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Saturday, April 18, 2015

APC rejects May 28 handover date

President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) | credits: dailypost.ng
There are indications that the All Progressives Congress is uncomfortable with the May 28 handover date proposed by the out-going administration.

Investigation by Saturday PUNCH revealed that the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) are set to clash over a proposal by the Jonathan team to hand over the mantle of leadership to Buhari on May the 28th, instead of the 29th.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the Buhari team was already over what they considered as an act of ill-will laced with sinister motives.

This is sequel to an announcement by the Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, that President Jonathan would perform the handover ceremony at a dinner on May 28.

Akwashiki made the announcement after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting.

She told journalists, “By May 28, the President intends to have the formal handover done at a dinner so that we can reserve May 29 for the incoming government.”

However, since the return of democracy in 1999, the traditional date for the handover of power has been May 29, which is also observed as Democracy Day.

This tradition has been the vogue for the past 16 years. It also presents an opportunity for the outgoing President to formally present the instrument of authority to his successor in the full glare of members of the public, local and international media, as well as foreign dignitaries.

A top member of the All Progressives Congress, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media said, “It is simply not acceptable, we are rejecting it, it is a trap.”

He explained that from a security point of view, it could be considered a trap.

“How can anyone explain a situation where an outgoing president and his team will conveniently excuse themselves from an event where they are supposed to play a role when the President-elect and the Vice-President- elect are supposed to be present?” he queried.

According to the party chieftain, power abhors a vacuum as such, the constitution does not envisage a situation where Nigeria will be without a sitting President even for one hour.

He said, “If Jonathan hands over on the 28th, who accounts for the hours before the morning of the 29th when the Chief Justice of the Federation is to administer the oath of office and the oath of allegiance?

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