By Chuks Okocha and Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, of engaging in deceit, by overstating the achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan and making fake promises to Nigerians.
The party was responding to last week’s bashing of opposition parties by Okupe, where it also faulted every claim of achievement made by the Federal Government in the passing year.
This response, however, came on a day the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Presidency described statement credited to the ACN that the administration of President Jonathan was ruling Nigerians through deceits and false claims as unfortunate.
But ACN in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, slammed Okupe for making himself a purveyor of blatant lies and for having the temerity to denigrate the country’s opposition for daring to criticise a non-performing government.
The party noted that the Federal Government’s claim, through Okupe, 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 the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) was the latest example of the Administration’s lies.
“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,” the party said.
ACN also urged Nigerians to ensure that their generators are in good working condition, as the government’s promise of stable electricity in 2013 is as unrealistic as it is deceitful.
“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 16 billion dollars!
“Also, no one needs a rocket scientist to know that 4,500MW cannot ensure stable electricity supply in a country of 160 million people, when South Africa, with less than a third of Nigeria’s population, generates over 40,000MW,” it said.
The party also faulted the Administration’s claim that the bombings and killings in the north have decreased from January to December, calling it fabricated cold comfort and a disservice to millions of our citizens who are daily being subjected to terror attacks, while President Jonathan, now a professional mourner, resorts to endless lamentation instead of decisive action.
“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.
“To set the record straight, 750 people have been killed in terror attacks in the north this year, a figure higher than about 570 who were killed in 2011, and not counting the latest killings in Borno and Adamawa States,” it said.
ACN urged the Jonathan Administration to be bold enough to admit its failings and roll up its sleeves to say so to Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the PDP through its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metu, said rather than negatively criticise the administration of President Jonathan, he (the President) should be commended for addressing the power crisis and managing the economy well despite reports of economic downturn and financial meltdown all over the world.
According to Metu, “President Jonathan should be commended for the manner he has successfully handled the economy of Nigeria and in particular addressing the power generation crisis in the country. We all know what the situation was when he assumed office. Nigerians are in a better position to access the position of things.
“On security, the President has managed the situation very well. Terrorism is alien to Nigerians, but that notwithstanding, the security agencies have done a great work in managing the challenges of insecurity in the country.” the spokesman said,