The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that Nigeria’s condition has not improved since Goodluck Jonathan became president, describing as phantom his claims of achievements.
“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,” a statement by APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Sunday.
APC said it has compared Jonathan’s claims in his declaration speech with the reality on the ground, and felt obliged to show Nigerians the true picture of how the president has fared in security, education, job creation, corruption, power sector, and poverty eradication.
“Today, after the Jonathan 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, 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 to,” 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 youth 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.
“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 $20b oil money, the Malabu oil scandal, the fuel subsidy scandal, the police pension heist, kerosene subsidy, and the sudden drop in the total amount realized from the Victims Support Fund from N80b to N60b. Plus the 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.
“Under the Jonathan 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 FG has spent 533 billion naira (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 800 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 industrialization. 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.
The party also dismissed Jonathan’s claim to have eradicated poverty, saying, “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 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 youth 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 the the likes Obama must learn to act like the US President, who did not hesitate to visit his nation’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the risks involved,” APC said.
APC therefore advised Jonathan to apologise to Nigerians for failing them.