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Nigerians were on Wednesday urged to be vigilant and resist perceived moves to foist an interim government on the nation.....
Nigerians were on Wednesday urged to be vigilant and resist perceived moves to foist an interim government on the nation at the end of the tenure of this regime on May 29, 2007.
The Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, which made the call, condemned the growing campaign for the adhoc arrangement by "anti-democratic forces," saying it would plunge the nation into avoidable crisis.
The group in a statement described the move as illegal and unconstitutional, and urged the government to set into motion the necessary machinery for the conduct of elections and smooth transition next year.
Part of the text of the group reads: "The 1999 Constitution, which is the legal basis of our democracy, does not recognise an interim government. Therefore, promoters of such a government are unpatriotic and utterly irresponsible.
ďThe Constitution is clear and unambiguous about the transition process from one administration to another through credible and transparent elections. The body charged with such a responsibility is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). We can reasonably say right now that INEC has enough time and perhaps the resources to organise free and fair elections. At least, INEC has not publicly told us that it cannot hold elections. We are, therefore, at a loss why an interim government is desirable ostensibly because INEC cannot organise an election.
ďWe would also like to note that there is no crisis in Nigeria as a result of which elections cannot hold. If there is sincerity of purpose, the courage to do the right thing and if adequate resources are made available to INEC and other institutions, credible elections can be held within the time available Ö The government must also take steps to denounce the on-going campaign for an interim government and practically demonstrate its willingness to organise free and fair elections early next year.Ē
"The government must convince every Nigerian that the calls for an interim government are not a revival of the hugely unpopular Third Term Agenda which the National Assembly threw out overwhelmingly three months ago. In fact, the Third Term campaign began in no less the same way.
The promoters of interim government, we are convinced, do not have the best interest of the nation at heart. They are people who take perverse delight in seeing the country in chaos. What began as a whispering campaign is now quietly gathering momentum with its promoters becoming more visible and daring. As usual, these people masquerade as elder statesmen or concerned citizens who are trying to save the country from an imaginary crisis of transition. Finally, we call on the National Assembly to rise up to the challenge by auditing INECís preparations for the elections in 2007.
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