Transition: Jonathan warns Buhari against forming parallel govt
The Federal Government has warned the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), against utterances and actions capable of portraying him as running a parallel government at a time President Goodluck Jonathan is still fully in charge.
Specifically, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its weekly meeting on Wednesday raised an objection to some terms of reference tabled before it by the transition committee of the incoming All Progressive Congress (APC) government.
Minister of National Planning, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman and his Information counterpart, Mrs Patricia Akwashiki who briefed journalists after the FEC meeting presided over by the president said council cautioned that Jonathan's magnanimity should not be interpreted to mean he is a coward.
Suleiman noted that in opposing the terms of reference of the incoming government's transition committee, FEC advised its members to comply strictly with 'the terms of reference as formatted by our (federal government's) transition committee'.
According to him, FEC observed that the terms of reference of the incoming government's inauguration committee looked as if the outgoing Jonathan's government was being intimidated.
Stating that council warned against parallel government, he said, 'We did receive from in-coming government transition committee some terms of reference which we looked at critically. And â€Žcouncil did agree that the Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan government 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 of some of the terms of reference that look as if the current government is being stampeded or intimidated.
'Council frowned at â€Žmost of the statements and most of them mm l provisions and council members are advised to work in line with the terms of reference of the current government'.
Noting that Jonathan should not be seen as a coward, the minister said, 'The magnanimity of â€ŽMr. 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.
'When the incoming government takes over government they can come out with their programmes, they can come out with their own â€Žagenda, they can decide to come out with policies the way they feel like.
'This government remains resolute to the various programmes and projects â€Žit is pursuing and the government will continue to do that until morning of May 29th'.
'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, 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.
'â€ŽThese are issues before the transition committee, these are issues that were raised on transition programme'.
The minister said FEC further discussed the state of the transition programme and as chairman of sub-committee of transition committee, he and others were asked to update council on the progress report.
He said, 'We did mention to council that as at yesterday 28th April, almost all the MDAs that â€Žwere 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 â€Žand 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.
'I want to tell you that as at yesterday, the chairman of the incoming transition committee Mallam Ahmed Jodaâ€Ž 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'.