President Goodluck Jonathan refuted the claim by national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, that he was offered the position of vice president by President Jonathan in an alleged Interim National Government (ING), describing the allegation as false, misleading.
Tinubu had recently stated in a statement by his media office, that Jonathan offered him the position of vice president in an alleged interim government but he did not indicate where and how the offer was made.
Briefing State House Correspondent at the Presidential Villa, the Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said as an elected president, Jonathan would not push for an unconstitutional interim government.
Abati said at no time did Jonathan make such an offer to Tinubu, saying the All Progressives Congress chieftain’s claim was a figment of his imagination, and as such should be disregarded.
The Presidential spokesman said: “Tinubu lied on the interim government issue, which Jonathan will never subscribe to as a believer and beneficiary of true democracy. Given the configuration of the country, for there to be a southern president and president from the same zone, was totally absurd.
“Except people have not been following the news or they have chosen willfully to play deaf and dumb, they will know and the facts are there that President Jonathan has said again and again, that the idea of an interim national government is preposterous and to use his exact words also treasonable. And that he has never anywhere discussed that idea with anybody and he has never proposed it at any forum.
“That as President of Nigeria, the democratically elected president his ambition can never be to head an Interim National Government under whatever circumstances.
“He is going to this presidential election on the basis of the records of his achievements. On the conviction that he has served Nigerians well and the overwhelming majority of Nigerians are appreciative of the achievements of his administration and are therefore solidly behind him and will vote for him massively on March 28.
“He therefore has no reason whatsoever to support such an unconstitutional proposition as Interim National Government which in its fullest will amount to assault on democratic principles under this circumstance.
“Again if you de-construct the statement that purportedly emanated from the office of the Asiwaju Tibunu, you will see again the absurd nature of it. The absolutely ridiculous nature of it in the sense that given the configuration of Nigeria, is not likely, totally impossible to have an ING arrangement in which you will have a southerner as the president and then another southerner as vice president. It is absurd. It is not something that is likely to work given the nature of our politics.
“But the Tinubu camp putting out that statement was so much in a hurry to engage in their usual game of deceiving the public, that the emptiness, the hollowness, the shallowness of their proposition escaped them. And what I have tried to do is to expose them that shallowness, that hollowness and to appeal to all right thinking persons to dismiss it as another gimmick coming from a desperate political group seeing that defeat is steering them in the face are resorting to greater desperation. And who knows may witness even far greater desperation from their camp as we get closer to election day. But our appeal to Nigerians is that this country is greater than everyone’s ambition and at the end of the day what is important is Nigeria.
“And those who seem determined to pull down this country with lies, with black information, they are the enemies of this country and do not deserve to be given the opportunity to occupy, to enjoy opportunities that they do not deserve.”