The Nigerian Presidency has revealed on July 11th, 2022, that the Nigerian Armed Forces used United States fighter jets as well as British intelligence provided to them in the elimination of the leader of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP). The ISWAP is an Islamic militant group and administrative division of the Islamic State (IS), a Salafi jihadist militant group and unrecognized quasi-state, which means a political entity that is not fully institutionalized or autonomously sovereign.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu announced this in a statement which he issued as a rebuttal to some claims that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to handle various challenges facing the country. The statement noted that the co-operation between the two world powers and the Nigerian military indicates that these countries have a new-found trust for the country’s present administration. In the statement, the Presidency noted that Nigeria, like every other country, is experiencing a period of adversity, suggestions that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has not made the country better than it found it, is “pure fantasy.” The statement stressed improvements on vital pillars such as the economy, security, and corruption.
The statement highlights the administration’s achievements.
In the statement, Garba Shehu highlights the achievements of Buhari’s government, one of which is that Boko Harm presently holds no territory in Nigeria. Part of the statement reads: The facts speak for themselves. On security, as recently as 2015, Boko Haram held territory the size of Belgium in Nigeria. Today, they hold no Nigerian territory to speak of. In March, our military eliminated the leader of ISWAP in an airstrike using US jets and British intelligence – this is a testament to the newfound trust our allies hold in our administration, not enjoyed by previous administrations.
“Moreover, our administration is the only one in Nigeria’s history to implement a solution to the herder-farmer conflicts through our landmark National Livestock Transformation Plan. Already, where ranches have been established under that initiative, we are seeing a sharp reduction in disputes.” The Senior Special Adviser (SSA) also disputed the claim that nothing has changed in the country much less getting worse under the leadership of Buhari. He said that under the Buhari administration, the situation of the country has improved.
The statement points out that corruption has been decisively dealt with.
The SSA observed that the administration has recovered hundred of millions in stolen funds from abroad and used these monies to fund social and welfare programs through which the funds were distributed to the poor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Which long delayed infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, railways, and power. On corruption, he said in the statement, “This is a direct result of Buhari administration’s initiatives such as our whistleblowing policy which empowers and emboldens Nigerians to report corruption without fear. Moreover, it again demonstrates the newfound trust our international partners have in Nigeria, thanks to the efforts of our administration. Those same partners refused to return stolen monies to previous administrations for decades, knowing it would simply be stolen again.
More importantly, what the Buhari administration has done is to place mechanisms to stop corruption from happening, that includes the strengthening of the office of the Auditor-General, enhancing the capabilities of the anti-corruption agencies by signing into law, several legislations and executive orders: the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA); the implementation of public expenditure management and forensic accounting management systems, and several others. As for the economy, the unprecedented and vast infrastructure development driven by our administration has set the country on course for sustainable and crucially, equitable economic growth, while our policies for boosting domestic production of food and energy will be key to us navigating the global cost of living crisis.”
Shehu said Buhari’s food policy has ensured food security.
Shehu said that with the global supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, President Buhari put in place a food policy to grow what Nigerians consume in Nigeria. He said that this policy has prevented the growing food security threat which other nations find difficult to solve. “The president’s program has given the nation the confidence to ban rice imports, saving $5 million daily in forex. We have seen rice pyramids in many states including Kebbi, FCT, Niger, Gombe, and amazingly, Ekiti State.”