James Entwistle, the outgoing United States Ambassador to Nigeria, has praised the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari over the last one year. He said the government has done well on the economy, in the fight against corruption and insecurity.
Entwistle who ends his diplomatic career at the end of this month, was addressing a group of local media representatives. According to him, Buhari had excelled in his first year considering the very difficult situation he inherited.
‘‘I see a parallel between President Buhari and President Obama. President Obama had not been in office very long before the people had the same kind of impatience. A lot of people forgot what difficult situation President Obama inherited.
I have been following the investigations of those arrested to see whether there is any evidence that they are politically motivated, I have not found any.
‘‘I think the same thing is happening to President Buhari. It is completely understandable for the people to have high expectations. They are impatient, because they want to see change. But, the president inherited very difficult circumstances,’‘ he added.
In the area of the economy, he lauded the administration for its handling of the economy despite falling oil prices which adversely affected oil producing countries. He added that the government had done a lot in the areas of exchange rate and the removal of fuel subsidies.
With respect to the fight against corruption, the envoy said, “He (Buhari) has done exactly what he said he would do. It’s clear that he has unleashed the investigative agencies to follow every evidence and information wherever it goes.
I have been following the investigations of those arrested to see whether there is any evidence that they are politically motivated, I have not found any,” he added.
He disclosed that the US government apart from its military support for the fight against terrorism in the country’s north, had provided the government with $700 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in the northeast of the country.
President Buhari marked a year in office after taking over the reigns of government from President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari came to power on the back of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the agenda to fight corruption and insecurity.
Since assuming office, the Nigerian army has mounted a huge counter insurgency on the Boko Haram terrorists. The army insists that the terrorists are currently confined to the Sambisa forest.
In the area of anti-corruption, the government has arraigned a number of people before the court on charges of corruption. Chiefly amongst them, the arraignment of a former National Security Advisor (NSA) Sambo Dasuki, who is alleged to have diverted funds meant to equip the army in the fight against Boko Haram.
Before the APC came to power, the current opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had ruled Nigeria since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, winning all of the last four elections that comprised of two terms for Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a term for the late Umar Musah Yar-Adua (completed by Goodluck Jonathan) and one full term by Jonathan who handed over power to Buhari on May 29.