By Biodun Busari
An elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has said that those calling for an interim government in the country are not democrats because it is illegal and has no place in democracy.
Recall that recently, a legal icon, Afe Babalola and the Founder of House of God Church, Pastor Chris Okotie have proposed that an interim government is the panacea to Nigerian problems before general elections.
“As soon as the President, the present government completes its term, do not hold a new election. Rather let us have an interim government for a short period to discuss a new Constitution,” Babalola had suggested.
In his own recommendation, Okotie said, “The presidential system has failed this country and we need to do something before the country goes extinct. We need to do away with the Legislature.”
Reacting, Yakassai, who is also a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said he is not in support of an interim government because it cannot solve the nation’s numerous problems.
Yakassai said this in an exclusive interview he had with Vanguard published on Thursday.
Yakassai said, “As far as I am concerned, those calling for an interim government in a democratic setting are not democrats. Ask any of those calling for an interim government to tell you the provision of the Constitution that allows for an interim government in a democracy.
“Interim is illegal and we can’t go for illegality. It has no place in democracy. You can’t claim that because of the state of tension, there should be an interim government. Even if there is going to be an interim government, how are you sure it would solve the tension in the country?
“If anybody is saying that he is going to solve Nigeria’s problem with an interim government, let him come up with a blueprint on how he is going to solve the problem. In any case, I am a democrat; I don’t see an interim government solving our problem as a nation. So I am not in support of it.”
Nigeria experienced Interim National Government following the crisis of the Third Republic after General Ibrahim Babangida handed power over to Ernest Shonekan as interim Head of State on 27th August 1993 but was overthrown in a palace coup by late General Sani Abacha on 17th November 1993.