The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the All Progressive Congress, APC, led government of its attempt to manipulate the official statistics of unemployment in favour Of President Buhari in order to hang on to power.
PDP also alleged that the directive by Buhari to the Statistician-General of Nigeria, Mr Yemi Kale, “to change the data on unemployment in the country and create an impression of massive job creation by his administration was a horrible corruption.”
Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, said Kale failed to reflect the rising rate of employment in the agriculture sector.
Shehu said during a recent meeting with the Federal Executive Council, Kale admitted that the NBS was only focusing on the creation of white-collar jobs and not the agriculture sector and the informal sector.
However, the former ruling party berated the Buhari-led administration for attempting to manipulate official statistics with regards to unemployment.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said it “condemns in totality, the brazen attempt to manipulate official statistics in favour of Buhari’s administration saying it is a new low in the APC-led government’s established culture of deceit, falsehood and criminal subterfuge, in its desperation to hang on to power.
“In this desperation, the Buhari Presidency is now trying to force the Statistician General of Nigeria to alter genuine data and smuggle in fictitious employment figures.
“Our party holds that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is a professional body, insulated from government interferences, with statutory responsibility to compute credible and verifiable data and statistics, for national planning.
“We are therefore shocked at this attempt by the Buhari Presidency to corrupt our system through the falsification of employment statistics just to shore up its failed economic policies that have brought untold hardship on the Nigerian people.
“Nigerians can now see why the Buhari Presidency has deliberately starved the NBS of funds; to prevent it from conducting surveys and releasing further data that highlight the failures of the APC administration.
“Unfortunately, President Buhari appears to have forgotten that statistics are like a mirror. If the government does not like the ugliness of its reflection, then the problem is not with the mirror.
“If the NBS backs down for political expediency or intimidation, it would have dealt a mortal blow to the credibility of official statistics emanating from Nigeria. In the future, such official reports from it would be regarded as worthless and unreliable.
“We, therefore, call on the Statistician General not to succumb to the blackmail of the Buhari Presidency but remain on the path of truth and facts, in the course of his duty.”
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