30th March, 2021
Presidential media adviser Femi Adesina on Sunday reopened an old debate as to whether President Muhammadu Buhari ever made a promise to restore parity between the Naira and dollar.
In a programme on Channels TV, Adesina vehemently denied the Buhari administration made the promise.
“It does not exist, it is fake, it is false, it is apocryphal, it doesn’t exist” Mr. Adesina insisted.
Adesina said the minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has debunked the claim severally and challenged anyone with clips and publications to make them available.
Critics holding Buhari by the collar over the promise have never said the Buhari administration made the promise.
They said candidate Buhari made the promise while campaigning for votes in March 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported the campaign promise, which was widely reprinted by Nigeria’s news media.
But in all the reports cited, candidate Buhari never said so. The NAN reporter did not quote him saying so.
All he said was to deplore the exchange rate between the dollar and the Naira. At that time, the exchange rate was N230 to $1.
Buhari promised to change things.
“It is sad that the value of the naira has dropped to more than N230 to one dollar; this does not speak well for the nation’s economy,’’ he was directly quoted to have said.
The event was the South-East presidential rally of the APC at Dan Anyima Stadium, Owerri.
But even now, Buhari has failed to arrest the deterioration of the Naira. It now exchanges for between N379.4 CBN rate to N478 Black market rate.
Here are the clips and publications:
None textually showed that Buhari made the promise.
But editors cast the headline, perhaps for traffic, when there was no single quote in the story, to back such a promise.
A video of the rally purportedly backing the claim no longer exists.
It is thus obvious that Buhari critics merely dredge out this lie to taunt the regime periodically.
Our conclusion: Buhari never at anytime said he would achieve parity between the dollar and Naira. Newspapers cast the misleading headline, not supported by the story.