All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Jonathan administration of plotting to hinder a smooth handover of power on May 29, following what it termed ‘Jonathan administration’s failure to cooperate with the incoming government, despite its public posturing in that regard.’
In a statement issued in Abuja, Thursday by APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also described as ‘an act of hostility and a patently-misplaced aggression,’ the grouse by the Jonathan government over the incoming Buhari Administration Transition Committee’s terms of reference.
The APC said this was ‘in reality part of an orchestrated plot to sabotage the transition’ by the Jonathan administration, thus rejecting what it described as ‘the continued blackmail by the Jonathan Administration as a result of President Jonathan’s concession of defeat, wondering whether the concession, gracious as it was, has now become a shield for all wrong doings.’
”We are sick and tired of being blackmailed by the Jonathanians. Gen. Buhari won the March 28 Presidential Elections fair and square, having satisfied both constitutional and other statutory requirements. We
have no apology for our victory, and the concession of defeat – while it may have increased the political stock of President Jonathan – has by no means diminished the historic and emphatic victory of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress,” APC said.
Justifying its statement that the Jonathan Administration is plotting to hinder a smooth transition of power, the party said while the outgoing government had earlier issued a memo to all ministries, departments and agencies to make sure their handover notes are ready by April 20, the APC accused the Jonathan government of reversing itself by claiming that the handover notes will not be ready until May 14.
”With the new date, the Buhari Transition Committee will have little or no time to take a thorough look at the handover notes or seek clarification on knotty issues, effectively handing it (Buhari Transition Committee) a fait accompli as far as the handover notes are concerned. This does not augur well for a smooth transition and gives the impression that the outgoing Administration is trying to hide something.
”By its dillydallying on the date for the readiness of the handover notes from the MDAs, the administration’s posturing that it is ready to hand over has been exposed as nothing but a smokescreen,” it said.
APC therefore, described as ‘illogical and strange’ the claim by the Jonathan Administration that the President-elect is trying to set up a parallel government simply because he has set up his own Transition Committee and given it terms of reference meant to guide the members on the discharge of their duties as members of that committee.
”In case the Federal Executive Council has forgotten, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress was declared the winner of the March 28 Presidential Election by INEC. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari is therefore today the President-elect and the All Progressives Congress, the incoming government. It is therefore illogical to accuse the President-elect and the incoming government of setting up a parallel government.
”It is either the outgoing Federal Executive Council has something to hide or is bent on sabotaging the incoming government. There can be no other reasons for the misplaced aggression that was exhibited in that ill-intentioned, unprovoked and vitriolic statement from the Jonathan government,” the party said.
It said that in order to put the matter beyond doubt, the party has decided to publish in full the terms of reference in question so that Nigerians can judge for themselves whether there is anything suggestive of intimidation or running a parallel government in the document.
“Are they now saying that because the President conceded defeat, the incoming administration can no longer ask legitimate questions or seek clarifications that may arise from the handover notes.
”We will not surrender to any blackmail, subtle or otherwise. We shall ask questions and ask for explanations and clarifications whenever and wherever we deem such necessary. We cannot run a transparently honest government or fight corruption if we are prevented from asking legitimate questions and seeking clarifications from the outgoing government during the transition process. Let the Jonathan Administration not tie our hands behind our back just because he conceded defeat after losing an election,” the party said.
The controversial terms of reference of the Buhari Transition Committee include: To develop a clear framework for liaison with the out-going administration for purposes of a smooth hand-over/take-over; To receive hand-over documents from Ministries, Departments and Agencies and itemise the most important or most urgent issues confronting the in-coming government;. To review and make preliminary assessment of the balance sheet of government with particular emphasis on the following;
The status of assets and liabilities of government; Cash flow position of the government; Quantum of public domestic and external debt of government and their deployment; Government’s out-standing contractual obligations and its ability to meet such obligations; Status of implementation of capital projects; Under-take a preliminary assessment of the security challenges facing the country and the Counter-insurgency measures taken by the government thus far; Counter policy measures being implemented in the Niger Delta to deal with unrest and major economic crimes in the area. In particular, the status of the Amnesty Programme; Readiness of the Police and other national security and intelligence agencies in addressing threats to law and order
Other terms are: Provide a brief over-view of CBN, NNPC, NCC, Customs and FIRS; Suggest “quick fixes” which will result in tangible, visible and practical measures so that CHANGE will be seen after 30 days, after100 days, after 6 months of the Administration taking office; Make any other observations which in view of the Committee would be helpful to the transition and take-off of the new Administration; and finally Report back to the President-elect in two weeks.