Former vice president Atiku Abubakar said some of the appointments by President Bola Tinubu were ploy to silence oppositions to his government.
Atiku in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication to Phrank Shaibu, also said that Tinubu’s constant meetings with some key opposition figures were surreptitiously done to silence credible critical voices.
He pointed at recent appointment of Taiwo Oyedele, a tax expert at PwC, which he said, was to stop him from speaking about the government’s failures “as he had been doing almost on a daily basis on television, radio and social media.”
The statement noted that “Oyedele is the loudest voice as regards tax reforms,” and recalled that a week before his appointment, Oyedele criticised “wrong tax policies of the APC government.
“In a bid to silence him, he was appointed chairman of a tax reform committee … but no other members were announced. Probably, they want him to work alone.
“With this new appointment, Mr Oyedele will no longer be able to speak about the government’s failures.
“Mr. Oyedele would do well not to allow himself to be rubbished by Tinubu, a man whose only secret to economic boom is using firms linked to him to generate tax for a commission just as he did in Lagos.
“Mr. Oyedele must not allow himself to be deceived by this appointment.”
The special assistant also recalled that former President Muhammadu Buhari adopted that same measure, stating that in 2019, Buhari appointed Doyin Salami, Chukwuma Soludo, and Bismark Rewane into his economic advisory team, “but he never took their advice for one day.
“In the end, Nigeria was plunged into one of its worst economic crises ever with an unprecedented debt profile, multi dimensional poverty, and never before seen unemployment figures.”
According to him, Tinubu was buying over opposition figures in order to give his government some form of legitimacy after a questionable electoral victory, arguing that the so-called government of national unity the president was propagating was a ruse to decimate the opposition.
“These are the tactics of the late General Sani Abacha who gave appointments to several pro-June 12 voices all in a bid to silence them.
“In the end, many of such people who sold the mandate for a pot of porridge became traitors of the democratic struggle and never recovered politically.
“Those being courted by Tinubu must note that it is all a ploy to buy him legitimacy.
“When dealing with the devil, it is always good to do so with a long spoon.
“They must be circumspect about working in his government as their credibility could be damaged beyond repair,” he warned.
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