Leadership (Abuja)

2 January 2013

Nigeria: Take Governance Seriously in 2013, ACN Urges Jonathan

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to shake off its trade mark lethargy and take governance more seriously in 2013.

This it said would ease the hardship which most Nigerians were going through especially in the past year.

The party also advised President Jonathan to drop his amorphous Transformation Agenda in favour of a compact programme that prioritises security, job creation, infrastructural development and the fight against corruption.

In a New Year message issued in Lagos, yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said since the country's return to democratic rule in 1999, the year 2012 ranked among the worst years for Nigerians, even by the very low standard of a non-performing and profligate administration like President Jonathan's.

It said that having ambushed Nigerians on January 1, 2012 with a totally unnecessary and punitive fuel price hike, the Jonathan administration ensured that everything went downhill from that moment until the end of the year, when Nigerians had to pay far above the official price for fuel, with its attendant bandwagon effect on the price of goods and services.

"Mr. President, that singular act of your Administration helped to erode whatever trust Nigerians reposed in you. Since trust is a critical element in the relationship between the government and the governed, you must begin to rebuild that trust by delivering on your promises, since trust can neither be decreed nor forced.

"Suffice it to say that Nigerians cannot and will not trust an Administration that promises to fight corruption that has presided over the worst cases of corruption in the history of the country; Nigerians cannot and will not trust an Administration that set up committees after committees to probe the oil sector, only to shamelessly dump the reports of the committees in the garbage can!

And Nigerians cannot and will not trust a spendthrift Administration that wastes scarce resources on flimsy projects like banquet halls and mansions for a few government officials, when millions are jobless and homeless," ACN said.

It also advised the Administration to stop relying on phantom statistics to give Nigerians the impression that it is delivering the dividends of democracy, when indeed the opposite is the case.

"The Jonathan administration trumpets economic growth figures with glee, but of what use is economic growth that has not translated to better lives for the people, created jobs, put food on the table and make our roads more motorable?

"Despite this so-called economic growth, the reality of the Nigerian situation is that more of our youths are daily meandering through traffic in our major cities selling toothpicks, rat poison and pure water. What does this so-called economic growth figures mean to them?"

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