President Goodluck Jonathan, said on Sunday in Abuja, that it was treasonable for anybody to insinuate the possibility of an interim government, stressing that it was also unconstitutional.
Jonathan, in a goodwill message at the opening of the Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), said that he was convinced that Nigeria would remain stable.
The president said that at the risk of being accused of campaigning in a church, that he must give clarification to the worrying issue of interim government.
“Interim government is not known to the Nigerian constitution, as a nation, we don’t have a constitutional court, we only have a Supreme Court; I don’t have powers to redefine our constitution.
“There is no way Goodluck Jonathan who was elected by the people with a clear mandate will now go and head an interim government without a mandate.
“The only interim government that anybody can contemplate is a military government which of course will not be accepted.
“ECOWAS will not accept it that is why we forced Burkina Faso to take the decision they took; AU will not accept it, the UN will not accept it and Nigerians will not in this present generation accept it.
“So any insinuation about interim government is treasonable and people should not talk about it.
“Elections will be conducted as scheduled by INEC,” he said.
Jonathan noted that Nigeria has had its unfair share of insecurity which also led to the postponement of the election but there was no going back on the new dates.
Jonathan, who expressed worry over the kind of media reports, especially by the social media, stressed that the nation must remain stable.
“ The kind of statements we read in the media especially in the social media, sometimes you begin to get worried; is Nigeria going up in flames?
“But I am convinced that this country will continue to be stable,” he said.
He recalled that the elections were postponed due to issues of insecurity and reaffirmed his commitment to the new dates.
On the attack on Gombe State on Feb. 14, the former date of the election, Jonathan expressed concern that the election could have been disrupted had it held on the day.
He, however, assured that before the new dates fixed for the elections, insecurity would have been stemmed to allow for a peaceful, free, fair and undisrupted exercise.
“Probably if INEC had gone ahead to conduct the elections, there would have been a major crisis in the North-East.
“It is better for us to conduct elections that are free and fair; elections that are credible, elections that will not be interrupted and there will be no crisis.
“I am pleased with what is happening in the North-East now; I am convinced that before March 28, this country will be in a position that no criminal element will disrupt our elections.
“I will not in any way because of my own personal interest, do anything that will jeopardise the interest of our nation as a whole; Nigeria is bigger than anybody.
“There is no office that is more important than the unity of this country,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to Catholics, all Christians and other religious groups for their fervent prayers for Nigeria.
Great pronouncement by President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. We must give credit to our Nigerian Leadership when credit is due and constructively make criticism of their behavior or utterance when necessary. We all love Nigeria and wish our country well.
Prof. Frank Ositadinma Onukwuli