Reps to Buhari: Publish Jonathan’s handover note

THE House of Representatives, on Tuesday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari, to publish in the official gazette of the federation, except for information restricted by law, the handover note and the accompanying documents of former President, Goodluck Jonathan-led administration, to enable Nigerians access it for information and record purposes.

The House also asked President Buhari to present copies of the handover note to all the members of the two Houses of the National Assembly, to enable them determine individually or collectively, the state of the nation as of May 29.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Honourable Uzoma Abonta, entitled: “Need for publication of the handover note of the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan in the official gazette of the federation.”

While moving the motion, he said: “Let Mr President make public the content of the handover note submitted to him by former president, Jonathan. The essence is for accountability. So, let him gazette it in line with his personality disposition of transparency, accountability and integrity.

“The handover note would expectedly have captured the activities, projects, programmes, achievements and constraints of the last administration, including counsel to the new administration on the way forward.

“The handover note is a public document and some extant laws may place restrictions on the publication of some content of the document; notwithstanding any such restrictions, it is apparent that only officials of the Presidency have access to the handover note at the moment.”

However, some lawmakers kicked against the motion, including Honourable Israel Famurewa, Pally Iriase, Femi Gbajabiamila, among others.

While kicking against the motion, Honourable Gbajabiamila noted that “I truly appreciate the spirit behind this motion, which borders on transparency and accountability. However, in the body of the motion, there are inherent contradictions.”

He further stated that “Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), gives this House the power to ask for anything under the law.”

But Honourable Leo Ogor, Tajudeen Yusuf and Steve Karimi, who supported the motion, maintained that gazetting the handover note document was to ensure transparency and openness in governance as promised by President Buhari.

On his part, Honourable Ogor maintained that “emphasis today is dominant on transparency. The motion as I can see is totally harmless. My colleague, Gbajabiamila, harped on the section 88, but this motion is not out to investigate anybody. Let us know the content of the document, so that the public can be abreast of what the past administration did, where it stopped and where the present government is taking off from.”

When the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, it was unanimously supported.


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