The Presidency on Monday denied rumours making the rounds on social media that President Goodluck Jonathan set aside the sum of N3bn for members of the transition committee he recently set up.
The committee chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring a smooth hand over from Jonathan to the President-elect, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Reports were rife Monday in the social media that during a meeting between Messrs Jonathan and Buhari, the president had said N3bn would be spent on his transition committee while Buhari was reported to have said that members of his own committee were volunteers who won’t be paid.
Reacting to the claim, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said no such meeting or conversation ever took place.
Abati described the message as pure fiction or blackmail that can only emanate from a charlatan.
“This is pure fiction and blackmail. No such meeting or conversation ever took place. Whoever wrote the copy obviously has never heard of being magnanimous in victory. A charlatan certainly”, Abati countered.
The social media message titled ‘Now I’m convinced we didn’t make a mistake’, read: “Buhari was at the villa in connection to setting up a transition committee for handing over. At the meeting, Goodluck asked for the list of representatives of APC and the required remuneration.
“Buhari was surprised that Goodluck’s list and corresponding cost was put at N3billion for a job estimated to last only 2months. Goodluck then asked why Buhari’s list didn’t show corresponding cost?
“Buhari answered that his team was made up of volunteers and their feeding would be by individuals/self even if they have to bring in leftover food from their homes. No word has been heard from presidency since then.
“This is the beginning of purposeful leadership”.