Monday, January 11, 2010

Jonathan is doing well, says PDP

The manner in which Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has presided over the nation's affairs in the absence of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, who is spending his second month receiving medical treatment abroad, is to be commended, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said on Sunday.

The party, in a statement sent to journalists by its National Publicity Secretary, Rufai Ahmed Alkali, said that contrary to claims by the opposition that there was almost no real leadership at the federal level because Mr. Jonathan lacks the necessary executive powers, the Vice President has attended to all issues that required presidential attention and filled the vacuum created by Mr. Yar'Adua's absence.

Mr. Alkali said that the opposition, which tried to set an agenda for the government over the President's health by constructing various scenarios, has no right to do so.

"People are sitting down outside and defining the dos and don'ts of government. The reality of it is that we are operating a system and so far to our knowledge, there has been no evidence of breakdown of this system," he said.

"The Vice President is there as the Vice President of this country and he has done extremely well in the past few weeks since the President travelled outside the country. All these issues of what should be done or what should not be done is the prerogative of government."

The PDP spokesperson said it was unnecessary to join issues with opposition, whom he said would not be impressed no matter what good the government does. He said the present administration must be applauded for its achievements in office so far.

"It does appear to us that whatever Mr. President does at this point in time, some people are just ready to go all the way not wanting to look at the positive side. I thought one of the good things we are supposed to have celebrated is the issue of Niger Delta. For the first time in the history of this country, it has been virtually addressed. What remains is to mop up.

"So far, the people in the Niger Delta have put themselves together and provided the environment for cooperation, reconciliation and for settlement and the Federal Government provided the policy framework - including the funding. I thought it is a major achievement in the history of this country."

Economic shields

Mr. Alkali also pointed to the way government has handled the economy, which, he claimed, appears to have shielded it from the recent global economic meltdown.

"The world has been going through a great depression, but government has not come out to say that because of the global economic meltdown our own economy has collapsed," he said.

"Government kept on moving. The fact that we are able to pull through this very difficult period is plus to the government. I know that the global economic downturn affected us in so many ways more than we Nigerians want to admit. Everybody knows that there is no way there would be a worldwide depression and it would not affect Nigeria, which is an integral part of the world economy. But despite the pressure, government kept on moving. I think this should be a plus."



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