House of Reps demands that Buhari publishes Goodluck Jonathan’s handover notes

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PIC.20.PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN (4TH L) WITH NIGERIAN TROOPS AT BAGA IN BORNO STATE DURING HIS VISIT TO NORTH EAST ON THURSDAY (26/2/15). 1060/26/2/2015/ICE/CH/NAN

The House of Representatives has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to publish the handover notes of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the official  gazette of the federation.

The resolution, Tuesday, at resumption of plenary after a recess, followed a motion by Uzom Nkem-Abonta who observed that only officials of the presidency have access to the document at the moment.

He stated, “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.”

Mr. Abonta said the publication would help the legislators, especially new members, and members of the public have authentic information about the state of the nation and monitor the activities of the government.

Without having the document, the legislators may not be able perform their functions “effectively”, he added.

The House therefore resolved that President Buhari should “publish, in the official gazette of the federation, save for information restricted by law, the Handover Note and the accompanying documents of the Administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan to enable interested Nigerians and other residents access it for information and record purposes”.

But before the resolution was reached through voice vote, some members, including All Progressives Congress duo of Femi Gbajabiamila and Pally Iriase, opposed the motion.

They argued that the motion was needless since there is Freedom of Information Act with which the document can be accessed.

As an alternative, Mr. Gbajabiamila urged Mr. Abonta to  present a bill that would lead to promulgation of a “National Transition Act” that would inculcate all issues regarding transition and handing over.

But Aminu Shagari, T. J. Yusuf, and Leo Ogor supported the motion, emphasizing transparency.

“What we are saying is that let the truth be told to Nigerians,” Mr. Ogor stated.

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