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Interim gov’t not for Nigerians

The Department for State Services (DSS) has raised an alarm of clandestine moves by some cabals to stop the swearing in of president-elect, Bola Tinubu,…

The Department for State Services (DSS) has raised an alarm of clandestine moves by some cabals to stop the swearing in of president-elect, Bola Tinubu, on May 29. Peter Afunanya, DSS spokesman, stated that some persons have weighed various options, which include foisting interim government after obtaining frivolous court injunctions to forestall the inauguration of new executive and legislative leaders at the federal and state levels. Afunanya said such persons were also considering sponsoring endless violent mass protests in major cities to warrant a declaration of state of emergency.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.” 

The DSS warned civil society organisations, media and court to be vigilant so as not to play into the dangerous hands of these plotters.

Even before the statement by the DSS, one recalls, at the peak of the naira redesign policy crises, which was a few days to the general elections, Governor Nasiru Elrufai of Kaduna State, raised alarm of a similar threat. He stated that some cabals in the villa were behind the currency redesign policy in order to make his party lose the election. El-rufai also accused the cabals of plotting an interim government if APC eventually wins the presidential election.

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There is no section in our constitution that provides room for an “interim government” after elections have been conducted and winners declared. 

Nigerians knew about “interim government” during the dark days of military rule. The annulment of 1993 presidential election, which was adjudged as free and fairest, in which late MKO Abiola of the SDP won, led to the foisting of an interim government by Ibrahim Babangida military regime. 

Military President, Ibrahim Babangida (IBB), had to quit the stage due to the mounting pressure from NADECO and other pro-democrats to declare Abiola as the legitimate president.

In order to calm the looming crisis that starred the nation in the face because of the unfortunate annulment, IBB, cleverly appointed Ernest Shonekan as the interim Head of State.  

Shonekan’s interim government did not last long as Abacha struck to become the head of state. If an interim government could be foisted on the country during the military era, we are now in a constitutional democracy in which leaders emerged through democratic ways i.e. free and fair elections. So, if those who contested and lost the elections are dissatisfied with the results, they can seek redress in elections tribunals. Thankfully, the major contenders have taken the right channel to challenge the victory of Bola Tinubu in court. This is the beauty of democracy.

While Nigerian democracy is over two decades old, the threat of the interim government being bandied should not be treated with kids’ gloves. There is the need for the Department of State Services to go after these evil forces and arrest them. Nigeria is bigger than an individual’s interest.


Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua, Kaduna State  


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