Taking a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his insinuation that the Federal Government was planning on installing an Interim National Government, President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday, February 22, 2015 said such utterances amounted to treason.
He posited thus while speaking at the first 2015 plenary session of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), in Abuja, asserting that the rescheduled elections will hold on March 28 and April 11, 2015.
He said: “Interim government is not known to the Nigerian constitution. 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.”
President Jonathan also decried as worrisome several media comment, especially the social media that Nigeria would be unstable, especially in the face of insurgency and insecurity.
His words: “The kind of statements we read in the media, especially in the social media, sometimes are worrisome. Is Nigeria going up in flames? But I am convinced that this country will continue to be stable”
Mr. President also condemned the attack in Gombe State which happened on Saturday, February 14, 2015 – the former date on which the elections were scheduled to hold – stating that election might have been disrupted.
He said: “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 personal interest, do anything that will jeopardise the interest of our nation as a whole; Nigeria is bigger than anybody.”
The CBCN President and Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama on his part frowned at the recent migration of people back to their hometown out of fear of political violence, calling for both President Jonathan and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari to continue having public interactions.
“The feverish, barren political campaigns do not allow room for a national family spirit and the quest to win elections at all cost contribute to heating up the political temperature.
“We are surprised that some people who are doing business elsewhere are moving back to their home towns for fear of political violence during the elections.”
“We will like to see a friendly, social interaction between Mr President and Gen. Buhari and, if possible, with other aspirants where the issue is not elections, but a light-hearted conversation about the good of Nigeria.”