Interim Government Long Foretold

Will the March 28 elections take place? Will it end in a deadlock? If the answer to both questions is yes, then, an interim government is next.

Nigerians seem to be still debating the likelihood of an interim government in the country this year. APC chieftain Bola Tinubu said President Jonathan invited him to be vice-president in an interim national government (ING) if the rescheduled March 28 election failed to hold. The PDP campaign team said it was untrue. Now, former Ekiti State governor Kayode John Fayemi has stated that Tinubu said the truth and that there was strong evidence that President Goodluck Jonathan was planning an interim government.

Long before the current debate, the maiden print edition of Eyeway (Feb. 1-14) had elaborated the behind-the-scenes steps being taken by the mafia that often determines who rules Nigeria. The mafia is opposed to both Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari. And the kingmakers have been trying to realise their goal by arm-twisting INEC, by postponing the polls, and now by creating a deadlock.

The election billed for May 28 may not take place or may be marred by logistics problems and consequent irregularities. The results may not be released after one week, and the outcome may set off a crisis that will be difficult to manage.

A deadlock that could follow would make the April 11 polls (for governorship and state legislature) impossible. What would the nation do except form an interim government?

The interim national government would emerge, but by another name. With the May 29 handover date now impossible and the “war with Boko haram” still raging, the National Assembly (most of whom have lost their return tickets) could be forced to rely on Section 64 (2) and Section 135 (3) of the Nigerian constitution. The sections provide: “If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nige­ria is physically involved and the President consid­ers that it is not practicable to hold elections, the Na­tional Assembly may by resolution extend the period of four years mentioned in subsection (1) of this sec­tion from time to time but not beyond a period of six months at any one time.”

The other reincarnation of an ING would be to ask Jonathan to resign. As Eyeway indicated long ago three names should be watched: Senate president David Mark, defence minister Aliyu Gusau and former head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian judiciary is as fickle as ever.


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