President Goodluck Jonathan warned on Saturday in Daura, Katsina State that whoever talks about or is associated with the purported Interim National Government (ING) being touted by some politicians would be dealt with according to the law.
Jonathan, who was in the home town of the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari to pay a courtesy visit to the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar,assured that elections would hold on Saturday, March 28 and on April 11 as rescheduled.
The president arrived the town at about 2:20pm with national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Muazu; members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation; top government functionaries and prominent northern leaders.
He warned that if government begins to arrest and prosecute those behind rumours of interim government, which he said is treasonable, people should not accuse the government of witch hunting people.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to make a statement again because sometimes I read in the papers of people talking about interim government. Even yesterday some people were making pronouncement that some people are planning interim government.
“And I will say that anybody who is planning or who is linked to anything that has to do with interim government must be dealt with according to the law. It is treasonable and government will not allow it.
“So, if people are arrested and being prosecuted, people should not say government is witch hunting people. There is no reason why people should talk about interim government that is not known to our constitution. It is treasonable and I will advise Nigerians to keep away from it”.
Noting that elections must hold as scheduled, the president said, “Elections are coming on March 28 as scheduled by INEC and on the 11th of April for governors and state assemblies as scheduled by INEC.
“Nigerians should prepare to go and vote for those we believe that can run the affairs of the country at the state level and the federal level”.
Jonathan who told the emir that his administration was part of the Emirate council as he, Jonathan, was a title holder in the Emirate. He added that within the past four years, his administration has achieved so much in transforming the country and was ready to do more in the next four years.
He said, “Within this time, we have done quite well but we have not reached where we want to reach yet. We have developed education at various levels and in Katsina alone we built 28 Almajiri schools to create a future for the youth.
“We are working with the Katsina State government to improve education in the state now and in the future”, the president stated, adding that his agriculture intervention was robust.
Noting that the Federal Government had changed the state of Nigerian roads, railways and health sectors, he also mentioned the successes recorded in the eradication of polio, guinea worm and Ebola adding that at the tertiary health level Nigerian institutions were carrying out successful heart and kidney surgeries.
He said that after more than 30 years of being in limbo, the rail transport sector had been revived,even as he noted that it was the intention of his administration to link all states of the federation with railways to improve transportation, save travel time and cost as well as reduce road accidents.
Lauding the emirate and the subjects for working together to ensure peace in the country, Jonathan promised that in the next dispensation his administration would implement the decisions of the just concluded National Conference to raise the standard of the traditional institutions in the country.
“We are quite pleased. As we drove to this palace, warm reception was everywhere, people were happy that we are here, at least to tell you that we are part of your Emirate”, he said.
On his part, the emir who thanked the President for the visit and told him to always count on his support and counsel and urged him to ensure there was peace throughout the country during the forth-coming national elections.
The royal father and his council of chiefs offered prayer for the president.
On the president’s entourage were Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Sen. Ahmadu Ali; Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Governor Ibrahim Shema; Chief Ifeanyi Uba; Minister of foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali; Transport Minister, Sen Idris Umar; Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki; Col. Abdulmuminu Aminu; the PDP governorship candidate in Katsina, Alh. Musa Nasiru and his running mate Alh. Gambo Mukoru.