The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has told the President Buhari-led APC administration that it can not be blamed for its non-performance in office.
The opposition party said this in response to Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson’s submission that former president, Goodluck Jonathan was responsible for the delay in appointment of ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari.
As earlier reported, Shehu in a TV interview, had said the Jonathan administration, failed to cooperate with the transition committee which according to him, accounted for the delay in the appointment of members of the federal cabinet.
Reacting, Dr Jonathan through his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said it has become worrisome, what he described as the unending habit of the Buhari administration even near election to blame the past administration for its perceived failures.
The statement reads:
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in which he blamed the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint ministers until six months after taking over office on the administration of former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.”
“Speaking on a Channels television programme on Monday December 17, Shehu had claimed that it took President buhari who was sworn in on May 29, 2015 until November 11, 2015 to appoint his ministers because the “President was given handover notes 48 hours to the handover of power”.
“As strange as that particular assertion may sound, it still beggars belief that a spokesman of a President who is seeking re-election would still be looking for a scapegoat for the administration’s failure, at a time he should be showcasing his scorecard.”
“That amounts to merely clutching at straws. One thing is as clear as daylight: The Jonathan administration has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of this government to appoint ministers early enough to inspire confidence in investors because it is obvious that handover notes from a predecessor does not contain the list of ministers for the incoming administration.”
“However, that is even making light of Garba Shehu’s unending embarrassing gaffe. It is expected that a man who has been around the corridors of power for that long, beginning from when he served as a media adviser under President Obasanjo for years, should understand Government’s basic functions and procedures.”
“Handover notes, being transitioning documents, are usually received by an incoming President from his predecessor at the time of change of government. It is not a document that guides a President to appoint his ministers.”
“Those who think like Shehu that a Government would not function properly if it does not receive handover notes in time, should be reminded that there is no law establishing the process. It is simply a matter of convenience for an outgoing President to develop handover notes to guide his successor understand key issues and hit the ground running.”
“In his own case, former president Jonathan magnanimously set up a transition team that produced the handover document which President Buhari received ahead of his inauguration. Anyone who uses handover notes to justify a President’s indiscretion of not appointing ministers until after spending six months in power, is either being mischievous or does not really understand governance processes.”
Also reacting to Shehu’s submission, the PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said:
“It is unfortunate that the Presidency will always resort to peddling falsehood as a cover for its failures. “It is a settled matter that President Buhari could not form a cabinet for over five months after his inauguration, primarily due to sheer incompetence, lack of preparedness and the fact that he was overwhelmed by the complexity of the office of the President of Nigeria.”