By Ibidapo Balogun
The President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated its 19-man Transition Committee headed by former Super Permanent Secretary Ahmed Joda, the federal government expressed rage at the terms of reference of the Transition Committee of the Buhari committee and warned that it would not accept any form of stampede or intimidation.
It warned the incoming government to avoid creating a parallel government while the Jonathan administration is still on as it marches towards the May 29 hand over date.
Buhari had charged the Transition Committee to liaise with its Federal Government counterpart to ensure a smooth transition.
Terms of Reference of Buhari’s Transition Committee
A statement issued in Abuja by the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Committee (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the terms of reference of the committee included to develop a clear framework for liaison with the out-going Administration for purposes of a smooth hand-over/take-over and to receive hand-over documents from Ministries, Departments and Agencies and itemise the most important or most urgent issues confronting the in-coming government.
It said the committee is also saddled with reviewing and making preliminary assessment of the balance sheet of government with particular emphasis on the status of assets and liabilities of government; cash flow position of the government; quantum of public domestic and external debt of government and their deployment; government’s out-standing contractual obligations and its ability to meet such obligations and the status of implementation of capital projects.
The committee is also expected to undertake a preliminary assessment of the security challenges facing the country and the counter-insurgency measures taken by the government thus far; the counter policy measures being implemented in the Niger Delta to deal with unrest and major economic crimes in the area. In particular, the status of the Amnesty Programme, the readiness of the Police and other national security and intelligence agencies in addressing threats to law and order and provide a brief over-view of CBN, NNPC, NCC, Customs and FIRS.
Other terms of reference of the committee include to suggest “quick fixes” which will result in tangible, visible and practical measures so that CHANGE will be seen after 30 days, after 100 days, after 6 months of the Administration taking office, and to make any other observations which in view of the Committee would be helpful to the transition and take-off of the new Administration.
The committee has two weeks to conclude its work.
Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja on Wednesday, the President-elect charged the committee to ”assess the information provided to you and advise me on its quality and accuracy. It is a simple matter that you must have the right information if you are to shape appropriate policy decisions.
”Needless to repeat, that your Committee – and indeed our Government – are not on a witch-hunt or engaged in fault-finding. 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 and attempt to avoid similar.”
Full list of Buhari’s Transition Committee Members
Mal. Ahmed Joda – Chairman, Dr Doyin Salami – Vice-Chairman Mr Boss Mustapha, Mal. Muhammad Hayatuddin, Alh. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Brig. Gen. Lawal Jafaru Isa, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Sen. Audu Ogbeh, Barrister Dalong, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Mr Wale Edun, Mrs Nike Aboderin, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Mr Festus Odimegwu, Chief John Oyegun, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi, Dr Tam David West, Alh.Lai Mohammedand Malam Adamu Adamu – Secretary.
‘Don’t Take Jonathan’s Magnanimity for Cowardice’
But the Federal Government advised the Buhari’s team not to take the magnanimity of President Jonathan for cowardice.
Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Suleiman, who said the issue of the transition programme dominated the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, disclosed that the President and members took exceptions to some utterances and some parts of the terms of reference of the incoming government that tend to look as if the current government was being stampeded or intimidated.
He said: “We did receive from in-coming government’s transition committee some terms of reference which we looked at critically. And Council did agree that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains the head of the current government of this country. The incoming 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, most of the provisions and council members are advised to work in line with the terms of reference of the current government.
“Council members are also advised 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 the way they feel like.
“This government remains resolute to the various programmes and projects it’s pursuing and the government will continue to do that until morning of May 29th.
“While Council enjoined members to be steadfast, Mr. President also enjoined members to come out with programmes, projects to be commissioned, projects that need to be inspected. And members in council should work as government, they should 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. These are issues before the transition committee, these are are issues that were raised on transition programme”.
“I want to tell you that as at yesterday (Tuesday), the chairman of the incoming transition committee, Mallam Ahmed Joda, conferred with the chairman of the transition committee of the current government, Vice President Namadi Sambo, they had a very robust discussion and they are working together as a family and I want to believe for the good of this country things will work.
“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,” he said