First, I do not pursue government contracts. So, I can easily write to Buhari aides and ministers. What they are doing now is not in any way decent and honourable. Yes, the whole nexus that anyone who criticizes the President’s failure of leadership, must be doing so because he asked for a contract, and was turned down.
A few days ago, the junior minister of Labour and Employment shared details of business solicitations which a musician made to him, to join Buhari campaign. That the musician is criticizing the government now, and asking it to do better for the people, MUST not be diminished because he sought for business in the Buhari campaign.
That a reverend who supported Buhari, and later asked for business opportunities (sure, that may not be morally right for a priest) and was turned down, does not mean he cannot voice his opinions on the state of the nation. Making him an angry Reverend who is only shouting because he could not get a contract, instead of focusing on his points, diminishes the government.
Nigerians should not buy the current argument from the Presidency: critics criticize because the government did not give them business! If we do, no one can challenge the government because everyone has the right to ask for business opportunities in the nation. If a bank CEO asks for opportunities to install an ATM in Aso Rock, and the government refuses, and the CEO goes to comment on the state of the nation, the government must not diminish that statement because he asked for a legal business opportunity which was turned down.
Asking for legal contracts cannot be criminalized and MUST not disqualify people for making their points on our national, state and local leaderships. We must resist that argument from politicians. Even a government contractor can criticize a government.
Ejike Mbaka, who supported Mr Buhari in his first and second term elections, recently called for Mr Buhari’s impeachment.
In its reaction on Friday, the presidency said Mr Mbaka recently “asked for contracts as compensation for his support.
“An outsider distilling the avalanche of verbiage, will be surprised that after supporting the President two times to win the Presidency, Father Mbaka has made a complete U-Turn, preposterously asking President Buhari to resign or be impeached,” Presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu said.
“Here is the point of departure: Father Mbaka asked for a meeting and to the shock of Presidential Aides, he came accompanied by three contractors. The President graciously allowed them in, and to everyone’s surprise, Father Mbaka asked for contracts as compensation for his support.
“Anyone familiar with President Buhari knows that he doesn’t break the laid down rules in dealing with contracts or any other government business for that matter. He requested the appropriate authorities to deal with the matter in accordance with laid down rules.
“Inside the Villa, discretion prevailed, that if those pictures and requests were made public, the followers will turn against the religious leader. None of it was released. Now, this is what is eating Father Mbaka.”
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