The opposition party said the Nigerian presidency has lost any credibility it had.
The presidency has come under intense attack for misleading the public to believe the president’s wife, Patience Jonathan, was holidaying in Germany when, indeed, she was gravely ill and closed to dying.
At a lavish thanksgiving event on Sunday, the First Lady admitted she was literally dead for seven days and her doctors lost hope.
Her position contradicted repeated assurances from President Goodluck Jonathan and aides that Mrs. Jonathan was resting.
In a statement on Monday, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, rejoiced with Mrs. Jonathan over her miraculous return, but slammed the presidency saying it lost “whatever was left of its credibility” in its handling of the events.
“While we felicitate with the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on her recovery from whatever illness it was that afflicted her, we will be remiss if we fail to recollect how the presidency denied ‘rumours’ of the First Lady illness and poured scorn on the media and the imaginary enemies of the government for fuelling the ‘satanic rumours,” the party said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Lai Mohammed.
”We will also like to remind the presidency that its denial, instead of full disclosure that would have elicited nothing more than fervent prayers from Nigerians, fuelled the rumours that the First Lady suffered from sundry afflictions or the consequences of tummy tuck!” ACN said.
The party recalled how aides and even the president released misleading information and carried about their duties as though nothing was wrong.
“’The issue here is simple if the presidency can so shamefacedly lie on an issue of such public interest as the health of the First Lady, why should we not believe it can lie on any other issue, whether it is economy, politics, social development or any other matter?” the party asked.
“For how long has this presidency been misleading Nigerians on critical issues, since we now have reason to doubt its credibility? Does it occur to this presidency that it has turned Nigeria to a laughing stock by its now routine denials of the truth?”
The party urged the presidency to apologize for the apparent deceit and insisted on transparency.
”Like we have said time and again, any government needs to be credible to win the trust of the citizens, without which it cannot govern effectively. With the revelation by our back-from-the-dead First Lady, it is clear that the Jonathan Presidency has egg on its face, and must apologize to Nigerians for lying to them. Also, the spokesmen for this government have lost total credibility, hence their words will henceforth be taken with a pinch of salt,” the party said.
”It is sad that despite what we and many Nigerian groups and individuals have said on this issue, the Jonathan Administration took its script directly from the Yar’adua group’s book of deceit when the late President was ill and flown abroad. Now, Governors Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Danbaba Suntai of Taraba and Liyel Imoke of Cross River are all playing according to the Jonathan script.