1 January 2013

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the Goodluck Jonathan Administration to shake off its trademark lethargy and take governance more seriously in 2013 to ease the hardship which his government has foisted on Nigerians, especially in the past year.
President Goodluck Jonathan (r), giving a piece of cassava bread to the Vice President Namadi Sambo during a Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja.
In a New Year message issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, 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 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 between the government and governed, you must begin to rebuild 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 but 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,” the ACN said.
The party advised President Jonathan to drop his amorphous Transformation Agenda in favour of a compact programme that prioritizes security, job creation, infrastructural development and the fight against corruption.
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, create 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?
“In 2013, the Jonathan Administration must jettison cooked-up economic growth figures and make a concerted effort to reverse the situation that has seen an estimated 11 million Nigerian children out of school, 46 per cent of our youths unemployed, made Nigeria a country with one of the highest rates of road crashes in the world, put the country’s life expectancy at a mere 51.9 years (compared with 62.7 for Gabon, 73.4 for Mauritius and 74 for Libya) and the indignity of annually seeing the country ranked among the most corrupt,” ACN said.
The party wished all Nigerians a Happy New Year, and prayed that 2013 will bring peace and joy to all.

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