13th September, 2011
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said the comments made by President Goodluck Jonathan during his maiden Media
Chat on Monday have shown that he is largely out of tune with the situation in Nigeria.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described asÂ patently superficial and devoid of deep understanding of issues the President’s comments on such issues as the single-tenureÂ proposal, the Jos crisis and the National Sovereign Conference, just to mention a few.
”When the President of a nation talks, citizens must take something concrete away from it. Sadly, that cannot be said of ourÂ President’s Maiden Chat on Monday,” it said.
ACN said, for example, that since sovereignty derives from the people, the President should not be oblivious, or even pretend toÂ be, to the preponderance of the people’s opinion against the single-tenure kite which he is flying.
”Saying he has no regret and indicating he will push forward with the ill-advised single-tenure proposal, even at the expense of moreÂ pressing national problems of insecurity and lack of economic development, shows he is not in tune with the same people who votedÂ him into office.
”Failing to tell Nigerians how his administration will ameliorate the serious problems of infrastructural decay is a blunder.
Missing the opportunity to comment on the fate of Nigerians who are being arrested, detained and killed in Libya by the transitionalÂ authorities which his administration has recognised is a serious error of judgement,” the party said.
But it said the President’s biggest faux pas during his Media Chat is on the lingering Jos crisis – a problem which he failed to exhibit an understanding of the issues at stake or proffer any innovative solution.
”The platitudes about one group not having the right to kill the other or that enforcing the law doesn’t bring the peace in any place
until the people themselves agree to have peace are not what Nigerians in general, and the people of Jos in particular, want to hear. They wantÂ to know that their President understands the issues at stake and has the political will to end the mindless killings. They want to know what theÂ government will do to bring the perpetrators of the killings to justice, so as to end the ongoing culture of impunity in Jos,” ACN said.
The party said, for example, that the President’s decision to ask the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to take over the security situation in Jos isÂ largely superfluous, and reinforces the same well-worn mindset of resorting to a reckless use of force to solve all security problems, including theÂ Boko Haram crisis.
”Right now, the military is in charge of security in Plateau, under the Special Task Force deployed to the state. Even with the task force’s bestÂ efforts, the killings and violence persist. One therefore wonders what miracle the CDS is expected to perform with the same task force, whenÂ even some groups are accusing it (task force) of taking sides in the crisis and calling for its withdrawal to pave the way for the deploymentÂ of ‘Operation Rainbow’ a coalition of regular and mobile policemen.
”We agree with those who have said Nigeria’s reliance on the military for a solution to terrorism or other insecurity problems is counter-productive. We agree with those who have called for a holistic approach (that will take into consideration the root causes of the problems) to the security problems facing our nation. We say no to knee-jerk reactions to these problems, as exemplified by President Jonathan’s comments during his ineffective Media Chat on Monday,” ACN said.