The Federal Government on Wednesday warned against actions that are capable of portraying the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), as running a parallel government at a time President Goodluck Jonathan is still fully in charge.
Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, disclosed this at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Jonathan.
Buhari, it would be recalled, had inaugurated a 19-man Ahmed Joda-led transition committee in Abuja, yesterday.
Sulaiman told State House correspondents that the council considered the state of the transition programme and took exception to some utterances and terms of reference of the transition committee set up by Buhari.
The minister, who is the chairman of the Technical Subcommittee of the outgoing government’s transition committee, said the council noted that such actions were suggesting that the current government was either being stampeded or being intimidated.
“We did receive from the incoming government’s transition committee some terms of reference which we looked at critically and council did agree that. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains the current head of government of this country.
“The incoming government should avoid creating a parallel government while the government is still on.
“We take exception to some utterances and some of the terms of reference that look as if the current government is being stampeded or intimidated.
“Council frowned on most of the statements, most of the provocations and council members are advised to work in line with the terms of reference of the current government.
“Council members were also told that the terms of reference as formatted by our transition committee should be strictly complied with.
“When the incoming government takes over government, they can come out with their programmes, they can come out with their own agenda, they can decide to come out with policies in the way they feel like.
“This government remains resolute to the various programmes and projects it is pursuing and the government will continue to do that until the morning of May 29.”
When he was asked to mention some of the terms of reference of the incoming government’s transition committee that the outgoing government was not comfortable with, Sulaiman asked journalists to go and do their investigation.
He warned that Jonathan’s magnanimity should not be taken as a sign of cowardice.
“The magnanimity of Mr. President should not be taken to be cowardice. That is why Mr. President and indeed council members enjoined Nigerians to see the olive branch extended to Nigerians and the international community as a way of keeping this country intact and as a way of ensuring peace in Nigeria.
“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.
During the inauguration of the committee, Buhari tasked members not to engage in a witch-hunt or faultfinding.
He announced that his administration would not witch-hunt anybody because he was aware that government is continuum.
Buhari told committee members, “this assignment though onerous, is well within your ability to accomplish. You are required to assess the information provided to you and advise me on its quality and accuracy.
“It is a simple matter but you must have the right information if you are to shape appropriate policy decisions. Needless to repeat; that your committee and our government are not to witch-hunt or engage in faultfinding.
“We want the facts and nothing but the facts, what has been done cannot be undone, our job is to learn from the mistakes of the past in an attempt to avoid similar errors.”
Members of the committee are: Ahmed Joda, Dr. Doyin Salami, Adamu Adamu,Wale Edun, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Dr. Festus Odimegwu and Mrs. Nike Aboderin and the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Oyegun.
Others are: Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Boss Mustapha, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, Alh. Abubakar Malami, Gen. Lawal Jafar Isa, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Solomon Dalong, Prof. Tam David West and the national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.