As the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration clocks one year in office this Tuesday, opposition political parties and some socio-cultural groups in the country have given a damning verdict of an abysmal performance on the government.
But President Jonathan yesterday disagreed with the opposition parties and groups that his first one year in office was a total failure. Such assessment of his administration, he said, is dishonest and uninformed.
Through his special adviser on media and publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president told LEADERSHIP Sunday last night that it was very unfair for some Nigerians to hide under partisan platforms to make sadistic comments, while well-meaning citizens and the international community have admitted that, though the present administration had been working under a very unhealthy environment created for it by those who swore to make the country ungovernable for it, the country was still making progress on all fronts.
Abati said, “Consistently, the objective of this administration has been to pursue its transformation agenda and there have been many deliverables in this direction. But the opposition, with its shrilled voice, continues to deny the truth”.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and major opposition parties including the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have described the first year of the Jonathan presidency as an abysmal failure with nothing to show for it except poverty, insecurity and an unprecedented level of public corruption.
An opposition party has also advised Nigerians to brace up for the three years left of the Jonathan presidency, as things could only get worse judging from the scandals and events of the last one year.
The spokesman of the ACF, Anthony Sani, said if the president’s performance were to be measured in accordance with the promises he made and what has so far been delivered, then, not much can be said.
Sani said, “The president has awarded contracts for railways and the dredging of the River Niger. He has talked about plans to improve power supply. He has made efforts and I will give him a pass mark for that. But deliverance of the plans is yet to be realized.
“As far as security is concerned, most Nigerians are still experiencing incidents of armed robbery, kidnapping, bunkering, communal clashes and Boko Haram attacks. He is not trying enough. We want peaceful co-existence and are expecting results.”
Dr Usman Bugaje, a former national secretary of the ACN, said yesterday: “It is still not clear what Jonathan is trying to achieve. He talks about fresh air and transformation, there is none. Maybe the transformation is in the Villa.
“We only see what is on ground and there is nothing. Nigerians are feeling what is on ground. What has he done in the last one year? What the public has seen is unprecedented public corruption, poverty and insecurity.”
On the possibility that there will be improvements from the Jonathan government, Bugaje said, “You can never rule out any possibility. But if we are to make projections like they do in statistics, there is no likelihood that things will get better. From what is on ground, things can only get worse.”
The spokesman of the SNG, Yinka Odumakin, said the Jonathan government has failed in its primary responsibility of maintaining law and order as “Nigerians have been besieged by insecurity and the president appears more like the mourner-in-chief.”
Odumakin said, “The worse thing from the last one year is that the president is user-friendly to corruption. Before Jonathan, we were measuring corruption in the billions but now we are metering it in the trillions and the president himself has been named in some mind-boggling cases.”
If the government continues like this, he said, “then we are heading towards insolvency, and will end up broke. If there is no change, the signs are serious and will lead to a very precarious situation.”
The CPC, on its part, said, “Beyond the grandstanding and abundant rhetoric of the government, there is nothing worthy of note that the administration of Dr Jonathan has done to improve infrastructural development, education, security and economy of the Nigerian state.”
CPC spokesman Rotimi Fashakin said, “The policy summersault in the economic management is enough indication of the confusion at the top echelon of the nation’s governance. The leadership-induced sleazy tendency is still nightmarish, as the like has never been seen in the nation’s checkered history.”