Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, has dismissed fears the Federal Government may be planning the setting up of an Interim National Government (ING), saying it has no place in the Nigerian Constitution.
There have been calls for ING in some quarters. Critics of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led Federal Government, including the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), however, allege that government was orchestrating the call and contemplating an ING out of fear that it may suffer defeat in the forthcoming presidential election.
Adoke, in a press statement in Abuja yesterday, while putting the matter to rest, said, “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”.
Adoke’s four-paragraph statement further stated that, “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 recognise and appreciate the inalienable right of Nigerians to freely express themselves and proffer solutions to perceived national challenges, I am deeply 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.
“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.”