With barely 22 days to the May 28 handover date, the transition committee set up by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan has yet to meet its counterpart, set up by the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
This is even as it has come to light that the handover notes, which the Buhari team is to study and ask questionson, are not yet ready. It was gathered in Abuja on Thursday that the bickering between the two teams over terms of reference of the Ahmed Joda-led Buhari Transition Committee is largely responsible for the stalemate. The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, confirmed this in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja. Mohammed, who is a member of the Buhari Transition Committee, explained that while the Jonathan Inauguration Committee had been meeting with its counterpart in the Buhari team, “its transitional committee has yet to even meet with ours.” The APC spokesman also chided the Political Adviser to President Jonathan for attacking the APC over the issue. It described as provocative and ill-intentioned the 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) was 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 Peoples Democratic Party-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 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 and 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 statement also said, ‘’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 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?” The APC also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to caution his aides against overheating the polity with their incautious statements, especially relating to the transition of power. The party 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 APC wondered if it is part of the transition mode of the Jonathan administration that the 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?’’ It queried. The 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 realize that, the better for them,’’ the party added.