…says Nigerian media only report what they like
President Muhammadu Buhari has, for the first time, made a brief remark on former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s controversial letter and called it “abusive’’.
Buhari said he did not want a response to the letter which derided the government and urged Buhari not to seek a second term
“Even when the Minister of Information and Culture wanted to reply that abusive letter written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo I had wanted Lai not to reply to the letter, but I said I should allow him to highlight the achievements of our administration.’’
Obasanjo wrote a damning letter on 23 January to President Buhari and touted a Coalition for Nigeria Movement which has been launched in Abuja to topple the APC and Buhari from office.
The movement was launched at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre .
Buhari in a special interview session with Voice of America, Hausa service, in Washington, United States on Tuesday morning dismissed the letter in a few words.
On his purported comment on youth while in London, President Buhari also dismissed the report, saying that the media only preferred to interpret and report what they like instead of concentrating on developmental journalism.
“You know Nigeria’s population is now between 180 and 190 million and 60 per cent of this population is youth, that is 30 years downward.
“You know in the North most youths are uneducated or are school dropouts. If not because we had good harvests in the last two farming seasons, the situation would have been worse.
“Even if these youths travel out of the North for greener pasture they hardly make it economically because what they earn as income cannot afford them to meet their basic needs or return home.
“All these explanations I made, they refused to highlight them in their report and you know the media in Nigeria in most cases only do what they like.’’
He said, for instance the nation’s achievements in the agricultural sector where millions of Nigerians benefitted financially was left unreported by the media.
Buhari also used the opportunity to debunk the insinuation that Christians were being killed by herdsmen.
He said that clashes between farmers and herdsmen had been in existence for the past years, saying that Nigerian herdsmen were not of the habit of carrying dangerous weapons while moving their animals around the country.
Buhari said he approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen in addition to the current strength.
The recruitment is part of measures to address the nation’s security challenges including the clashes between farmers and herders.
Buhari is in the U.S. on the invitation of the American President Donald Trump.
He revealed that additional security measures were being put in place to check cases of insecurity in Nigeria.
“We will put in place more measures to check insecurity in the country including increasing the number of policemen and train them.
“I have approved the recruitment of 6,000 policemen by the police authorities and I directed that those recruited must come from all the 776 local government areas of the federation.
“Even if it means recruiting one person each from the 776 they should do that instead of going to motor parks, railway stations or market for the recruitment exercise.
“I gave (Police authorities) them this directive,’’ he said.
In 2015, Buhari also approved the recruitment of 10,000 policemen.
The president, who expressed reservation on the call for the establishment of state police as being advocated by state governors, said Nigerians must abide by constitutional provision with regard to the matter.