27th September, 2011
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said President Goodluck Jonathan got it all mixed upÂ when he implied that his critics want him to rule with an iron fist, saying all that Nigerians are askingÂ for is a president who is firm, decisive and responsive.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,Â the party said the comments credited to the President portrayed the him as being totally oblivious ofÂ what his compatriots want or being out of tune with the situation in the country.
”For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. President, Nigerians are yearning for good and purposeful governance.
They want their leader to hearken to their yearnings by addressing, decisively, issues of security, againstÂ the background of rising violent crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery, and deadly bombingsÂ by Boko Haram.
”They want their leader to act urgently in taking measures that will reverse the decay in infrastructure,Â especially roads; uplift the economy and raise the living standards of the people. Mr. President, it doesÂ not take a lion, dictator, or a pharaoh to do this,” it said.
ACN said a President who is ready to dance to the tune of his party to clamp down on the opposition orÂ thwart the Constitution just to achieve set objectives is far from being assertive; a President who vacillatesÂ when urgent actions are required is not decisive; and a President who carries on as if all is well when citizensÂ are being daily tormented by the scarcity of kerosene, or who is ready to add to their burden by signing onÂ to the removal of a nebulous petroleum subsidy is not responsive.
The party also expressed shock at the statement credited to the President, in which he insinuated that he isÂ not appreciated at home when he is being praised by foreign leaders, especially President Barack ObamaÂ of the US.
”We sincerely hope that Mr. President was misquoted on this issue. When did cheeky praises from foreign leaders become the yardstick for measuring theÂ success of a leader?
”The President of Africa’s most populous nation and the largest black nation on earth should not be seenÂ to be pandering to anyone. By that statement, President Jonathan has confirmed speculations that he is moreÂ interested in what foreign leaders think of him than the opinion of Nigerians who voted for him.
”This simply reinforces all the stories coming out from Wikileaks, that our elected and appointed officials troop toÂ foreign embassies to sing like parrots, thus compromising the security of their country and putting their domesticÂ and foreign policy in jeopardy,” it said.
ACN advised President Jonathan to be more reflective and circumspect when making comments, especially duringÂ the kind of opportunity given to him last Sunday at the Church to reach out to his countrymen and women.
”Leaders are judged as much by what they do as by what they say. That’s why they must eschew banality andÂ superficiality when they talk,” the party said.