Members of civil societies say President Goodluck Jonathan administration is wrought with lies.
Some civil society organisations said on Thursday that it came as no shock to them that President Goodluck Jonathan lied to Nigerians during his Independence Day anniversary speech.
They said ‘falsehood’ and deception is a major tool of the president’s administration.
“I am not surprised that the president lied,” Yinka Odumakin, spokesman of the Save Nigeria Group said.
In his Independence Day speech, Mr. Jonathan attempted to garner local and international support for his government when he claimed that global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, had endorsed his administration’s war against corruption.
“In its latest report, Transparency International noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption,” Mr. Jonathan said in the broadcast.
However, in an email to PREMIUM TIMES, Transparency International said the president’s claim is untrue.
“Transparency International does not have a recent rating or report that places Nigeria as the second most improved country in the fight against corruption,” the organisation said.
The presidency, in a statement released the following day, said the president‘s claim was based on “notorious facts” published by Nigeria’s BusinessDay newspaper.
It was a deliberate lie
Some of the civil society groups believe that rather than a mistake, the ‘lie’ was deliberate and traditional.
“It is an indication that the present government is run through lies by people who falsify international public records to justify their ineptitude,” the Chairman of Coalition against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, said.
“Lying is a cardinal tool for governance for President Jonathan,” Mr. Odumakin said, recounting the president’s previous pronunciations believed to be lies.
Mr. Odumakin, who served as a spokesperson for an opposition leader, said the president also lied when he (Mr. Jonathan) promptly refuted claims by Movement for Emancipation of Niger-Delta, MEND, that it initiated the October 1, 2010 independence anniversary bomb blast which occurred less than a kilometre away from the anniversary venue.
He said the president lied about the reason for holding the following year’s independence anniversary in the safety of the presidential villa. He also lied about the amount the nation spends on subsidy till the House of Reps’ investigation revealed the accurate figure, higher than the president’s claims.
“The first lady is sick and the president said she went to rest,” he said. “Lie is the oxygen that sustains the regime.”
Conscientized Nigerians, a group of young activists advocating transparency and accountability, also said they are not surprised by the lie.
“He [President Jonathan] should admit he lied and apologise to Nigerians,” Audu Khark, leader of the group, said.
He won’t apologise
Mr. Odumakin believes the president will not apologise for the lie.
“A man who gives a damn will apologize but the president doesn’t give a damn!” he said.
Mr. Adeniran of CACOL, who described the lie as a “national disgrace”, said until the president apologises, he would be held as a “lying president.”