By Celestine Ajayi
The Presidency has criticised the wrong perceptions in David Piling’s article on Nigeria published by the Financial Times on Jan. 31.
One of the President’s spokesmen, Malam Garba Shehu, condemned the article in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, while expressing reservations over the position of the writer, describing the Nigerian government as ”a government sleepwalking into disaster”.
The statement read in part: ”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 ) was 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 would face down.”