All Progressive Congress, APC, has come down add on President Goodluck Jonathan over what it called his engagement “in a rash of feverish last-minute appointments that, though may not have breached any known law, are patently in bad faith, morally repugnant and indecorous.”
The party also urged the President to stop his aides from overheating the polity with their incautious statements, especially relating to the transition of power.
APC, in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said while the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, may be deeply traumatised by its loss in the last general elections – and the party itself has said it is indeed suffering from ‘post-election (defeat) trauma’ – that should not be a reason for it to disrupt the nation’s peace by displaying crab mentality.
Describing as provocative and ill-intentioned a statement credited to the special adviser to the President on political affairs, Prof. Rufai Alkali, that the APC should talk less and plan more for the nation, and that it is seeking to stampede the President out of office, Mohammed said: “Prof. Alkali doesn’t know what he is saying. How does he expect us to plan when the PDP-led Federal Government has bluntly refused to cooperate with us in ensuring a successful transition?
“As we write, the Transition Committee of the Federal Government has yet to hold a single meeting with our own Transition Committee, neither has it given us a line of handover note.
“As a matter of fact, the Jonathan administration has said the handover notes will not be ready until the third week of May, meaning just a week before the handover. What time then do we have to scrutinise the handover notes? How can we plan when we don’t even know which projects they have, which ones they have completed and which ones are outstanding? How can we plan when we don’t even know how many barrels of oil are sold per day?”
The APC said the fact that Prof. Alkali does not know the difference between Inauguration Committee and Transition Committee is a reflection of mediocrity that permeates the Jonathan administration and led to its downfall.
It said: “While their Inauguration Committee has been meeting with ours, their Transitional Committee has yet to even meet with ours. How then can Prof. Alkali justify his statement that the Jonathan administration has been in a ‘transition mode’?
“Is it part of their transition mode that President Jonathan has been engaged in feverish last-minute appointments? They say they are in office until May 29, but are appointments the only function of a government? Are there no problems crying for attention, such as the intractable fuel scarcity, the worsening power situation, the grounded economy and the missing Chibok girls?
“Is it part of their transition mode that Jonathan’s Minister of Power has virtually been reading the riot act to the incoming government, condescendingly warning it not to even consider reversing the power sector privatisation because its gains are ‘very obvious’?
“Do they understand the implication of their gratuitous and unsolicited advice? If their power sector reforms have been so successful, would Nigeria’s power situation have hit perhaps its lowest point in a long time as we have it now?”
Mohammed averred that as much as the Jonathan administration is bent on provoking the incoming administration, creating confusion and even sabotaging the transition, the APC has decided not to fall for its antics in the interest of peace, reiterating its earlier advice to the PDP to shake off the trauma of defeat and gear up for the challenging task of being in opposition.
He said: “It must however realise that being in opposition is not a walk in the park but that it is like running a marathon in a desert where there are no oases or shades. The sooner it realises that the better for it.”
Meanwhile, President Jonathan has urged the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to ensure the completion of all projects which the present administration may not be able to complete before the May 29 handover date.
Jonathan spoke yesterday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory when he inspected three major ongoing projects in the city to ascertain their level of completion.
The projects are the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Way, popularly called Airport Road, Kubwa Outer Northern Expressway (KONEX) and the Abuja light rail.
He recalled that contract for the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway was awarded in May 2009, adding that there is a 30-kilometre telecommunication infrastructure on it.
While he revealed that the road is now at 98 per cent completion, the President urged the incoming administration to ensure its completion especially because it serves as a gateway to the city.
“It is the plan of this government to replicate this in all the state capitals. I hope the new government will replicate it in other state capitals,” he said.
Jonathan also lauded the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed for the effective supervision of the projects.
Earlier, the minister in his remarks had said the roads have reduced traffic gridlock in the territory. He, however, pointed out that there is still an outstanding bill of between N5 billion and N15 billion to be settled.
While inspecting the light rail project at Idu, Director of Transport, FCT Transport Secretariat, Alex Usuma, revealed that the official date of its completion remains December, 2015. He added that the project is already 61 per cent completed.
According to him the administration is working on lot 1A and3 presently. He revealed that the starting point of the rail service is where the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation mega station is cited.