- We take exceptions to some utterances and some terms of reference that look as if the current government is being stampeded or intimidated. The magnanimity of Mr. President should not be mistaken for cowardice…
Federal Government yesterday accused President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of forming a parallel government when the tenure of President Godluck Jonathan’s administration had not elapsed.
It therefore appealed to Buhari to avoid assuming the role of the sitting President in order not to create confusion in the polity.
The government also reminded the President-elect that President Jonathan remained the number one citizen of the country and won’t be stampeded or intimidated by the incoming administration.
Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, who briefed State House Correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting, said the terms of reference brought by the All Progressives Congress, APC, was not acceptable to the sitting government.
Suleiman said the Council frowned at some of the utterances by APC stalwarts with regards to the ongoing transition, adding that, “I am speaking as member and chairman of sub-committee of transition committee.”
He said the Council discussed the state of the transition programme and “as chairman of sub-committee of transition committee, we were asked to update Council on the progress report.
“We did mention to Council that as at yesterday (28th April), almost all the Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs which were advised to submit briefs and handing over notes have compiled except for one or two ministries.
“The committee is having on ground right now two versions of presentations; we have the executive summaries of all the MDAs handover notes and the entire handover notes from almost all the MDAs.
“The transition process is on course in terms of handover notes and briefs; we have covered almost 80 percent of our assignments.
“We did receive from the incoming government transition committee some terms of reference which we looked at critically. And Council did agree that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains the current President of this country. The incoming government should avoid creating a parallel government while the government is still on.
“We take exceptions to some utterances and some of the terms of reference that look as if the current government is being stampeded or intimidated,” he said.
The minister hinted that the Council therefore mandated government officials to work with the terms of reference of the current government.
He continued: “Council frowned at most of the statements, most of the provisions and Council members are advised to work in line with the terms of reference of the current government.
“Council members also agreed that the terms of reference as formatted by our transition committee should be strictly complied with. When the incoming government takes over power they can come out with their programmes, they can come out with their own agenda, they can decide to come out with policies with the way they feel like.
“This government is remains resolute to the various programmes and projects it’s pursuing and the government will continue to do that until the morning of May 29.
“While Council enjoined members to be steadfast, Mr. President also enjoined members to come out with programmes, projects to be commissioned, that needs to be inspected and Members-in-Council should work as government, should perform their work without intimidation and that government especially civil servants, directors, directors-general should see this government as the current government and not do anything that will rock the boat so as not to put this country in a bad light. These are issues before the transition committee, these are issues that were raised on transition programme.
“I want to tell you that as at yesterday, the chairman of the incoming government transition committee, Mallam Ahmed Joda, conferred with the chairman of the transition committee of the current government, Vice President Namadi Sambo. They had a very robust discussion and they are working together as a family and I want to believe for the good of this country things will work.
“The magnanimity of Mr. President should not be taken to be cowardice and that is why Mr. President and indeed Council members enjoined Nigerians to see the olive branch extended to Nigerians and the international community as a way of keeping this country intact; as a way of ensuring peace in Nigeria and as such whatever the outcome of the election, what is important is Nigeria’s national interest. And that national interest should be protected, enhanced and promoted at whatever level we are” Suleiman said.
Buhari inaugurates transition committee
Meanwhile, Buhari, Nigeria’s President-elect, has inaugurated his transition committee to interface with the Federal Government Committee for the proper handover on May 29.
Inaugurating the committee headed by Mallam Ahmed Joda in Abuja, yesterday, Buhari charged the members to watch out for essentials and facts and shun witch- hunting.
Other members of the committee are Doyon Salami, Adamu Adamu, Wale Edun, Bola Adesola, Festus Odimegwu, Nike Aboderin, John Odigie-Oyegun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Audu Ogbe, Boss Mustapha and Hadi Sirika.
Also in the Committee are Ogbonaya Onu, Abubakar Malami, Lawal Jafaru Isah, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Solomon Dalung and Prof. Tam David-West and Lai Mohammed.
In his speech, Buhari said: “The change from one government to another always involves complicated operational challenges and we all know that government is a continuum but the incoming government needs to know where the previous government stopped so that it can know where to continue. Luckily, you are all men and women of competence and experience in different fields so that this assignment, though onerous, is well within your ability to accomplish; you are enquired to assess the information provided to you and advise me on its quality and accuracy.
“It is a simple matter but you must have the right information if you are to shape appropriate policy decisions. Needless to repeat that your committee and our government are not on a witch-hunt or engage in fault-finding. We want the facts and nothing but the facts, what has been done cannot be undone, our job is to learn from the mistakes of the past in an attempt to avoid similar errors.
“The time given for you to complete your assignment, two weeks, is short but because of the postponement of the election for six weeks from February 14 to March 28, the transition period has been truncated, we are obliged therefore to fast-track steps to May 29.
“Your job is to make sure that you do not overlook essentials,” he said.
In his response, Joda congratulated Buhari for considering him and other members of the committee worthy of the assignment.
“I should say and begin by expressing our joint appreciation of your commissioning of us to be worthy sons and daughters of Nigeria that will help prepare the ground for your government to take over smoothly on May 29, 2015.
“We as your committee are determined to do the best we can within the time that is allowed to accomplish your wishes and to make it possible for you to achieve your vision and all that you wish to make your country and our country.
“When I met you and you briefed me about this assignment, about the composition of the committee, I did observe that I’ve never served on a committee so weighty like this. I have people who are distinguished in their professions, who have their own enterprises and have their own businesses to look after and even serving governors and people in active service to the service of your incoming government and to the service of our motherland.
“We were able to meet yesterday for the first time to know one another and to plan the schedule of our activities over the course of the next two weeks and I observed that these are dedicated men and women prepared to work long hours even on Saturdays and Sunday to sacrifice for the country,” he said.