Jonathan's re-election will spell doom for Nigeria - APC

By The Citizen

The National Chairman of the main opposition party in the country, the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun has urged Nigerians not to be swayed by President Goodluck Jonathan's self-appraisal of his administration.

Addressing a gathering of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faithful on Monday during his declaration for the 2015 presidential race, Jonathan highlighted his achievements in virtually all sectors of the economy and urged Nigerians to empower him with a fresh mandate next year. He also assured that his administration would wipe out Boko Haram insurgents, who had since taken control of parts of Adamawa State.

But addressing a world press conference in Abuja yesterday, Oyegun dismissed the achievements highlighted by President Jonathan as phantom warning that a fresh mandate for the incumbent would be disastrous.

Oyegun said: 'Two days ago, you heard President Goodluck Jonathan announce himself as the candidate of the PDP and asked Nigerians for another four years as president. You heard a lot of claims, misrepresentations and voodoo statistics, none of which can stand the barest scrutiny.

Disregard them! You heard excuses for failure to fix basic infrastructure, arrest unprecedented levels of corruption and halt the march of terrorists daily inching nearer all of us. You heard promises that sound familiar because you have heard them all before since his six years as president.  Do not give the party that has savaged Nigeria in the last 16 years an opportunity to finally finish off our dear nation.

'The PDP cannot deliver on any of the same promises it has failed to honour in over a decade and a half in power.  The 2015 election will be decided on the character and leadership qualities of the Nigerian president.'

Oyegun insisted that the present administration was not showing enough concern for  Nigerians at the mercy of the insurgents in the North-East region.

'The Commander-in-Chief should also be 'Consoler-in-Chief' bringing comfort and succour to our people in time of grief and distress. You heard two days ago President Jonathan saying that good leaders do not walk away from the people, sadly though the statement is true, our president, who wants another four years, does not show evidence of sympathy for hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens who are now internally displaced persons (IDP) as a result of the occupation of their land by Boko Haram. 'He brings no relief or comfort to those living under the reign of terror. About 50 young Nigerian school children were killed and several others injured in Potiskum just a few days before the extravaganza show of his declaration. Yet we do not hear of a presidential visit to the families of the victims, a pattern that has become usual. Our president lives in his comfort zone, content to utter words, and 'minutes of silence' that have no meaning to the victims.

'The president has abandoned the Nigerian people. We should end the journey with President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and elect a leader who will be part of our lives and lead with courage and empathy.

'I, therefore appeal to all Nigerians to endeavour to collect their Permanent Voter Cards, and use them to vote out the PDP and vote in the brighter, safer and more prosperous future, which the APC represents,' the APC chairman said.

But in its reaction, PDP dismissed the remarks of the APC national chairman as bereft of objectivity.

National Publicity scribe of the ruling party, Olisa Metuh claimed the leadership of the opposition party was confused.

'The APC in their characteristic manner, instead of accepting the successes already acknowledged by Nigerians, went into their usual shadowboxing and mischievous propaganda in a failed attempt to score a cheap political point,' Metuh said.

The ruling party said, 'Such a lurid epithet on the APC defies the logic of an alternative while exposing it as hypocritical and opportunistic.'

It called for objectivity and forthrightness from the political class, especially the opposition, as the campaign for the 2015 general elections 'begins in earnest.' - The Sun.