Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi, has denied a campaign promise of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 where the then opposition party had promised to ensure that the Nigerian Naira becomes equal in value to the United States Dollars.
Fayemi, who was the Director of Policy and Research for the APC at the time, denied the campaign promise on Tuesday when he featured on an ARISE News programme, The Morning Show.
In March 2015, during the build-up to the presidential elections, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) published a report, which was also syndicated in several newspapers, where the then All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari promised “to ensure that the Naira was equal to the dollar in value, if voted into office”.
According to NAN, Buhari made the statement during the South East Presidential campaign rally of his party at the Dan Anyiam stadium in Owerri on Monday, 23rd March 2015.
He said: “it is sad that the value of the Naira has dropped to more than N230 to $1, this does not speak well for the nation’s economy.
“I happen to have been the Director of Policy and Research for the All Progressives Congress in our campaign in 2015 and we issued a number of policy documents and I cannot recall anywhere we promised $1 will be N1 or vice versa,” Governor Fayemi told ARISE News.
“But you know, there are a lot of exaggerations and there were clearly exaggerated expectations and maybe on our part we are also guilty of not reducing those exaggerated expectations.
“But you know, a popular American politician Maria Cuomo said you campaign in poetry and govern in prose and naturally there were things that were stuff of campaigns that will not necessarily pan out the way we had envisioned them when we were campaigning to Nigerians.
“…That’s not to say we haven’t tried as much as possible to live up to those core promises we made around economy, anti-corruption and around security.
“Perhaps what we didn’t do enough of was to understand the extent and the enormity of the challenge at the time in all of its comprehensiveness and coming to office we’ve had to deal with that.
“But we’ve also been a victim of circumstances, no one envisioned a Covid-19 pandemic that will paralyse the country for more than a year.
“The whole of 2020 we really did not do much in this country, that was not unique to us, it also happened to many other countries in the world, but that contributed significantly in taking us back to recession and also in reducing the feel-good factor in the country.”
By Abel Ejikeme