President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why he stopped his spokesman, Femi Adesina, from replying a letter former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote about his goverment in January.
The president said he did so because Adesina was younger than Obasanjo and needed to respect him.
Buhari said another reason was that he (the president) and Obasanjo were from the same constituency, the military.
The president said this at the State House in Abuja Friday night while receiving members of the Buhari Support Organisation.
President Buhari spoke hours after Obasanjo accused his administration of plotting to slam false charges on him and jail him.
Buhari, however, said the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, insisted on replying Obasanjo by stating the condition the administration met Nigeria and the way the nation was as of the time the former president wrote his letter.
The president noted that the feedback he got on the minister’s reply showed that it was a good job.
“I really appreciate how you choose this time during Ramadan to come from across the country to see and congratulate me on what we were able to do. We were constraint to explain our position when a former Head of State wrote a letter. Adesina, my Special Adviser on Media, was agitated and wanted to immediately reply. I stopped him for two reasons; firstly, he was much younger than both myself and Gen. Obasanjo.
“Secondly, we came from the same constituency with Gen. Obasanjo. So, I wouldn’t know how it will affect him if I allow him to go wild or to go public. But when Lai Mohammed came, I said he shouldn’t he insisted, he said `no’. He disobeyed me.
“He said I must allow him to talk. Then, of course being a professionally information person, I listened to him and asked him what he was going to say. He said he was going to remind Nigerians where we found ourselves when we came in as a government, where we are now, what we have done in between with the resources available to us.
“And I understand he did a good job because a number of people rang me and said Lai Mohammed has done a good job because I went public in several times, I said it is on record and I challenged anybody to check from Europe, United States and Asia that between 1999 and 2014 the 16 years of previous administration, an average production of (crude oil) was 2.1 million per day at the average cost of $100 per barrel.This can be checked in these continents,’ Buhari said.
President Buhari also disclosed he did not replace the governor of th Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, when he assumed office in 2015 because he wanted to give him the opportunity to salvage the economy from its "terrible condition."
He said his administration would continue to ensure financial discipline and accountability as well as effective supervision of government spending.
Reiterating his commitment to addressing the nation’s infrastructural deficits and enhancing speedy socio-economic transformation, he said: “It is now that we are struggling to put the structure on the ground – the roads, to revive the rail and do the standard gauge and try to spend objectively on power.
“If we put money in infrastructure, it will create employment opportunities and then Nigerians will mind their own businesses, they wouldn’t even mind what the government is doing once the infrastructure is there."
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, Senator Abba Ali, said they visited Buhari to reassure him of their support.
He said the organisation had so far created offices in all the 36 states and 774 local government areas in the country.