The All Progressives Congress has offered a more detailed rebuttal to President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim on Tuesday that he deserved to be re-elected having achieved so much in four years, claiming the president scored himself highly for ‘phantom achievements’.
The main opposition party said Jonathan’s administration had spent $32 billion on security and defence yet 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.
In a press statement released on Sunday, the party’s publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigerians “could not wait to sweep away one of the worst governments to have even presided over their nation’s affairs”.
Mohammed said the APC was not surprised that Jonathan failed to “get the usual bounce from such declarations because Nigerians were not the least impressed by the so-called achievements, which have not positively impacted on the lives of the citizens”.
”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 crowd you ferried to Abuja,” he said.
Mohammed said Jonathan failed in the areas of insecurity and job creation, which are intertwined.
”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,” APC 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,” the party said.
Mohammed 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 $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.
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 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 N533 billion (about $3billion) 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 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.
APC said the President’s claims that the country has met Millennium Development Goal 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 51% 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 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 to 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.
The party said with his Administration’s litany of failures, President Jonathan should rather apologize to Nigerians for wasting the mandate they freely gave to him in 2011, instead of daring to ask them for another mandate.