Published On: Tue, Aug 13th, 2013

Nigerians to Jonathan: Focus on Governance, not Abuse

President Goodluck Jonathan

LAGOS AUGUST 13TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Presidency’s reply to the remarks by the Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, broke into trending topics on social media on Monday.
Akande had, on Saturday, described President Goodluck Jonathan as an “unserious-minded president” who runs a “kindergarten presidency.” The Presidential spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati, in his reaction, rebuked Akande, saying he should “respect his age.”

However, Nigerians have expressed their displeasure and accused President Goodluck Jonathan of pre-occupying himself and the Presidency with replying critics of his administration.
They said it was unwise for the Presidency to be throwing tantrums at the opposition when many Nigerians are wallowing in abject poverty. Many argued that they would have expected Jonathan and the Presidency to expend their energy and time on governance rather than engage in exchanging of diatribes with a political party.
According to them, it is normal for any administration to be criticised, with many of them saying the only way the Presidency can silence critics is to deliver on good governance.
Commenting on, one Tosin Amadi said the Presidency’s reaction to Akande’s statement amounted to idleness on its part.
The reader stated, “I wonder how idle the Presidency is that it has so much time to respond to every criticism or tongue-lash thrown at it. One would have expected that it will learn to be focused, give Nigerians the tangible development we crave and, through that, tactfully silence the critics.
“Instead, it leaves its job undone and cries at every stone thrown at it. If Jonathan can’t stand being tongue-lashed, he’s got no business leading. Even the Bible says one should not give ears to everything lest one hears one’s house-maid abusing one.’’
A Facebook user, Felix Umukoro, said though the opposition party may appear lacking in respect for the Presidency, Jonathan’s administration needs to first respond to pressing issues in the Nigerian polity before joining issues with it.
He said issues such as the on-going strike by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, rising unemployment rate, among others, were not getting adequate attention from the Presidency as Akande’s remarks did.
Umukoro explained, “Democracy permits anybody to rain abuses and accusations on the President. But it seems the President and his team have done all their work and, thus, now have enough time to listen and respond to the comments of anybody and anything — including chickens on the streets.
“The funny thing is that they ignore comments on pressing issues. ASUU strike, no power, bad roads, unemployment, education, health care provision, high poverty level receive little or no attention from the Presidency. Let them continue!”
Also, Tamedo, who commented on, said by the virtue of the office Jonathan is occupying, he should be ready to stomach blames.
“They are now taking offence because an old man has made his opinion known in the public. They should go and read the number of criticisms meted to Obama in the US on a daily basis. It is obvious that the old man (Akande) has touched one of their sensitive nerves, when he used the phrase “unproductive and unserious-minded,” the reader observed.
However, a Facebook user, Maryann Chinagorom, has a different view of the situation. She laments that the culture of using unguarded words and statements on the part of the political elite was assuming an alarming dimension. According to her, recent events have shown that many of the political class are not worthy of emulation by the younger generation.
She says, “The spate of rascality being displayed by a majority of our so-called elder statesmen, through their unguided utterances, is worrisome; if it’s not David West and Clark calling each other jaga-jaga Ijaw, it’s El-Rufai calling Jonathan name. If it’s not Obasanjo calling Babangida a fool at 70; it’s Buhari throwing tantrums here and there!
“I wonder what they expect the youths to emulate and the kind of legacy they hope to leave behind for the younger generation. I think the true test of maturity lies in self control and the ability to control one’s tongue even in the heat of utmost provocation.’’
Source: Punch

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