Former Special Adviser on Media to ex-president Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has defended some of the actions taken by the immediate-past administration.
Adesina spoke in Osogbo on Wednesday at a programme tagged Media Dialogue with Femi Adesina, organised by the Association of Veteran Journalists in Osun State.
The former presidential spokesperson admitted that the naira redesign policy exposed Nigerians to hardship.
He, however, stated that redesign was not totally a bad policy as it enabled the country to have a reduction in crime, especially kidnapping, and curbed manipulation in the 2023 polls.
Adesina noted that whatever inadequacies noticed in the manner his principal led the nation could not be solely blamed on him.
He said: “The policy (naira redesign) brought hardship to Nigerians. I had N20,000, which I stretched for almost two weeks. There was a day I had a full house, and we wanted to cook breakfast, but midway, the gas finished.
“When they came to tell me that the gas had finished, I didn’t know what to do because to fill that big cylinder, I needed N40,000, but I didn’t have it. I was a special adviser to the president, but I didn’t have the cash. One boy living with me had to bail me out to fill that gas, which I refunded.
“So, it was everybody that bore that brunt. You will recall that even during that time, there was no kidnapping. I remember some people went to kidnap an APC chairman, or is it secretary in Kano. After holding him for three days and nobody was calling to ask how much they would collect because there was no cash, they just slapped him three times and told him to go.
“Even kidnappers were out of business because there was no naira, and do you know that we have a cleaner election because of that policy?
“Nine serving governors couldn’t go to the Senate. They contested but lost. Have you ever seen a governor who will contest an election and will not win? But because there was no money to spread around, they couldn’t win. The policy was not bad in its entirety. There were issues with it, but it was not bad in its entirety.”
Speaking further, Femi Adesina said his principal felt some things the administration did could have been done better.
He said during an interview session with his former principal, he asked Buhari what his regrets were, and the former president expressed regret that certain things should have probably been done in another way.
Adesina said, “There is no living human being that will not regret certain things. It is one of the questions I asked the president.
“Before we left office, I sat with him for about 2 hours, and I asked him every question under the sun, and when we finished, he asked what I gave to Chief of Protocol that he gave so long a time with him. There was no question I didn’t ask him. There were things he (Buhari) felt could have been done better.”
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