Listen to Leaked Audio youtu.be/pKnsivki12k
Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, has been heard in an audio recording to be expressing shocking pessimistic views about Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, whose re-election bid he leads.
The recording was shared with PREMIUM TIMES by Phrank Shaibu, a spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar campaign.
Mr Abubakar, billionaire former vice-president, of the Peoples Democratic Party, is the main challenger of Mr Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, in next month’s presidential election.
The recording contains a portrayal of Mr Buhari as a dismal failure who has been unable to meet the expectations of various segments of the society, ending with a dismissal of Nigeria as a never-going-to-change hopeless nation.
The transcript of the recording reads: “These are not things you publish ooo. If you publish them, you will never sit with me any day.
“Three years of Buhari oo, everybody is crying, crying…pressmen are crying, farmers are crying, workers are crying, politicians are crying, students are crying, three years oo!
“The rate of poverty is very high. The people are hungry. Nigeria will never change!”
PREMIUM TIMES has not independently verified the recording.
The claims, particularly regarding expectations, expressed in the recording may be correct.
Government’s own official information shows Mr Buhari has presided over a worsening national job situation, with the unemployment rate standing at 23.1 per cent by the third quarter of 2018 up from 18.8 per cent per cent by the end of 2017.
However, government officials argue jobs are not dropping but that it is the number of people entering the working age bracket that is outpacing the existing opportunities in the labour market.
Invariably, poverty, under Mr Buhari, also continues to soar, a crisis Nigeria has experienced for decades.
According to the World Bank 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals, between 1990 and 2013, Nigeria added 35 million people to its poverty population, jumping from 51 million to 86 million (and now over 100 million). Of the 10 populous countries surveyed, Nigeria is the only country that failed to reduce poverty.