By Ben Agande
Abuja — A disagreement has broken out between the transition committees of outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) as the President accused the Buhari team of acting like a parallel government and trying to stampede the Jonathan administration out of office.
Addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, yesterday, Minister of National Planning who is also a member of the Jonathan Transition Committee, Abubakar Suleiman, said the Buhari transition team was making impossible demands from the government.
Although he did not specify those demands, he however warned that the President’s magnanimity should not be construed as cowardice.
He said: “We did receive from the transition committee of the in-coming government, some terms of reference which we looked at critically and the Federal Executive Council did agree that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains the current President of this country. The in-coming government should avoid creating a parallel government while the government is still on.
“We take exceptions to some utterances to some of the terms of reference that look as if the current government is being stampeded or intimidated.
“Council frowned at most of the statements. Council members are advised to work in line with the terms of reference of the current government.”
Govt cannot be intimidated
According to the minister, after critically examining the terms of reference of the in-coming government, the government resolved that all agencies of government must continue their duties till the end of the regime, adding that government cannot be intimidated.
He said: “This government remains resolute and committed to the various programmes and projects it’s pursuing and the government will continue to do that until the morning of May 29.
“While Council enjoined members to be steadfast, the President also enjoined members to come out with programmes, projects to be commissioned, that needs to be inspected and that members in council should work as government. They should also perform their work without intimidation and that government, especially civil servants, directors, directors-general 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.
Magnanimity should not be taken for cowardice
“The magnanimity of Mr. 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.”
MDAs have submitted hand-over notes
The minister further revealed that most agencies of government have submitted their handing over reports, noting that “as at April 28, almost all the MDAs that were advised to submit briefs, handing over notes have submitted, and these have been 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 and 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.”
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