By Leadership News
The fact that he will be marking his first year in office tomorrow, Sunday May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari has opted for a simple, low-keyed style in celebrating this year’s Democracy Day, the presidency has said.
In an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP Weekend, senior special assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu explained that said the president is a person who is predisposed to celebrations that are characterised by pomp and pageantry.
The presidential spokesman noted, however, that Buhari will be giving a breakdown of his stewardship in the last one year, particularly in the war against corruption and how far he has achieved as well as the promises he had made to the nation.
He also listed other activities to mark the occasion to include
He said, “You know that the president is not given to celebrations. He is a very sober person in his makeup. As he did with the 100 day in office, the president is going to sit back and absorb feedback from people on what they are going to be saying about his performance and whether it has been worth it for the people. He is open to ideas; he will do just a few newspapers and radio interviews and he will be reading a speech on that day.
“He will also be giving a breakdown, particularly in the war against corruption and how far he has achieved. This is a promise he has given to the nation. I believe thereafter, they may be a few interactions, perhaps, a photo exhibition which he might be a part of and a meeting with the State House Correspondents. “
Shehu also clarified on the issue bordering on whether or not President Buhari gave his nod to the recent increase in the price of fuel, saying that the Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu had the blessing of the president.
Noting that the fuel price hike had become necessary because the subsidy regime was no longer sustainable, presidential spokesman said, “The Minister of his government who spoke, spoke for him. So, there is no division or the president has no position. Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu who stood before the camera and announce the new regime was not on his own. He had the president’s blessing. So, it must be given to the Minister that he has the backing of the President on the fuel price regime
“What happened in this country is unprecedented. The issue of petrol subsidy is perhaps the one that is the most troublesome for Nigeria. I know that for more than 30 years, every government we have had in this country had tried to remove this subsidy but because they never came from the position of good faith.
On allegations that the Buhari administration is found wanting in effective communication with Nigerians in terms of some of its policies, Shehu said there is no secret government within the present administration.
His words: “I don’t know what they want. I am not here to tell you that we are perfect in our communication, but I think the country is happy to have a president that is as open as President Buhari and nothing is hidden. There is no secret government within the government.
“Everything about him is open from day one when he and the Vice President declared their assets, and they are ready to be audited once they finish from office. The president is available to visitors in the state house. Virtually every day of the week, people come for meeting and he makes pronouncements on key issues affecting the nation on a day to day basis, and he has people speaking for him”.