John Alechenu and Adelani Adepegba
President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has accused the outgoing Goodluck Jonathan government of not giving him “tips” on how to kick-start his administration on May 29.
He spoke on Thursday when a committee from the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, presented a five-point policy document to him at the Buhari Support Organisation office in Abuja.
Hours before the event which held behind closed doors, the All Progressives Congress, insisted that the Federal Government was not cooperating with the transition committee set up by the President-elect.
“Buhari regretted that the outgoing government that is supposed to give him tips on how to take off has done nothing so far,” Garba Shehu, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, told journalists after the presentation by the committee.
Shehu added that the President-elect “thanked the Obasanjo initiative for the gesture, assuring the committee that his incoming administration will be needing advice as time goes on.”
Areas covered by committee in the document include the economy, security, power, education and infrastructure.
He said that Obasanjo had set up a think tank to carry out a study on the challenges facing the country in the five key areas.
The study, he added, was started four months ago “so that the outcome will be made available to the incoming administration after the election.”
He also revealed that Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, who headed the power committee, gave various stages of the proposed power sector development plan to include short-term, medium-term, long-term solutions.
Under the short-term solution, the plan seeks to raise the country’s power generation to 10,000 MW within a very short period of time.
He added that the president-elect described the intervention of Obasanjo and his team as a great impetus for the incoming government.
The vice-chairman of the committee, who is a former Minister of Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, said, “We have looked at education, security, economy, power and Infrastructure. Those are the areas we have made recommendations and which we hope the new administration would be able to work on.”
He further explained that the president-elect was very happy that they had been thinking about how to help him hit the ground running.
The Chairman of the centre’s governing board, Akin Mabogunje. who also spoke to journalists after the event, said the committee had been working on a number of critical issues for the development of the country.
According to him, a delegation of the committee members involved in the preparation of the policy document was sent to present the report to the President-elect.
Earlier on Thursday , the APC described as untrue, a statement credited to the spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Oliseh Metuh, that the Jonathan administration was cooperating with the transition committee constituted by the President-elect.
It also described Metuh in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, as a man with “an incurable disdain for truth.”
The PDP spokesman had in the said statement accused the APC of raising a false alarm over happenings within the Jonathan and the Buhari transition committees.
However, Mohammed insisted that the uncooperative attitude of the Jonathan team had continued despite its public posturing.
The APC statement Read, “We say with all sense of responsibility that as of today, May 14, 2015, just about two weeks to the May 29 handover date, no shred of information as to the status of governance from any ministry, department or agency of government has been given to our transition committee.”
“If that qualifies, in Metuh’s lexicon, as cooperation, then there is a problem somewhere. We dare Metuh or anyone for that matter, to controvert the fact that not a line of handover note has been handed over to our transition committee.”
The APC also restated its earlier call to Metuh to urgently undertake a course on how to be an opposition party spokesman so that he would not talk or write himself into avoidable troubles in the days ahead.
It equally admonished him to always verify information available to him in order to separate rumours from facts.
The statement further read, “Metuh decided to put his foot in his mouth when he latched on to the statement made by our Transition Committee Chairman, forgetting that in making his statement, the chairman was only advising him against anything that would put the Federal Government in a bad light.
“A discerning party spokesman, rather than a rabble-rousing one, would have understood the elder statesman’s stand for what it is instead of using it as a peg to issue a needless, hollow statement that puts his party and government in a bad light.”
The APC said it had decided to allow bygones be bygones, but now that Metuh had stirred the hornet’s nest, it was time to put out the facts for Nigerians to judge.
It added, “What happened was that, following the request by our transition committee to meet with them, they invited us to what was the first formal meeting between both transition committees.
“But the meeting was a mere photo-op, as it yielded nothing concrete as far as handover notes are concerned.
“In fact, what we met at the so-called meeting was far worse than what we had thought. Whereas we had hoped to get their handover notes on May 14th (the date they had indicated to us informally), they told us point blank that the notes won’t be ready until May 24th.
“Because this date falls on a Sunday that means we won’t be getting the handover notes until May 25th, just four days before the May 29th handover date.
“How do they honestly expect us to peruse thousands of pages of handover notes, ask pertinent questions and seek necessary clarifications within four days? Because we want a smooth transition, we asked if we could meet with some of the ministers pending the release of the handover notes, but they said no.
“When one of their members even suggested that the whole process be fast-tracked, they did not budge.
“Despite this setback, we decided not to put the whole issue in the public domain, until the babbling Metuh decided to look for trouble, describing the deliberate stonewalling by the Jonathan Administration as cooperation.”
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