The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said Nigerians cannot wait to sweep away one of the worst governments to have even presided over their nation’s affairs.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said, President Jonathan should rather apologise to Nigerians for wasting the mandate they freely gave him in 2011, instead of daring to ask them for another mandate.
‘’Mr. President, Nigerians have asked themselves a simple question:
Are we better off today than we were before President Jonathan assumed office? And they have unanimously answered in the negative.
This is why your declaration failed to resonate, despite the hired crowds you ferried to Abuja,’’ it said.
APC said having weighed the President’s claims in his declaration speech against the reality on the ground, the party has decided to present to Nigerians the true scorecard of President Jonathan in the critical spheres of life, including insecurity, education, job creation, corruption, power sector, and poverty eradication.
The party said the areas of insecurity and job creation, which are intertwined, represent the biggest failure of the Jonathan’s administration, irrespective of its claims to the contrary.
‘’Today, after the Jonathan’s administration has spent $32 billion on security and defence, Nigeria is not any safer, with thousands of deaths, 221,000 square kilometres of territory captured by Boko Haram memebers,, 650,000 Nigerians internally displaced and also a daily harvest of death from ethno-religious crisis, clashes between pastoralists and farmers, armed robberies and kidnapping.
‘’To make matters worse, our once proud and globally-acknowledged military has been brought to its knees by lack of necessary fighting equipment, even with $32 billion spent. One wonders where the huge funds went,’’ it said.
APC said while the government claimed to have created 1.9 million jobs in all of five years, the truth is that this is a mere tokenism.
‘’Even if the jobs they said they have created are not phantom, which we know they are, the situation on the ground is grim-1.8 million Nigerians enter the job market every year, 5.3 million youths are unemployed and overall, 20 million Nigerians are in the job market, and these are very conservative figures.
Therefore, creating 1.9 million jobs over several years cannot amount to any achievement,’’ the party said.
It said while the president promised Nigerians to eradicate corruption in all sectors of the economy, the facts on ground do not back the promise.
‘’Mr. President, under your watch, Nigeria’s rating by the global anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has fallen. In 2009, Nigeria was rated 133 out of 180 countries, while in 2013, the country was rated 144 out of 177 countries.
‘’Mr. President, under your watch, the list of corruption cases begging to be handled is long. The missing $20billion oil money, the Malabu oil scandal, the fuel subsidy scandal, the police pension heist,
kerosene subsidy, and the sudden drop in the total amount realised from the Victims Support Fund from N80billion to N60billion.
Also ministers like Abba Moro, who presided over the swindling and death of job seekers, and Diezani Alison Madueke, who has presided over the most opaque oil industry in history, have rather received presidential cuddling instead of sanctions.
‘’Also, SURE-P, which was conceived to mitigate the hardships imposed on Nigerians by the needless increase in fuel prices, has now become a cesspit of corruption, a conduit for siphoning public funds and sure pit for money that could have ameliorated the suffering of ordinary Nigerians,’’ APC said.
On electricity, the party said the statement by President Jonathan that his administration’s ‘’bold move’’ in the sector has put the country ‘’on the road to guaranteed regular power supply in the months ahead’’ is nothing but sheer deceit.
‘’Under the Jonathan’s administration, Nigerians should not be in a hurry to throw away their generators. The facts on the ground show this to be true: While the federal government has spent N533 billion (about $3 billion) on power, at best Nigerians enjoy less than six hours of electricity per day, where they enjoy it at all, while spending over N800 billion naira annually to fuel their generators.
‘’Also, the 4,000MW of electricity being generated by Nigeria cannot guarantee stable power for 170 million people or propel the country towards industrialisation.
By comparison, South Africa, with less than a third of Nigeria’s population, generates over 44,000MW of electricity. There is therefore no way that Nigeria can enjoy a stable power supply with a meagre 4,000MW in power generation,’’ it said.
APC said the President’s claims that the country has met Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) 1, which is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, flies in the face of the reality on the ground, adding: ‘’How can we claim to have eradicated extreme poverty and hunger when over 100 million Nigerians live on less than $2 per day, according to verifiable statistics?’’
The party said with 51per cent of Nigerians, representing 90 million people, being illiterates, the establishment of 150 Almajiri schools has not even scratched the surface of the problem.
It also accused the president of insensitivity to the plight of the people
who voted him into office, as he would rather fly to Burkina Faso than visit Chibok, Buni Yadi and Potiskum, which are some of the places where dozens of youths have been killed and maimed by the Boko Haram terrorists in recent times.
‘’The president should not just be the Commander-in-Chief but also the Consoler-in-Chief. A president who delights in comparing himself with the likes of Obama must learn to act like Barack the United States President, who did not hesitate to visit his nation’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the risks involved,’’ APC said.