Goodluck Jonathan's Facebook bluesBy FUNKE OSAE-BROWN in Lagos | Wednesday, December 26 2012 at 17:04
On Christmas Day, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan found himself under criticism by his Facebook fans for his message on the social network site.
He was robustly criticised for making extravagant promises which did not reflect the reality on the ground.
The President had said he had instructed government officials to fix all social amenities to make travelling conditions favourable for Nigerians as they celebrated the holiday.
According to him, airports were being renovated and terminals rehabilitated while the runways were being upgraded ahead of the festive season.
“I want to seize this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance,” he wrote.
“I feel the pains of Nigerians and that is why on this Yuletide, I have personally instructed that our roads be worked on to enable you and your loved ones to travel safely for the holidays.
The President also claimed that, “for the first time in decades,” the cross country services of the Nigerian Railway Corporation had been revived, just prior to the holidays, to provide Nigerian masses with an inexpensive alternative to road and air transportation.
“This administration also took steps to increase power generation by remaining true to the timelines of the Roadmap to Power Sector Reform, which has seen history made on Friday, December 21, when Nigeria’s power generation hit an all-time high of just over 4,500 MW.”
The civil war
But while some of the President’s Facebook fans praised his efforts, most were critical.
Kaycee Aloy-Obi wrote: “Mr President, hold your greetings. You and your family are having great (a) celebration. A litre of petrol is sold at N110-N120, against N97 which is the official price. There is unprecedented traffic jam on Ore-Benin road due to bad roads.
“People cannot go around to visit loved ones because of insecurity. Bury your head in shame with your 4,500 MW when South Africa is generating 50,000 MW.”
Another fan, Yusuf Suleiman, wrote on the President’s wall: “In Nigeria today, under your watch, the country recorded the highest looting of our Treasury, and you didn’t do anything. We also have seen how citizens were massacred, in fact, the highest since the civil war ended (and) your government is not doing enough to stop that.”
Bethel Vincent wrote, with a touch of pidgin: “Haba! Mr President, you know say lie no good at all. Why post something we have not witnessed, yet you refer to us as friends and fellow Nigerians. As I am talking to you, my flat is running on generator; Benin-Auchi road is filled with potholes and you are talking about airport, how (many) Nigerians can afford air transport?”
Some fans like Ajoba David were eager to know what the President’s New Year gift will be, considering the fact that last January, Nigerians woke up to the highly unpopular removal of fuel subsidy.
“Sir, congratulations! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. What do we expect as a New Year gift come Tuesday, January 1st? Well, I hope it is not going to be another fuel subsidy razzmatazz like we experienced last year.”
Ajoba David went on: “Nevertheless, Nigerians have yet to recuperate from the fever that was injected into their veins last January as a result of the purportedly and verbally (sic!) removal of the fuel subsidy which Nigerians have yet to see any sign of seriousness in bringing (those) culpable to book.”
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