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Mark Declares Interim Government Unconstitutional As Tambuwal Warns Against Inflammatory Utterances

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Senator David Mark, Nigeria's Senate President has declared that there is no provision for an Interim National Government (ING) in the Nigerian Constitution and therefore distanced the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the federal government from reports that it plans to extend the tenure of the current administration under the guise of an ING.

“This is time for us to be true statesmen and women both in words and deeds. I am alarmed that the issue of Interim National Government has been given undeserved prominence in our national discourse. Interim National Government is alien to the 1999 Constitution (as Amended). Therefore those calling for ING are pushing for an exercise in futility,” Mark said during his opening address to senators at the resumption of the Senate, Tuesday after a month-long break for the now rescheduled February 14, 2015 election.

THEWILL can report that Nigerians are deeply divided over INEC's late decision to postpone the general elections citing a security advise from the military.

Mark acknowledged the division when he said “There is palpable tension in the land and the comments and even the body language of the political class further exacerbates the tension.

As statesmen and women, we must rise to the occasion and help reduce tension. We must refrain from acts or statements that will aggravate this already charged atmosphere across the country. We owe it a duty to our countrymen and women to give INEC all the support it needs to conduct a free, fair, transparent and credible election.

“It is important to note that on the 29th of May, 2015, a democratic government elected through a free, fair, transparent and credible election will be sworn-in.”

Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal has warned the political class against utterances that he said could truncate the nation's democracy while urging Nigerians to resist anti-democratic forces determined to destroy the democratic process.

Tambuwal spoke during his welcome back address to members of the House of Representatives.

“Recent inflammatory utterances by some Nigerians which are inimical to our unity, peace and public order give cause for serious concern and I am persuaded that the nonchalance or at best reluctance of the security agencies in resorting to the laws of the land in arresting the trend constitute a direct affront on the revered doctrine of the rule of law.

“Nigerians have never needed intimidation or threats from any quarters to vote candidates at elections and they surely do not need any now. Our Constitution makes elaborate provisions for the rights and liberties of all citizens and therefore when certain misguided individuals or groups seek to unlawfully curtail these rights and liberties, the appropriate agencies of state must rise as a bulwark against such infractions,” Tambuwal said.

While commending the military over its role in the fight against the Boko Haram and sustenance of democracy, Tambuwal urged the federal government to restore public confidence in the electoral process as well as guaranty credible elections on May 28 and April 11.

“Honourable Colleagues, last week the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the abrupt postponement of the General Elections earlier scheduled for the 14th and 28th of February 2015 respectively. Expectedly public reaction to this unfortunate development has been spontaneous, intense and varied. The preponderance of opinion is that the postponement was ill timed, the blame on security concerns notwithstanding. This singular act has inflicted an indelible dent on the integrity of the 2015 Elections and indeed the country's entire electoral process. Government owes Nigerians a duty to make deliberate and honest efforts to restore public confidence in the process and in it's commitment to free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections.

“On behalf of the House of Representatives I wish to commend the political parties, civil society, the International Community and indeed all Nigerians for the maturity employed in handling this unfortunate development. May I appeal to all Nigerians to sustain the spirit and zeal so that on the rescheduled dates, they will go out en mass and exercise their civic responsibility of casting their votes for candidates of their choice without let or hindrance.”