Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Time Is Now!

The Time Is Now!

On the 23rd of November 2009, rumours abound that the President of Nigeria Mr. Umaru Yar’adua had been flown to Saudi Arabia for the third time this year. Following strong rumours that he was in actual fact dead, the information minister Mrs Dora Akunyili and the special adviser on media affairs, Segun Adeniyi, informed Nigerians three days later that the President was suffering from acute pericaditis , a heart condition but assured us that he was recovering and would return to the country within a week. The duo also publicly stated that a letter had not been sent to the National Assembly informing them of the President’s absence and confirmed that an official handover would not be necessary as the president was expected to return within two weeks.

Since that date we have had various conflicting messages from the presidency which include; “the president has made a full recovery and will be back within a couple of weeks” , “the president can rule from anywhere for a whole year and even contest the 2011 election from wherever he is”, “all necessary documents are being sent to Saudi Arabia for approval and have been returned signed” etc.

These comments have been issued intermittently through the media by the Minister of Justice Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, Minister of Information Mrs Dora Akunyili, the Secretary General to the Federation Mr. Mahmud Yayale, the President’s sister, mother and brother. At one point the Minister of Justice even promised that a video conference would be arranged so that Nigerians can see that the President is recovering rapidly. None of these promises have materialized and the foreign media and online news blogs have repeatedly stated that the President will not be returning in the nearest future and that in fact he is in a vegetative state.

Various pressure groups including the G53 have called for the resignation of the President but the calls were condemned by the government and instead the Senate President and the Vice President continually called for prayers for the recovery of our ailing President. During this period the Vice President has chaired the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings and approved the award of contracts and other necessary documents.

Today Nigerians were informed that the principal secretary David Edevbhie travelled to Saudi Arabia and has obtained the President’s signature on the N353 billion supplementary appropriation bill. This news has come as a total shock to Nigerians who are incensed by the apparent fraudulent nature of this claim. The time has come to ask the Nigerian government to treat Nigerian citizens with respect and on that basis we demand a response to the following:

1.  Full disclosure on the true position of the President’s health which can be effectively communicated by televising a video conference with him in Saudi Arabia so that Nigerians can determine whether or not he is in a fit state to review and sign a 400 page document.

2.  Why has the President not signed a letter to the National Assembly informing them officially of the President’s absence and giving the Vice President the authority to act on his behalf as provided in the constitution under S.145.

3.  How does the Presidency intend to swear in the new Chief Justice on the 31st of December 2009 when the tenure of the current Chief Justice will expire since there is neither a president nor an acting president in office?

4.  What is the legal basis of all the approvals that the Vice President has signed in the past month considering that there has been no official handover? What section of the constitution permits this?

Nigerians are no longer prepared to sit back and accept unconstitutional acts perpetrated by government officials in whom we have placed our trust to represent our collective interests.


Sola Adeyeye

Kayode Ogundamisi Nigeria Liberty Forum

Roz Ben-Okagbue Good Leadership Nigeria

Emeka Aneke Kick Corruption out of Our Beloved Country

Nigerians Support Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report

Seyi Osiyemi Heal Nigeria

Meekam Mgbenwelu Debate and Review Group

Feyi Fawehinmi

Rosanwo Babatunde Global African Dialogue (GADO)

Kayode Ajulo Egalitarian Mission, Africa

Babatunde Ogala Esq.

Mohammed Salihu

Anthony Omokhdion

Kachi Eluigwe Heal Nigeria

Blessing Agada Heal Nigeria

Ehimofe Odewale

Ahmed Ogunlaja Good Leadership Nigeria


Isioma Louisa said...

Very true indeed. What baffles me is the impunity with which the so called Attorney General parades himself.
In recent times we have had more than a few legal somersaults, not least being the ruling handed down by His Lordship Justice Marcel Awokulehin in the case of James Onanefe Ibori. While the country is still reeling from the shock of that ruling, another, and even more perfidious unconstitutionality is about to be perpetrated i.e having the outgoing Chief Justice swear in his succesor. How much lower can we sink?
As a student of Constitutional Law, i am all too aware of what sort of message these sort of acts send out to the world as a whole. Judges do not make Law, but their rulings and judgements form the basis of the Common Law from which all other law have their origin. A situation therefore where otherwise respected judges soil their robes for a bowl of porridge is not only heart rending, but utimately sinful beyond pardon. Nigeria has reached the stage where very drastic measures need to be put in place, people MUST be punished to the full extent of the dictates of the Law otherwise our children, grand children and indeed generations not yet conceived will curse our memory for leaving behind a society best described by Thomas Hobbs.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Isioma i just hope the right people read this and act on it,Nigeria as a country has really come of age and people should be punished when they do ugly things while in government and do not think they can be brought to book.