By Dirisu Yakubu
Constitutional lawyer and human rights activists, Mike Ozekhome has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s 60th independence anniversary speech as lame, saying the attempt to compare petroleum pricing in Nigeria with other countries is ridiculous.
In a reaction to Thursday’s morning broadcast by Mr. President, Ozekhome said the fact that Nigeria is one of the highest oil producing countries in the world makes the comparisons untenable.
In a chat with Vanguard, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said: “The broadcast was lame, defensive, lacklustre, uninspiring and devoid of Presidential gravitas. It convinces more that the President is out of tune with the stark reality of a 200 million people he governs by comparing us with some neighbouring countries .I disagree with Mr. President. Do many of them produce oil?
“Are we not the 7th largest oil producer in the world? Is Buhari aware that most of our industries have relocated to, and found solace in these countries? Those economies he compared us with are better, more buoyant, and more focused and productive than Nigeria. They don’t glamorize and celebrate corruption as a national fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy as we do.”
He also chided the President for his jibe at previous administrations, saying, “Did Buhari not join other Nigerians, including the major players in his government, in January, 2012, to castigate and demonstrate on the streets against Jonathan’s minimal increase, arguing that it was corruption – laden and amounted to thievery?
What has changed? Has the oil cartel he glowingly talked about vanished? Has his government not used more than three times the sum used by three successive governments for importation of fuel? Has he built a single refinery? Are the ones he met functional still working? I beg, give me a break from the cluelessness, propaganda and anti-people policies of this opaque government.”
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