Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his successor Muhammadu Buhari may appear all nice and mushy to themselves before the cameras, but itd be better not to be fooled.
In there somewhere is a cold war that has been simmering since May 2015.
There have been quite some bitter exchanges between both men if you look hard enough.
Jonathan has often accused Buhari of going after his family; and the incumbent president has doubled down on his anti-graft war against former Jonathan officials—even though that has been labelled a witch-hunt in certain quarters.
You can be forgiven for missing their latest duel, but we didn’t.
First, let’s begin with Jonathan who made the following comments in Abuja while playing host to a PDP chairmanship aspirant.
“My government was severely criticized for increasing the pump price of petroleum from N67 to N97 at a time that global crude oil price was going for over 100 dollars.
“The pump price was later reduced to N87 when the price of crude oil dropped and they attacked us that it was supposed to be lower.
“Those who criticized my administration are not talking again now that the global crude oil price is about 53 dollars per barrel and the pump price of petrol is N143.
“The PDP administration for 16 years did well and will continue to do well.
“The Buhari administration has done nothing. They deploy propaganda and lies at a professional level.
“In the power sector, we did well to revive it. A State Governor attacked our government, saying that any serious government should be able to fix the power challenge within six months.
“Today, APC has been in power for how many years now? Fortunately, the then Governor is in the APC government as a minister…
President Buhari responded through his information minister Lai Mohammed, a week later.
Wait for it…..
"For our Administration, our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of our policies: security, fight against corruption and the economy, which includes the massive provision of infrastructure, ease of doing business and agriculture, just to mention a few.
"Those who accused this administration of 'propaganda and lies' in the fuel supply sector, for example, did not tell Nigerians that whereas they paid between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion Naira as 'subsidy' yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this administration is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are currently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history.
"In their time, they paid subsidy of 3.7 billion Naira DAILY in 2011; 2.2 billion Naira DAILY in 2012 and 2013, and 2.5 billion Naira DAILY in 2014, all for products that were never available.
"Those who accused this government of 'propaganda and lies' also said we have not achieved anything in the power sector. Comment is free, facts are sacred, as they say. When this administration assumed office on 29 May 2015, available power on the grid totalled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW.
"As at 4 September 2017, the available power that can be put on the grid was 6,619MW; the transmission capacity was simulated at 6,700 MW (up from 5,000 MW in 2015) but the distribution capacity was 4,600 MW, which was what was put on the grid. On September 12, 2017, production of power reached an all-time level of 7,001MW.
"It is an irony that those who presided over a paltry budget, all barely funded, of 18 billion Naira for roads, 5 billion Naira for power and 1.8 billion Naira for Housing in 2015, their last budget, are now accusing those who spent 198.25 billion Naira on roads, 91.2 billion Naira on power and 71.559 billion Naira on housing in the following year of non-achievement?
"In the area of the Economy, is it 'propaganda and lies' that headline Inflation has now fallen for the eighth consecutive month (February to September 2017); that foreign exchange reserves are up to $32 billion, from $24 billion a year ago: that oil production is at nearly 2 million barrels per day, a significant improvement from 2016 when it was mostly below a million; that Home-grown School Feeding Programme is now being implemented in 17 States, benefiting more than 3 million public primary school children and more than 30,000 cooks across 20,000 schools (ask the benefitting school children and they will tell you they have been eating nutritious foods, not propaganda and lies);
"That close to 200,000 youths are now benefiting from the N-Power Programme, which recruits unemployed graduates to work as teachers, agricultural extension workers, and health extension workers; that the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which provides micro-credit to farmers, traders, and artisans, now has in excess of 1 million beneficiaries, with women accounting for 56% of that number, and that at about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
"If our achievements are based on 'propaganda and lies', as they claim, why is our agricultural revolution achieving so much success: We have commissioned the 120,000 MT per annum WACOT Rice Mill in Argungu, Kebbi State. We have commissioned the 60,000 MT per annum Edo State Fertilizer Company Limited. What about the commissioning of OLAM's 750,000 MT per annum Integrated Poultry Facility in Kaduna State? Do you know that 15 moribund Fertilizer Blending Plants have now been revived and in operation across Nigeria, under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, creating 50,000 direct jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs?
"In the area of security, when we assumed office in 2015, Boko Haram was active in at least 10 states, could stroll into Abuja at a time and target of their own choosing to cause maximum havoc, in addition to holding territories and collecting taxes. Today, Boko Haram has been so degraded that it lacks the capacity to carry out any organized attack, while also increasingly losing the capacity to even attack soft targets. Importantly, Boko Haram no longer holds any territory. The same vigour is being used to address the herdsmen-farmers' clash, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes.
"Disinformation and fake news will not cease overnight. Those opposed to you will seek to denigrate your achievements. They will call you names and accuse you of propaganda and lies. But the antidote is to remain focused, refused to be distracted and to use facts and figures - as I have done here - to counter the purveyors of disinformation and fake news. In the end, the truth will prevail".
Guys, who won?