Nigerians are disappointed with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, civil rights activist and spokesperson of the Ijaw Republican Assembly (IRA) Ms Ann-kio Briggs said in Abuja yesterday. She spoke at the 10th Daily Trust annual dialogue held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel.
Briggs said “a lot is expected of this President Goodluck Jonathan-led government and rightly so. This is one government that was backed by the people of Nigeria with a lot of expectations. To say two and half years into this government that Nigerians are lost and disappointed so far by this government is an understatement.”
Ms Briggs said Nigerians suffered to bring this government to power but got nothing in return. “We can’t forget the crisis Nigeria faced in 2009, where the people of Nigeria from north to south to east to west rose up with one voice and said no to a situation where self- styled political leaders almost took Nigeria to the cleaners.”
She added that “we are yet to conclude on the issues of corruption that has emerged from the fuel subsidy expositions and pension scandals, neither can we run away from the reality that since the 2009 crisis… the nation is yet to move into the change that we all expected when we went to the polls in 2011.”
Briggs said since 2011 when Jonathan was elected, “a lot of promises were made, a lot is still expected, we can neither run away from the reality that Nigerians have waited for two and half years since 2011 to get what they voted for- change.” She also said Nigerians “are growing increasingly desperate that maybe the changes may not come, that promises and excuses are no longer acceptable to the people who are suffering under the weight of politicians who seem just as lost as the citizens they are leading in delivery of democracy and change.”
She faulted the federal government’s planned centenary celebrations, saying “there is nothing to celebrate. Nigeria has sent a satellite to space but we are still looking for it. It is the same country that can’t even manufacture a bicycle. This centenary celebration is nonsense.”
Speaking on federalism, Briggs said “Nigerian federal system is too faulty and must be dismantled.” She added that “if the government of Nigeria is honest with the citizens of Nigeria, and the so-called political class is truthful when they say Nigeria will never break up, they should show us what they are doing towards ensuring that Nigeria will not break up.” She said the “days of leadership based on numbers is gone,” adding that “if Nigeria is to stay together as one nation we need each other not as master and slave or minority and majority but as brothers in one nation.”