PRESIDENCY TO GOVERNORS-ELECT
The Federal Government yesterday warned newly-elected governors against issuing orders seeking to countermand the directives of the incumbent whose tenures are yet to elapse. The warning came Monday through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), who was reacting to statements credited to some governors-elect who had ordered banks to freeze the accounts of their states.
In a statement signed by the ministry's Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ambrose Momoh, the AGF said government views such action as illegal and capable of heating up the polity.
It reads: 'Government's attention has been drawn to recent pronouncement and declarations by some newly-elected officials that are not only contrary to the letters and spirit of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, but also capable of impacting negatively on the smooth running of government business in the affected states.
'Most worrisome are statements credited to some governors-elect to the effect that the accounts of the states where they won elections should be frozen until they are sworn into office. In some instances, some governors-elect have sought to countermand the directives of incumbent governors whose tenures are yet to elapse.
'We wish to state that such actions are clearly illegal and capable of engendering the breakdown of law and order and political instability in the affected states, a situation that would no doubt impact negatively on governance and smooth conduct of government business. We therefore, condemn such actions and respectfully advise all concerned to exercise restraint and allow the tenure of incumbent office holders to come to an end in accordance with the dictates of the Constitution.
'This is moreso as the incumbent officials (Governors ) are the only persons constitutionally recognized to govern and/or administer their respective states. It should be appreciated that the mandate given to new governors-elect at the last general elections will not take effect until their inauguration on May 29, 2011. Until the inauguration, no person or authority can lawfully impede the administration of incumbent state governors and this should be respected by all and sundry in order to protect our democracy'.