Twitter handle that the Nigerian Air Force struck terrorists gathering at Kurebe in Shiroro Local Government Area in Niger State. He said, according to a Premium Times report, it had now been revealed that it was pure propaganda.
According to Shaibu, “As part of Bola Tinubu’s propaganda programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on September 6, 2023 that within two weeks, it would inject $10 billion into the foreign exchange market to clear the FX backlog.
“Days after the deadline passed, not a single cent has been injected into the system, as the naira continues its free fall. The institution that Tinubu’s leadership cannot destroy does not exist.”
He pointed out that at his inauguration, Tinubu said he would not favour any group over another, but the president had been running a “government of the clannish, by the clannish and for the clannish”.
According to Shaibu, all key appointments in every sector are going to a section of the country, including CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), customs, army, police, immigration, while Tinubu himself is the petroleum and gas minister.
Shaibu stated, “Last month, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) claimed it had obtained an Afrexim loan of $3 billion with which it would help stabilise the naira. We raised the alarm that it was all a ruse to deceive Nigerians.
“Now, we have been justified, as the naira is now trading at $1/N1, 000 on the black market, while Afrexim Bank has refused to speak on it. This was just audio money.”
He added that the biggest scam and deceit of the Tinubu administration was the Student Loan Act, which he signed on June 12 and which was supposed to provide loans for students’ tuition only and did not cover any other educational expenses.
Shaibu said, “After the law was signed, all federal government schools began increasing school fees. But Dele Alake, the Special Adviser on Media, as he then was, said in a statement that tuition in all government schools remains free and that the only fees that were increased were accommodation, laboratory, library and other costs.
“So if tuition is free and the Students Loan Act covers only tuition fee, that means the Student Loan Act is pointless, and no money will be released. In essence, Tinubu’s government has prodded government schools to increase fees while no loans will be given to the students. This is the height of deception and wickedness.”