The social media has been buzzing with criticism of the comment credited to the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu over two documents said to contain promises the president would achieved within his first 100 days in office.
Shehu had in an article, Understanding Buhari In 100 Days denied authorising any document as the Director of the Media and Media and Communications unit of the APC presidential Campaign Council.
“In the course of electioneering, the presidential campaign had so many centers of public communication which, for whatever reason were on the loose. There is a certain document tagged “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and the other, “My Covenant With Nigerians”. Both pamphlets bore the authorized party logo, but as the Director of Media and Communications in that campaign, I did not fund or authorize any of those. I can equally bet my last Kobo that Candidate Buhari did not see or authorize those publications,” Shehu said
Since that viral article, Shehu and by extension President Muhammadu Buhari has been under fire for denying the promises it purportedly made while campaigning to Nigerians.
Most commentaries suggest that the President deceived Nigerians with the promises contained in the said documents just to get their votes only to renege few months after.
However, video evidence from the paper presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari in February, 2015 at the Chattam House in London gives credence to the denial by Garba Shehu of the documents.
During the question and answer session at the Chatham House presentation, an audience member had sought to know what to expect from Buhari within his 100 days in office.
The question from the audience member and the Buhari’s response goes thus:
In view of the current state in Nigeria in terms of the huge, huge need for change, and therefore the cry for the general to take power and bring about the change, the high expectation is such that people will really be looking for some quick solutions in view of this deep, deep need for change. What would the general do in, say, the first 100 days when elected to power, to sustain these expectations that the Nigerians have for him to bring about positive change?
Answer By Muhhamadu Buhari
“The second one: high expectations and what to do with the first 100 days. Yes, I respect that question because quietly I was thinking about these high expectations. Those who are following the trail of our campaigns can see how people are turning out, some becoming emotional and crying. I am really getting scared that if I get there they will expect miracles within the next week or months. That would be very dicey handling that one. I think we have to have a deliberate campaign to temper high expectations with some reasonableness on the part of those who are expecting miracles to happen.”
“Just to go first to the ‘first 100 days’, some of it is fraudulent and I don’t want to participate in any fraud in any form. Nigerians know that we are in trouble as a people and as a country.”
“When we get there we will quickly get correct intelligence of what is on the ground and inform Nigerians and just learn what I have just read. We will make sure that the appropriation and application of public resources will not be allowed. You would be surprised by how much savings we will realize. That saving will be ploughed back into development and this is what I can promise. But I would remove that ‘100 days’”
See the video below. Watch from the 34th minute to the 36th minute.