Abuja — The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari requires all the support and goodwill he can get to confront the enemies of the people who are sitting on their resources.
While addressing hundreds of pro-government supporters of Citizens Support for Good Governance in Nigeria at the Unity Fountain in Abuja yesterday, Shehu said there was no doubt that the war against corruption has powerful enemies who possess even more resources than the government to fight back.
"The war against corruption has enemies, very powerful enemies. These enemies have resources, the kind of money that even the government doesn't have. So we need a popular support like yours, otherwise the war against corruption will be defeated.
"You people put this government in place and you want to show support for what the government is doing, nobody has a problem with this. So, we welcome your demonstration, we welcome your support because this is what will keep the government strong," he said.
Buhari's media aide apologised to the protesters for being prevented from entering the main gate of the presidential villa by the security agents.
On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG), Babachir David Lawal, said the federal government is aware that those sponsoring anti-government protests were those that contributed to the economic problem facing the country.
He said the present administration is trying to build a solid foundation which will make it impossible for Nigeria to go back to the position it was before 2015.
"I'm sure you are all aware. The people who caused this problem are the one challenging the government. I tell you that they will fail in the name of God. In fact, they have failed.
"You are aware of the economy that the president inherited, the economy in which revenue has virtually collapsed. The infrastructure is nowhere to be seen. The roads were dilapidated. The schools were dilapidated. The hospitals were abandoned. The people who caused it are not worried at all. Shamelessly, they accused the president of not performing. And in fact, some of them wished him dead. But I can assure you that by the grace of God, he will outlive all of them.
"I assure you that by the grace of God, in the next one year, Nigeria will have a booming economy. We know what they were doing to try to sabotage the activities of government to bring Nigeria back to economic prosperity. But the president is also aware. They will fail!" He stated.
According to Lawal, "Nigeria will never go back to the position it was before 2015. The foundation being laid by the government is solid.
"And nobody, even after the president has finished his eight years, can never take us back to the pre-2015 days. This, I can assure you. I assure Nigerians that the president is aware of the temporary suffering we are going through. It pains him. But the pains have to be borne this way for prosperity and goodness to return to our country.
"Once more, I want to thank you for the support you have shown this government. It is this type of support that encourages the government to work round the clock. It is this type of encouragement that makes the president to have sleepless nights working on how to bring back Nigeria back to economic prosperity in an all-inclusive government in which everybody has its own fair share of development, peace and security."
Earlier, Convener of the pro-Buhari group, Moses Abdullahi said the country was passing through a difficult phase as a result of bad governance since the return to democracy in 1999.