The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has condemned the President Goodluck Jonathan’s 600-man delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in the New York.
According to an online news agency, the delegation which included the President’s wife, Patience, and two state Governors, has 547 civil servants drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Nigerian delegation, which is said to be the largest of any nation at this year’s UN event, has Jonathan’s inner entourage comprising 26 people, including security aides, his wife, doctor and political associates.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran censured the insensitivity of President Jonathan to the myriads of challenges bedevilling the nation.
“Mr. President is proving everyday that he is insensitive to the plights of the average Nigerian. As the rich countries of the world are cutting costs, Nigeria doubles up on profligacy. There is no moral justification for such a bogus entourage and staying at such lavish hotel. What Mr. Jonathan is telling Nigerians is that he is completely out of touch with the financial realities of the day and the economic hardship facing the mass of Nigerians.
It is unthinkable that a country that could not provide its citizens with basic amenities; a country that cannot provide security of lives and properties; a country whose roads have become death traps; a country whose hospitals have become slaughter slabs; whose university students have been out of school for over three months, could go with such unconscionable number of delegates and lodge in a hotel that would cost the country at least $10,000 per night.
The funds used in paying for exotic hotels can be saved for other tangible projects which will affect the standard of living of the average Nigerians. The Presidency should do away with this sheer wastefulness and embrace a low profile approach.”
The anti-corruption crusader however urged Nigerians to demonstrate against the waste of the country’s wealth.
“Nigerians must gather to demonstrate against this barefaced looting and sheer waste of our common patrimony. When the country cannot feed her citizens, provide good health care and other basic infrastructure, its leaders should not continue to engage in extravagance.”