The All Progressives Congress is said to be uncomfortable with the May 28 handover date proposed by the out-going administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Investigation by Punch revealed that Jonathan and the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari are set to clash over a proposal by the Jonathan team to hand over the mantle of leadership to Buhari on May the 28th, instead of the constitutionally recognized date – 29th.
Buhari’s team are suspecting an act of ill-will laced with sinister motives.
A top member of the APC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It is simply not acceptable, we are rejecting it, it is a trap.”
This is sequel to a statement by the Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki, that Jonathan would perform the handover ceremony at a dinner on May 28.
Akwashiki made the announcement after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting.
She told journalists, “By May 28, the President intends to have the formal handover done at a dinner so that we can reserve May 29 for the incoming government.”
However, since the return of democracy in 1999, the traditional date for the handover of power has been May 29, which is also observed as Democracy Day.
This tradition has been the vogue for the past 16 years. It also presents an opportunity for the outgoing President to formally present the instrument of authority to his successor in the full glare of members of the public, local and international media, as well as foreign dignitaries.
APC chieftain explained that from a security point of view, it could be considered a trap.
“How can anyone explain a situation where an outgoing president and his team will conveniently excuse themselves from an event where they are supposed to play a role when the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect are supposed to be present?” he queried.
According to the party chieftain, power abhors a vacuum as such, the constitution does not envisage a situation where Nigeria will be without a sitting President even for one hour.
He said, “If Jonathan hands over on the 28th, who accounts for the hours before the morning of the 29th when the Chief Justice of the Federation is to administer the oath of office and the oath of allegiance?
“What if there is even a sinister motive to this whole saga? As the President of the nation; who will still be the Chief Security officer until he hands over, there is no excuse that is strong enough to excuse him from the event.”