President Jonathan only succeeded in confusing Nigerians throughout the time his media chat lasted on Sunday, the all Nigeria Peoples Party said yesterday.
A press release signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ANPP, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, said Jonathan declined to take any position on the myriad of issues being raised for amendment in the constitution, with the “self-serving explanation” that it would be in the best interest of Nigerians to suggest areas in the constitution to be amended, calling the President clueless.
The opposition party argued that good leaders are those who have clear-cut legislative agenda as a signature of their policy philosophy.
The ANPP berated Jonathan for denying that he ever promised Nigerians that he would reduce their poverty level.
It said: “President Jonathan quickly charged in to tell Nigerians that he never promised to reduce poverty, but rather told the populace when he was campaigning for their votes that he wanted to ‘create wealth’. This is a clear political equivocation which is patently illiterate at best and self-indicting at worst.
“Nigerians are now left to wonder who Mr President had set out to empower all along. This is because, for sure, creating wealth might actually be a metaphor for putting more money into the hands of his already rich party members and cronies, while leaving the poor of the nation in the hands of chance.”
It also condemned the President for saying that he could not unravel the Halliburton bribery scandal, saying, “We wonder whether he was trying to say that previous governments had vacated the State House with all the paraphernalia and powers of law enforcement and relevant documents needed to know what is the reality concerning these and many other clear cases of corrupt practices at the highest level.”
Another opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) also yesterday took the Jonathan Administration the cleaners, saying that the credibility deficiency syndrome afflicting the presidency has raised questions over who indeed is in charge.
The party also expressed concern over “conflicting statements” emanating from the President’s spokespersons in addition to the frequency with which he contradicted those he appointed as his mouthpiece, adding that the development has put to question the credibility of the administration.
The ACN explained in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, that the concern arose to the dwindling credibility problem, “which is a key issue in government”.
According to the party, “Lack of credibility renders a government impotent. Perhaps this worsening credibility gap in the Jonathan Administration is one of the reasons that it had so far failed to perform to expectation.”
Citing the latest examples of what it regards as “flip-flopping at best and sheer disinformation at worst,” the party pointed to Jonathan’s media chat on Sunday during which he denied the revocation of the power contract awarded to Canadian firm Manitoba as against the claim by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, who was widely quoted as saying – unequivocally – that the President had cancelled the contract.
The party also said that while Abati had been widely quoted as having said in August and this month that the government was engaged in ”backroom channel” talks with Boko Haram, Jonathan was categorical in saying, during the media chat, that there was no dialogue with the sect because there had yet been no face to the militant sect.
Meanwhile, the PDP said yesterday that it has uncovered plot by the ACN and another opposition party – the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) – to destabilise the Jonathan government through the use of propaganda.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, who made the accusation when he received in audience the zonal publicity secretaries of the party from the South-east – Odefa Ali Odefa (North-west); Sa’idu Garba Chiroma (North-east), Alami Sani Mohammed – said these two opposition parties have voted a huge amount of money to discredit the government and the ruling party in the eyes of the public.
According to him, “We challenge the opposition parties to come and debate on programmes, actions and governance of the PDP, rather than cheap blackmail. We will prefer to lift Nigerian political situation to the next level through issues-based debate.”
Metuh said that the party was satisfied with the activities of the zonal publicity secretaries, particularly with their focus on issues, and therefore advised them to carry along the state publicity secretaries with a view to educate the people on the benefits of PDP leadership.
He said: “We have been able to stabilise the economy in the midst of world global recession, such as the case in Italy and Spain. We have not witnessed any bank that collapsed in Nigeria. We are happy with the President and his vision towards transforming Nigeria. We have a President whose humility is unparalleled, who has shown love to his people through his vision for his people.”
Earlier, Odefa, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, had frowned at the criticisms of other political parties against the PDP and the President, but said that the party was not afraid of a merger of the CPC and the ACN.