No cause for alarm over call for interim govt – APC

The All Progressives Congress said on Friday that the debate on alleged attempt to foist an interim government on the country would not disrupt the handover of government to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on May 29.

The Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council and the leadership of the ruling party also dismissed report that the alleged plot had unsettled their camp.

The APC explained that it had played its part by bringing such threat to the knowledge of security agencies, adding that there was no cause for alarm.

National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said there was no reason to fret as long as the law enforcement agents did their job.

He said, “I don’t see how the talks about interim government would disrupt the handover to Asiwaju. The step that the party has taken is to bring the threat to the attention of the security agencies and the public.

“As you can see, the DSS has since begun to look at the actors and the plot going on. Now, that is their responsibility. They have a role to ensure that there is no breach and to ensure that everyone involved will take whatever grievances they have to the court.

“The police, DSS and other law enforcement agencies are within their authorities to ensure there is peace and to defeat any plot by individuals or groups to destabilise the country.”

Challenging the DSS to clamp down on the proponents of interim government, the APC PCC stated that nobody in its camp was nursing fear that the plotters might spring any surprise on or before the May 29 inauguration of the president-elect.

Recall that Tinubu had polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and his counterpart in Labour Party, Peter Obi, who amassed 6,984,520 and 6,101,533 votes respectively.

Both Atiku and Obi at separate press conferences on March 2 however rejected the outcome of the election on the grounds that the poll was rigged.

Speaking to Saturday PUNCH, the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga, debunked speculation that Tinubu’s camp was in disarray over fear that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) would not hand over on May 29.

He said, “Everybody heard the President say he will hand over on May 29 to the winner of the election. All these talks about ING are just a useless debate. It is of no meaning to us because we have the certificate of return and Asiwaju will be sworn in as the 16th president of Nigeria.

“There is nothing anybody can do about that. The Constitution already posits the way to deal with issues arising from an election. If you are not satisfied with the call or the person INEC declared as winner, go to court.

“As we talk, May 29 is not negotiable. It is as certain as the rising of the sun. We have no reason to entertain fear because we know all those things they are saying are mere side talks and beer parlour idea.”

On what he thinks about the LP vice-presidential candidate, Datti Baba-Ahmed’s threat that handing over to Tinubu would connote ‘end of democracy,’ Onanuga described him as lacking leadership trait.

LP reacts

Reacting, the chief spokesman for Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, believed innocent protesters would be the target of the secret police.

Tanko noted that they had already started receiving intelligence on how certain arrests were being made from demonstrations they believed were orchestrated.

He also absolved Baba-Ahmed of blame in his threat that Tinubu would not be sworn in on May 29.

Prosecute plotters – NGF

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors Forum has called on the DSS to arrest and prosecute anyone plotting to install an interim government.

This was part of the NGF resolution during its meeting on Thursday.

In a statement obtained by Saturday PUNCH, the forum said, “On the alleged plot by some unscrupulous elements to install an interim government, as contained in the recent statement issued by the DSS, governors condemned in the strongest terms, any unconstitutional means of regime change and pledged its commitment to continue to defend Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.”

 IPAC faults plan

Meanwhile, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, a coalition of the 18 registered political parties, on Friday raised concerns over plots by unknown persons to scuttle the nation’s democracy over the reported manipulation of the 2023 general elections, saying it would amount to treason and a civilian coup.

The organisation called on the Department of State Services to name, arrest and prosecute the plotters in accordance with the law to serve as a deterrent to others.

The National Chairman of IPAC, Yabaji Sani, told journalists in Abuja that the allegation, if true, was treasonable and a civilian coup.

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