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AC TASKS JONATHAN ON NEW CABINET

By NBF News
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The Action Congress (AC) has asked Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently issue a roadmap on the direction of his administration to serve as a guide for those to be sworn in as ministers this week.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said unless that is done, it would be difficult to measure the performance of the new Ministers.

'Acting President Jonathan must enunciate his vision and set performance benchmarks as well as spell out the milestones he wants to reach within the next few months. This will make it easy for the ministers to know how to go about their duties.

'It will also make it easier for Nigerians to assess the ministers. Any minister that fails to perform on the basis of the stated vision and benchmarks must be shown the way out. Time is not on the side of this administration,'' the party said.

It said the new cabinet must deviate from the path chosen by the last set of ministers, who made history for their mediocrity, selfishness and lack of patriotism.

AC said in view of the short life span of the administration, with fresh elections due next year, Acting President Jonathan must concentrate on such key areas as the electoral reform, Niger Delta, power and the fight against corruption.

'We believe these are areas in which the acting president can make his mark in the next few months,'' it said.

The party said on the issue of electoral reform, the Jonathan administration will be deemed to have failed if it cannot make any appreciable progress between now and June, considering that elections are due early next year.

'For the electoral reform to have any positive impact on the 2011 elections, all the necessary amendments and the new laws must be in place at least six months before the polls. Therefore, Acting President Jonathan must set the ball rolling today,'' it said.

Meanwhile, the AC has thanked all Nigerians for heeding the call to join in the campaign for electoral reform ahead of the 2011 general election. The party said the massive protests packaged by the organised labour and the civil society to push for the reform and the decision of prominent Nigerians to speak out on the issue are the biggest indications yet that Nigerians will not accept the deeply flawed electoral system of the past.

It warned, however, that the battle has just started and must be sustained for it to make any appreciable impact.

''This is one battle that will not be won easily, because those who have benefited from the electoral shenanigans of the past will not sit idly by and allow positive changes. That is why we say this is a long fight, for which our people must brace themselves. The government must be made to know that Nigerians will not accept anything less than a free, fair, credible and transparent election come 2011,'' AC said.