The CPC accused the president of being lackadaisical in his leadership approach.
The opposition Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said President Goodluck Jonathan disgraced Nigeria and her citizens when he failed to present the country’s speech at the just concluded 50th anniversary summit of the African Union, AU.
The president had failed to show up to deliver his speech to the confusion of other delegates and Nigerian officials.
There had been rumours of the president’s whereabouts, including that he had too much to eat and drink the night before and that he went to the toilet just before he was called.
The president’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati, however, denied the rumours, saying the president went to have a smaller meeting on the sidelines to sell Nigeria as one of the Africa’s power house.
But the CPC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Rotimi Fashakin, said the excuse is not tenable adding that this is the second time that Mr. Jonathan has failed to deliver his speech at an important gathering.
“We recall that in October, 2011, the President missed a session at the Commonwealth Summit in Australia for the same laissez-faire attitude that has become the hall-mark of the Jonathan administration,” the statement said.
The statement added that ordinary Nigerians, and the whole world at large , had expected Nigeria to use the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Union held last Saturday, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as the big stage to make a huge impact.
“Unfortunately, this expectation was dashed by the inimitable sloppiness of the Jonathan presidency,” the CPC said.
The party also said it is particularly painful that Mr. Jonathan “did not attend and no representative was sent to deliver Nigeria’s message,” adding that, ” In ordinary administrative appraisal of the action, it was not just irresponsible but gross dereliction of executive duties.
“In diplomatic circles, the President’s action literally rubbished the labours of Nigeria’s past heroes and heroines who had been known for standing up to be counted on the African continent,” the party said.
Excuses not tenable
CPC said the excuses given by the presidency are not tenable, saying what is apparent is that the president was visibly disturbed by the outcome of the Nigeria Governors Forum election in which Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, won despite the president’s determination to make that did not happen.
“Whatever obfuscation of facts being peddled around cannot detract from the hard fact that the President was flummoxed by the victory of Governor Rotimi Amaechi at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election, which revealed the bilious discontent thereafter,”
“In the late 80’s, the vice-president in a Military regime was made to step down because he missed a National celebration.
“As a Party, we view with grave concern this nonchalance of our President and its portent for Nigeria’s image. As an irreducible minimum, the citizens of this Nation deserve an unreserved apology from the President for the National disgrace and embarrassment his action had caused,” the opposition party said.