Yar'Adua, Jonathan divide North

VANGUARD Newspaper

Yar’ Adua/Jonathan divide the North:
National News Jan 16, 2010 It is exactly 55 days President Umaru Yar’Adua was flown abroad for medical treatment. Yet, silence is the norm on the true position of the President’s health. Rather, rumours of his illness and death are heating up the system, leading to demand for empowerment of the Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President, mass rallies, court judgements, rows in the Senate, a Yar’Adua voice on BBC among others.

The BBC voice came after the media reported that the president was clinically dead , brain-damaged and on a life support machine.

It is clear that the Yar’Adua illness is being politicised and Nigerians are at a loss as to the way out of the quagmire. Would the entire nation be left at the mercy of one man?

As if to answer the question, a Federal High court in Abuja adopted a mid-course approach to resolving the problem by making a pronouncement based on section 5(1) and 148(1) of the 1999 constitution that the VP Jonathan can perform Yar’ Adua’s duties. That judgement was like tackling the matter from a periphery.

Saturday Vanguard went to town to sample the opinions of ethnic leaders, politicians and lawyers as to the provisions of the constitution under the circumstances and their views are as diverse as the issues being raised.

We can’t empower Jonathan — Shehu
A three- time member of the House of Representatives, Abubakar Garba Shehu in an encounter with Saturday Vanguard says the National Assembly cannot compel the President to resign or the VP to act on behalf of the president :

The National Assembly cannot compel anybody to resign or to act on behalf of another. Section 144-145 of the constitution has not given the National Assembly the power to ask the VP to take over. The person to do that is Federal Executive Council, FEC . The Constitution is very clear. I have been in the House of Reps for eleven years.

There is no provision that empowered the National Assembly to ask the President to resign or the VP to take over the powers of the President.

The FEC members are not elected but the constitution has given them that power. The only power the N.A has is that of impeachment and that is when the president has committed an impeach able offence and Yar’Adua has not done that.

We cannot do anything about his ill-health. Nigerians should go and read the 1999 constitution, section 144-145.
The President is recovering and will soon be back. Though he is the president, he can fall sick and he can die. So, Yar’Adua remains the president.

There have been presidents who were sick and they recovered. We should pray for his recovery so that he could continue where he stopped before the sickness, like following up on Amnesty and his 7- point agenda. We should not be negative about this whole thing as we are being.

Nigeria is hanging on the precipice – Agoro
By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
Dr. Olapade Agoro (Aladura Patriarch) is the National Chairman/former Presidential Candidate of the National Action Council (NAC) He is also the National Chairman of Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) and he says:
Sickness until pronounced madness remains within curable diseases under the management control expectation of general practitioners.

A sickness that starts with self delusion, wide laughter to oneself without reasonable cause, loose, careless and meaningless talking and probably with walk- jumping if not carefully, quickly and properly diagnosed may after all end up in madness.

Madness it must be mentioned starts from the head and not the mind.

The carelessness of Nigerians beginning its current democratic dispensation which hurriedly started in 1999 with a gang up of political opportunists with mad heads is proving fatal.

In the over ten years of PDP mis-governance, evidences of socio-economic and political misfortunes never seen before and never ever anticipated have besieged Nigeria.

Starting from Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, the US published a list of 27 most corrupt Nigerian government officials which list was never allowed to see the light of the day in Nigeria but which eventually culminated in the exposure of late Chief SM Afolabi’s National ID card corruption scandal must have informed us what was to befall the nation.

From 1999 to date ,the once known evils of official government corruption, political murder, treasury looting, violent religious riots, mass unemployment, insecurity of lives and property, massive importation of food and critical necessities of life, governmental policy reverses, governmental lying, capital and key industries flight out of Nigeria to other African countries et al have added new dreadful entrants like kidnaping , militancy and now sadly the grand father of criminal activities- “Abdul Muttalab International Terrorism.

Perhaps the greatest of the assault at the peace and unity of recent time is the current shame of hide and seek political gambit the nation with mad heads is playing over the health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

Notably, the prayerful and demonstration of open support by all and sundry, Christians and Muslims to the current very painful health status of President Umaru Yar’Adua stand unequalled in the political history of this nation.
As such, there can be found no justifiable reasons than HEAD MADNESS why anybody should hold the nation to ransom, refusing to allow the necessities of Constitutional provisions interplay to come into effect in this matter.

Unfortunately for the nation, as I always said and maintained, Nigeria has Jonathan as Vice President but not Good luck.

Until Nigerian masses rise up to take their fortunes in their hands by forcing the instrument of national shame out of power, there is no way Jonathan devoid of Good luck would be installed as Acting President of Nigeria.

I don’t understand the argument – Kukah

Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah was the Secretary of National Conference on Political Reforms held in the era of President Obasanjo and he says he does not understand the angst being expressed by Nigerians on Yar’Adua’s absence as governance is still going on:

I don’t understand the brouhaha about President Yar’Adua’s illness and the issue of having an Acting President. Has the Vice President complained that he doesn’t have enough powers? If he has not complained, why are people crying more than the bereaved?

The VP has not said that there is anything that comes before his table that he doesn’t have the power to handle. If he doesn’t have the power, the powers will not be given to him by the people on the streets but by the relevant arm of government .

You said the National Assembly has said it doesn’t have the power to empower him , so the issue is how do we understand the workings of the various arms of government? I’m saying this because a lot of things are being confused.

As far as I am concerned, people are barking at the wrong tree.

I’m still not clear what powers would be given to the Vice President, because he has not said he doesn’t have powers to do XYZ. I’m not quite sure that I understand what the brouhaha is all about.

You said there is a vacuum and I’m not doubting but what kind of vacuum? If we have a VP and the president is not around, how is there a vacuum? We have a new Chief Justice and a new Permanent Secretary. They were sworn in by recognised authority .I don’t understand what the media is up to.

The protesters that came to Abuja are entitled to stage their protest. There is nothing criminal about that. They could stage a protest even if the President is there.

The kidnaping of four foreigners in the Niger Delta has nothing to do with the president being present or being absent.
If there are constitutional ways of empowering the VP to become the Acting President, I’m sure he knows exactly what to do. If the VP can be empowered by the people on the streets, people know what to do.

If it is the National Assembly that will empower the VP, those people equally know what to do. That the president is not on seat is for a reason everybody knows. But how do you empower the VP? You don’t have the powers. I don’t have the powers. A lot of people have gotten carried away by this, but lets be clearer in the quality of analysis that we make.

42 Responses for “Yar’ Adua/Jonathan divide the North:”
Dr Buki Morgan MBBS psc London & Lagos says:
January 16, 2010 at 11:19 pmMAITAMA DISAPPOINTS AND IS A LET-DOWN

Maitama Sule’s comment is tragic. For long I respected this affable and witty Nigerian, I even looked up to him and expected him to defend those who speak the truth at all times. For him to dodge commenting on the Yar’Adua problem is a tacit confession that there is hardly any defence for this obstinacy and obdurate acts. He finds himself in the position of either choosing between the path of righteousness and true patriotism, and loyalty to a friend and party allegiance. The sad but tragic truth is that he chose the latter.
Maitama, I tell you this time around , you are wrong. DEAD WRONG.

Posted 16 Jan 2010 21:41hrs
You Self says:
January 16, 2010 at 10:01 pmI agree with Stevo. Why listen to suckers like Maitama Sule and Rev. Kukah. Both of them have lived their lives. They are done. Now is our time. It’s left for me and you to figure out how to best live our lives. Sule and Kukah will sure not live our lives for us. As far as I am concerned, TO YOUR TENTS OH NIGERIA! How much longer should we continue to listen to Aboki and a zombie to proffer our way forward to us? Everything Nigeria stinks! And it has stunk since Shagari! What is more? Nigeria as we know it is finished — Kaput! Broke Nigeria up now and let’s go our different way. I have had it, and have for years. I can’t wait.


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