The transition committees of President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect, are squabbling over which terms of reference to use in handing over to the incoming government with the president warning against creating a parallel government
By Maureen Chigbo /-April 29, [email protected]/
TRANSITION committees of President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, president-elect are at daggers drawn over the terms of reference to use in handing over to the incoming administration. The two committees had their own terms of reference given to them by the president and the president-elect. The committee from the Jonathan’s side want to use their own term of reference to handover while the Buhari team are insisting that the president’s team should use their own term of reference.
The fuse blew open after the federal executive council meeting where the incumbent cabinet resolved to use their own term of reference as the ruling government.
Abubakar Suleiman, minister of national planning, told journalists after the weekly meeting on April 29, that the terms of reference brought by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the ongoing transition process was not acceptable to the sitting government, adding that the council frowned at some of the utterances made by chieftains of the APC on issues relating to the transition programme.
“I am speaking as member and chairman of sub-committee of transition committee. 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 April 28, almost all the MDAs that were advised to submit briefs, 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 hand over notes and the entire hand over notes from almost all the MDAs. The transition process is on course in terms of hand over notes and briefs; we have covered almost 80 per cent of our assignments,” he said.
“We did receive from in-coming government the transition committee some terms of reference which we looked at critically. And council did agree that the Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains the current government 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 said the council mandated government officials to work with the terms of reference of the current government adding that the “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.”
He said that 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 government 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 remains resolute to the various programmes and projects it’s pursuing and the government will continue to do that until morning of May 29th,” he said.
While Council enjoined members to be steadfast, he said that the 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, director generals 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.
He said that yesterday, Ahmed Joda, chairman of the incoming transition committee, conferred with the chairman of the transition committee of the current government, Vice President Namadi Sambo, and that they had a very robust discussion and were working together as a family, adding: “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 Nigerian people to see the olive branch extended to Nigerians and 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,” the minister said.
– April 29, [email protected]/