Posted by News Express | 21 April 2013 | 3,267 times
Dr. Doyin Okupe, Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, this afternoon took the country’s opposition leaders to the cleaners, dismissed the emergent mega party, All Progressives Congress (APC), and insisted that the present administration is on course.
“It is evident that the proposed merger revolves around two personalities only, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Retired General Muhammed Buhari. Unfortunately, both are heavily burdened political liabilities,” Okupe said at a media briefing in Alausa, Lagos.
While he didn’t speak much on Buhari, who leads the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Okupe X-rayed the precedents of Tinubu, leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), concluding that he lacks the moral right to criticise the Jonathan administration.
The presidential spokesman particularly took exception to Tinubu’s utterances at last Thursday’s final ACN National Convention at which it resolved to dissolve into the APC.
He said: “The leader of the opposition, Chief Bola Tinubu, who spoke disparagingly about the Federal Government on a number of issues bothering on the economy, democratic governance and social security was once a governor of one of Nigeria’s richest states for eight years and we all have a record of what he made of that position.
“The Bola Tinubu who spoke about poor budget implementation at the federal level never attained 60% budget implementation while he presided over the affairs of Lagos between 1999 and 2007. Contrast this with the remarkable budget implementation record of the present administration in the last two years. The records are there for all to see.
“Senator Tinubu who spoke about meager wages for public servants in Nigeria was known to have ignored calls of Lagos civil servants for a N7,500 monthly wage and when he eventually buckled to the pressure of Labour leaders, he wickedly sacked the major arrowhead of the struggle in person of Comrade Ayodele Akele who was never reinstated.”
Taking on ACN’s National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, Okupe said that he “as Governor of Osun State during the same period denied workers of a N5,500 minimum wage and eventually laid off over 9,000 workers during his four-year reign . . . Where then is the credential of these people to talk about job creation, promotion of workers’ interest and democratic etiquette?”
The presidential spokesman dismissed APC as a party “made up of PDP renegades, moribund and lackluster ANPP which had existed for 13 years without any meaningful impact on the polity, and the ACN which is a one-man-owned and controlled political party with no form of any internal democratic credential whatsoever and totally devoid of any form of modern liberalism.”
He stoutly defended the stewardship of the Jonathan administration, citing progress made in sectors such as power, infrastructure, rail transportation, agriculture and macro-economic stability.
According to him, “Owing to stringent and well-coordinated financial and fiscal discipline and balance, inflation plummeted from over 11% to about 8.5%.”
The administration’s achievements, according to Okupe, “are product of serious planning, efficient execution, commitment and discipline by the Federal Government and its leadership. These are definitely no products of misgovernance, cluelessness or indolence as the opposition will want Nigerians to believe.”
He vowed that the administration would not be distracted “by these empty criticisms in its unrelenting drive to transform the social, economic and political landscape of Nigeria.”
•Photo shows Dr. Okupe.
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