The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of adopting deceitful methods of administering the country.
Appraising the recent pass mark that President Goodluck Jonathan gave his administration, the ACN, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, accused the current administration in the country of making fake promises to Nigerians and bogus claims about its achievements.
However, the ruling PDP has responded promptly to these allegations, cautioning the ACN against making comments capable of causing anarchy in the country.
The presidency also reacted. The senior special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, berated the ACN, accusing it of mischievous intent.
But the opposition ACN fired back at once.
In the statement issued in Lagos and endorsed by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, faulted the president's special adviser on public affairs, Dr. Okupe, for allegedly denigrating the country's opposition parties for deeming it necessary to criticize the current government for below par leadership.
According to the party, the government's claim that it would generate 780,000 jobs in 2013 through the 'Young Graduate Employment Scheme' and 5,000 jobs in each of the 36 states through SURE-P is the latest example of the government's persistence in dishing out falsehood to the people.
"Our advice to the teeming young graduates who have no jobs is that they should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by this promise. They should remember that this same administration promised to create 10,000 jobs in each of the 36 states through SURE-P in 2012. The year is over, and all we have now are phantom jobs and more fake promises," Mohammed wrote on behalf of the party.
It declared that the government's promise of stable electricity in 2013 was unrealistic.
"The administration said it has generated an all-time high 4,500 mega watts and will increase the number to 7,000MW in 2013. What a celebration of tokenism! In the first instance, the government should be ashamed to tell Nigerians it has been able to generate only 4,500MW from a huge expenditure of $16billion!" the party said.
On the level of insecurity in the country, the ACN also faulted government's claim that the bombings and killings in the north had decreased from January to December, calling it (the announcement) a disservice to millions of our citizens who are daily being subjected to terror attacks.
"Well, we are not surprised at the claim of reduced terror attacks by the Jonathan administration. After all, the same administration claimed that global anti-corruption body Transparency International acknowledged Nigeria's progress in fighting corruption, when nothing like that ever happened," it stated.
ACN's criticism, act of mischief - Okupe
President Jonathan aide, Dr Okupe, described as pure mischief the criticisms of the achievements of the Jonathan administration by Lai Mohammed and the CAN, saying it was a deliberate attempt to disregard the achievements of the current administration in the country.
Okupe, who spoke via a phone interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday, said the ACN had tried to unsuccessfully sustain this impression even when it was obvious that some giant strides had been achieved by the Jonathan administration.
"The ACN and Lai Mohammed must realise that change is constant. It is no longer arguable that the Jonathan administration has made giant strides in the generation and distribution of power in the last 18 months.
"To compare us with South Africa is pure mischief as it is on record that the Jonathan administration inherited barely 3,000 megawatts with poor distribution facilities but has succeeded in boosting power supply above 5,000 megawatts," Okupe said.
He cited the agricultural sector as one area that there had been a revolution, as, aside being the largest supplier of cassava in the world, 60 percent of the rice produced in the country is being consumed locally.
"What we have projected for 2013 is a carefully worked out plan for 2013. If it is beyond the scope and imagination of the ACN, then it is regrettable; there is nothing anybody can do about it.
"Jonathan's administration is God-fearing and has been honest with Nigerians. What this administration has promised in 2013 will be achieved. Nigerians should disregard those who cannot see anything good in their country. Efforts of their countrymen; those whose trademarks is to spread fear and messages of doom and gloom," Okupe said.
On the issue of security, the presidential aide said the figures showing a decline in bomb attacks which he released at his press conference in Lagos were factual and challenged the ACN to prove otherwise.
He further insisted that the Jonathan administration had also been tackling unemployment, revealing that 80,000 graduates would benefit from the government's commercial farming scheme in 2013.
"No amounts of insults, blackmail and distortion of facts can change facts on ground. The ACN may need to go back to the drawing board and redesign its propaganda machinery as, clearly, truths, no matter how bitter, cannot be diffused," Okupe said.
ACN courting anarchy - PDP
The PDP has rebuked the ACN, accusing it of trying to cause anarchy in the country through its caustic comments.
PDP national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, while reacting to ACN's criticism of the Jonathan administration, said that the PDP was not surprised at the 'doomsday' predictions of the ACN and other political parties in Nigeria.
"That ACN and opposition parties in Nigeria often resort to insults and doomsday predictions is not surprising as they have exhibited no capacity to govern by their failure to suggest alternatives and/or solutions as is the hallmark of credible opposition parties all over the world. To recycle insults and engage in doomsday predictions is a sign of a confused and demented opposition totally attuned to preferring anarchy as a system of government.
"Nigerians have acknowledged the heroics of our patriotic security operatives in tackling the terror attacks never envisaged a little over two years ago. It is shear wickedness and downright absence of patriotism not to appreciate and commend men who are battling at the risk of their own lives to protect our families and our great country. The least ACN\opposition should is to console the families of our fallen heroes and families of other victims instead of playing cheap and dirty politics with human lives," the PDP spokesman stated.