The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adokie, has reacted to the insinuation that the Presidency plans to constitute an interim national government if the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari, wins the forthcoming elections.
Mr. Adokie said an interim government was alien to the Nigerian constitution.
There has been widespread speculation across Nigeria that the Presidency has concluded plans to constitute an interim government rather than hand over to Mr. Buhari should President Goodluck Jonathan lose in the presidential poll.
However, Mr. Jonathan has repeatedly said the May 29 handover date is sacrosanct.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Adokie said interim government is not a “viable solution” to Nigeria’s challenges, citing its unconstitutionality.
The statement reads, “My attention has been drawn to recent calls in the media by some Nigerians for the constitution of an Interim National Government to ostensibly mid-wife the 2015 General elections to usher in a new democratic Government.
“While I recognize and appreciate the inalienable right of Nigerians to freely express themselves and proffer solutions to perceived national challenges, I amdeeply concerned that some undiscerning Nigerians are being unwittingly led to believe that a certain prescription, which is totally alien to the Constitution, can be adopted as viable solution to our national challenges.”
He maintained that the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria did not envisage interim national government, adding that it was imperative to ensure citizens are not misled.
“It has therefore become necessary to correct this misconception and refocus the citizenry on the path of constitutionalism and democratic tenets consistent with our quest for democratic consolidation in Nigeria. For avoidance of doubt, it is pertinent to state that the framers of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 did not envisage the constitution of Interim National Government to superintend over the affairs of Government. It is therefore not surprising to observe that no provision for Interim National Government was made in the Constitution
“The contraption called “Interim National Government” is therefore alien to Nigeria’s constitutional framework and the arrangement should not be promoted by well–meaning Nigerians under any guise or circumstance. Nigerians are therefore enjoined to continue to rely on the Constitution, which contains adequate provisions on how the democratic process can be activated to elect their leaders from time to time.”