Presidency, APC in row over May 29 transition

Alhaji Lai MohammedALL is not well between the transition committees set up by the Presidency and the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government has “bluntly refused to co-operate with us in ensuring a successful transition”, the APC said yesterday in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesman Lai Mohammed.

But the Presidency dismissed the allegation as untrue.

The APC urged President Goodluck Jonathan to rein in his aides who are “overheating the polity with their incautious statements, especially relating to the transition of power”.

Mohammed said “while the 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”.

The party’s strong stand seems to have been provoked by what it called a “provocative and ill-intentioned 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 the party (APC) 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 FG has bluntly refused to cooperate with us in ensuring a successful transition? As we write, the Transition Committee of the FG has yet to hold a single meeting with our own Transition Committee, neither have they 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?”

To the APC, 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”.

“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 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. They say they are in office until May 29th, but pray, 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 long time as we have it now?”

APC said in as much as the Jonathan Administration is bent on provoking the incoming Administration, creating confusion and even sabotaging the transition, the party (APC) has decided not to fall for their antics in the interest of peace.

The party reiterated its earlier advice to the PDP to shake off the trauma of defeat and gear up for the challenging task of being in opposition.

“They must however realise that being in opposition is not a walk in the park but like running a marathon in the desert where there are no oases or shades. The sooner they realise that the better for them,’’ it said.

But the Presidency said Vice President Namadi Sambo has met with the  Chairman of the APC Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda.

It said Joda came for two or three sessions with Sambo. With him was a member of his team, Mallam Muhammad Hayatudeen.

A source in the Presidency, who spoke in confidence last night, said: “It is not true that the Federal Government has refused to cooperate with the APC Transition Committee.

“We have it on record that Vice President Namadi Sambo has met with the Chairman of the APC Transition Committee, Ahmed Joda and another member, Hayatudeen, for about two or three times.

“Maybe Lai Mohammed was not aware of these sessions and he ought to have crosschecked his assumptions before going to the press.”

The source said the government had directed the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, to respond to APC’s allegations.

He said: “The government does not want to dignify APC and its spokesman. Since it was not Joda that accused the government of not cooperating with the APC Transition Committee, we will also limit our response to party level.

“We have asked Metuh to reply APC accordingly so that we can handle the issue at party level.”

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