The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) have expressed concerns over the discrepancies in the statements emanating from President Jonathan and his spokespersons, saying what had now emerged as a credibility deficiency syndrome afflicting the presidency raised questions over who indeed was in charge.
In a statement issued in Abeokuta on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the ACN said the concerns arose because of the frequency with which the President contradicted those he appointed as spokespersons, and in view of the fact that the credibility of his Administration was at stake.
“Credibility is a key issue in governance, and lack of it renders a government impotent. Perhaps this worsening credibility gap in the Jonathan Administration is one of the reasons that it had so far failed to perform to expectation,” it said.
The ACN said Jonathan on Sunday, during his media chat denied that his government had revoked the power reforms contract awarded to Canadian firm, Manitoba hydro, even though his spokesman, Reuben Abati, had been widely quoted as saying – unequivocally – that the President had cancelled the contract.
Also, the party said while the same media aide to the president had been widely quoted as saying that the government was engaged in ‘’back channel’’ talks with Boko Haram, President Jonathan was categorical in saying, during the media chat, that there was no dialogue with the group because there had yet been no face to it.
According to the ACN, it is also instructive that Jonathan has finally confirmed the reported illness of the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, even when the spokespersons for the President and the First Lady said she was hale and hearty, and implied she was vacationing abroad, even as reports circulated that she was being treated for an illness in Germany.
ANPP ask more questions
In a statement issued by the national publicity secretary of the party, Emma Eneukwu, the ANPP expressed concerns over President Jonathan’s responses to some of the questions posed to him during last Sunday’s media chat.
The ANPP said: “For starters, when asked about the on-going constitution amendment, the President declined to take any position on the myriad of issues being raised for amendment in the constitution, with the self-serving explanation that it would be in the best interest of Nigerians to suggest areas in the constitution to be amended. However, we believe that it is the sign of a leader with ideas and direction to have a clear-cut legislative agenda, as a signature of his policy philosophy.”
“Secondly, when he was reminded about his campaign promise of reducing poverty, President Jonathan quickly charged in to tell Nigerians that he never promised to reduce poverty, but rather told the populace when he was campaigning for their votes that he wanted to ‘create wealth.’
“This is a clear political equivocation which is patently illiterate at best and self-indicting at worst. Nigerians are now left to wonder who Mr. President had set out to empower all along. This is because, for sure, creating wealth might actually be a metaphor for putting more money into the hands of his already rich party members and cronies, while leaving the poor of the nation in the hands of chance,” he added.