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Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Muhammadu Buhari in this interview navigates through and sometimes around some knotty issues that have recently bestirred the polity. He spoke on among others, the alleged intraparty wrangling between the President and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the role of the President in the All Progressives Congress, APC’s victory in the Ondo State governorship election, and the criticism raised against his boss by President Olusegun Obasanjo among others. Excerpts:

How would you assess the government you serve in after more than one and a half years in office?
Well, Nigeria is not where it was when he entered office.
When you want to assess his government, assess it based on the promises he made. You know the tripod promises of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of security, reviving the economy and fighting corruption.
In terms of security the country, as heaven is as far from hell, that is where we are now, which is far from where we were on May 29, 2015.  We know that by 2015 the entire country was almost overrun and nobody was sure what would happen the next day, the next week, the next month. But we know where we are today that the insurgency is virtually defeated, completely under control.  What we are passing through is a mopping up process and the worst we can see is over by the grace of God.
So, in terms of securing the country, the President has kept to his promise.    Roads that had been closed for three years have reopened.  Emirs and traditional rulers that had fled their palaces have returned and are using the same palaces.    Gombe had not had NYSC orientation for two years.    They had orientation in Gombe this year.

So, you just need to talk to the people in the North East and they would tell you that it is a new dawn.    They couldn’t farm for almost five seasons.    They are back in their farms.  Those who fled their villages are back into their villages.    We know that there are still skirmishes here and there.    There are cowardly suicide bombers here and there but it will be over.    So, the President has kept to his promise of securing the country.    Other fronts of insurgency like Niger Delta will be settled.    Issues like kidnapping, armed robbery, the government is attending to them.    This government has a capacity to secure the country and is putting that capacity to work.
And on anti-corruption, no matter what they say, “Oh, it is one-sided and all that,” what we all know is that the anti-corruption war is well and alive and it is a war that will be fought to a logical conclusion.    Nigeria will never be the same again because the cleansing process is real and that cleansing will permeate every nook and cranny of the country.
The third area is the economy.    It is still sticky but it is work in progress.    I tell you, as clear as night follows the day, the government will put the economy of this country on a fresh foundation.
(Cuts in) So you mean there is light at the end of the tunnel?
Oh, definitely.    Even now a new foundation of a diversified economy is being laid for the country.
We had had promises of diversification of the economy for five decades.    This is the first time real practical steps are being taken to diversify the economy.    Do you know what is happening with agriculture now?    So much so that  in two years  time Nigeria will not import rice again and we will be able to even export.

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