The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu insisted on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari did not promise Nigerians that he would achieve specific things within his first 100 days in office.
He stated this while responding to questions about reports on documents titled, “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and “My Covenant with Nigerians.”
Shehu said the documents did not emanate from the official channel of Buhari’s campaign media department.
Some citizens had berated the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress for denying that specific promises were made during electioneering as to envisage achievements in the first 100 days in office.
Shehu urged Nigerians to ignore the claims that Buhari specifically made promises of achievements within his 100 days in office.
Shehu said he neither authorised nor signed such a document in his capacity as the Director, Media and Communications of the Buhari Campaign Organisation.
He said the Presidency rather be talking about milestones reached since Buhari assumed office.
He said, “We prefer to talk about milestones instead of achievements; whether the milestones represent achievements or not, that is left for the people to decide. Milestones have been achieved, which is important for the country.”
Explaining what Buhari said during a lecture at the Chatham House in London, the presidential spokesman said, “The President never promised anything to anyone. It is on record in that lecture at Chatham House; they asked him a question relating to expectations and what he specifically would do in relation to certain documents that were flying around, committing him to this thing or that thing within 100 days.”
He said Buhari disowned the documents, saying they contained falsehood.
Shehu said, “My point is that as the Director, Media and Communications of that campaign, I was responsible for internal and external communications and these so-called documents that were being flown around didn’t have my signature.
“I didn’t fund them and I didn’t authorise them. From what President Buhari said at Chatham House, he had no iota or knowledge of those documents. So, people cannot hold him to account on something to which he did not commit himself”.
Responding to the question that the APC had posted the documents on its website, Shehu explained that the party had many centres of communication, some of which were on the loose.
“APC had a campaign in which there were so many centres of public communication and unfortunately there were some among those centres that were more or less on the loose. Yes, it was possible that things were being done without the knowledge or the usage of the proper channel of communication,” he said.
Referring to the President’s response to a question posed to him in London, Shehu recalled that Buhari categorically stated that he would remove the idea of ‘100 days’ because it was fraudulent.
Sheu quoted Buhari as saying, “The second one, high expectations and what to do with the first 100 days. Yes, I respect that question because quietly I was thinking about these high expectations. Those who are following the trail of our campaigns can see how people are turning out, some becoming emotional and crying.
“I am really getting scared that if I get there they will expect miracles within the next week or months. It would be very dicey handling that one. I think we have to have a deliberate campaign to temper high expectations with some reasonableness on the part of those who are expecting miracles to happen.
“Just to go first to the ‘first 100 days’, some of it is fraudulent and I don’t want to participate in any fraud in any form. Nigerians know that we are in trouble as a people and as a country. When we get there we will quickly get correct intelligence of what is on the ground and inform Nigerians.
“We will make sure that the misappropriation and misapplication of public resources will not be allowed. You would be surprised by how much savings we will realise. That saving will be ploughed back into development and this is what I can promise. But I would remove that ‘100 days’”.