The speech delivered by President Bola Tinubu on Independence Day has been criticized by Phrank Shaibu, the Special Assistant on Public Communication to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. Shaibu described the speech as uninspiring, empty, and filled with renewed hopelessness.
According to Shaibu, Tinubu failed to address important issues such as increasing the minimum wage, despite being responsible for the devaluation of the naira and the removal of petrol subsidy, which led to a staggering inflation rate of over 25 percent.
Shaibu expressed disappointment in Tinubu’s decision to only provide a temporary allowance of N25,000 ($25) to the lowest-paid workers for six months. He criticized Tinubu for his lack of empathy and innovative ideas.
Tinubu’s claim that he refused to increase the minimum wage to prevent worsening inflation was met with skepticism by Shaibu. He argued that if Tinubu truly cared about inflation, he should have planned better before removing petrol subsidy and implementing a failed exchange rate unification policy without boosting exports.
Shaibu pointed out that the ongoing industrial action by organized labor is evidence that Tinubu has failed to consider the needs of the average Nigerian. He criticized Tinubu for obtaining a court order to prevent the strike, instead of engaging in honest negotiations.
Shaibu accused Tinubu of sponsoring crises within affiliate unions of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), such as the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). He warned that Tinubu’s administration is pushing Nigerians into chaos and reminded him that money cannot buy everything.
Shaibu dismissed Tinubu’s promise to distribute palliatives to the poorest of the poor as a mere ploy to deceive desperate Nigerians. He highlighted the recent appointment scandal at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs as evidence of the administration’s lack of readiness for governance and its focus on enriching party supporters.