The Nigerian Presidency has sent a scathing reply to the Financial Times in regards to what it considers a half-baked perspective from its publication on Nigeria’s government.
In a short but spontaneous letter the presidency insists that things are not as bad as the Financial Times would have its readers believe. For example it states that insecurity has been tackled with measurable success.
A letter released by Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President goes thus:
Letter To The Editor, Financial Times
We wish to correct the wrong perceptions contained in the article “What is Nigeria’s Government For,” by David Piling, Financial Times (UK), January 31, 2022.
The caricature of a government sleepwalking into disaster (What is Nigeria’s government for? January 31, 2022 ) is predictable from a correspondent who jets briefly in and out of Nigeria on the same British Airways flight he so criticises.
He highlights rising banditry in my country as proof of such slumber.
What he leaves out are the security gains made over two Presidential terms.
The terror organisation Boko Haram used to administer an area the size of Belgium at inauguration; now, they control no territory.
The first comprehensive plan to deal with decades-old clashes between nomadic herders and sedentary farmers – experienced across the width of the Sahel – has been introduced: pilot ranches are reducing the competition for water and land that drove past tensions.
Banditry grew out of such clashes. Criminal gangs took advantage of the instability, flush with guns that flooded the region following the Western-triggered implosion of Libya.
The situation is grave.
Yet as with other challenges, it is one that the government will face down.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Abuja, Nigeria.
February 6, 2022