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Reps want publication of Jonathan’s handover notes

29 July 2015, 08:46

Abuja - Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a motion calling on Federal Government to make public the handover notes of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The motion, sponsored by Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) was adopted through a voice vote after extensive debate by the lawmakers.

Leading the debate, Nkem-Abonta stressed the need for the present administration to publish the handover notes in order to enable Nigerians to access it for information and record purposes.

He further said that the notes, if published, would encourage and empower Nigerians to actively monitor the activities of government.

According to him, is the need to publish, in official gazette of the federation, save for information restricted by law, the handover notes and accompanying documents of the former President.

"This will enable interested Nigerians and other residents access it for information and record purposes.

"Notwithstanding any legal restrictions, it is apparent that only officials of the Presidency have access to the handover notes at the moment.

"The handover notes 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 lawmaker added.

Also read: House of Representatives postpones resumption

Nkem-Abonta further argued that the handover notes, if published, would serve for reference purposes as well as enable persons to verify the authenticity or otherwise of the content of the document.

He explained that the motion was in line with the dictates of President Buhari’s agenda on accountability in governance.

Representative Leo Ogor (PDP-Delta), said it the motion was designed to entrench transparency and accountability.

According to Ogor, the motion is harmless, as it is not investigative. "Let the content of the handover notes be known to Nigerians. Every Nigerian has the right to know," Ogor said.

Representative Darlington Nwokeocha (PDP-Abia), said that publishing the notes will put every government on its toes.

"It will help every government to always do the needful at all times, knowing well that at a point, there would be hand over notes that will be made public," Nwokeocha said.

Representative Onyemaechi Mrakpor (PDP-Delta) pointed out that the move would serve as a parameter to determine if the country was moving forward or not.

Also, Representative Tajudeen Yusuf (PDP-Kogi) argued that publishing handover notes will help Nigeria move from the realms of rumours to facts

However, Representative Pally Iriase (APC-Edo), said publishing the handover notes could expose the country’s sensitive security issues.

"We are all aware that the country is confronted with security challenges and the handover note is classified information.

"We need to prevent certain sensitive security issues from being spilled on the public domain," Iriase said. 



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