Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Shameful Act - NEXT Editorial

And on the 50th day, they did nothing.

Our national legislators met yesterday in our benighted capital, and promptly decided they needed not pronounce on the fact that our president has vanished from our shores for 50 straight days.

It is rapidly becoming a kind of macabre joke, or at least a rich subject for sarcasm, were the fate of 150 million people not directly tied to it.
It is 50 days. Do you know where/how/what your president is?
As thousands of citizens filled the streets of Abuja yesterday, demanding action on an absentee president, the expensively maintained members of our National Assembly met in their first session, after a prolonged holiday, to declare that it was unimportant to even discuss what to do about a president who is no longer able to perform his duties. Other than to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia, all the while making clear that they will leave any real action to a cabinet that has so far shown no inclination to live up to its constitutional duties.

Instead, they wanted to divert themselves with something called "anti-terrorism" measures. Or where to find your lost dog Bingo. Or whatever.

Anything, it appeared, but the most urgent matter at hand-a dangerous leadership vacuum created by the indefinite absence of a critically ill and incapable president, who is believed to be suffering multiple organ failures, brain damage, cognitive dissonance, and is alarmingly emaciated.

Let us be very clear: Umaru Yar'Adua, decent man though he is, and sympathetic though we are to him personally and to his family, is no longer able to discharge the functions of the presidency. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and should produce the president for the world to see.
We at NEXT take no pride at all in the personal travails of the president. If anything, we would love nothing more than for him to somehow magically be restored to full health so that he can function effectively as president. He seems to be a decent enough man, at least compared to most in our political leadership. And it may not have been entirely his fault that his exit from Abuja in late November has created such a mess. After all, he is critically ill, and perhaps we could not have expected that he had the time, or the wits, to have prepared a formal letter to the Senate President announcing his absence and the appointment of his deputy to act during his absence.

But that having happened, we are left in the hands of a sinister cabal hell-bent on ruling the country from the shadows, for no other discernible purpose than self gain. This cabal,led by First Lady Turai Yar'Adua, has successfully kept the president from public view, curtailed any meaningful access to him by responsible officers of state, and chosen to dole out instructions supposedly emanating from the president. The last time this happened anywhere in the world, the Soviet Union was still in existence. We are worse that a banana republic; we are a butt of jokes in any part of our civilised world.

But instead of responsible organs of state and those that lead them standing up to clean up the mess left by Mr. Yar'Adua, we have had a failure of courage from virtually all sectors of our national political leadership.

The first and most obvious has been Mr. Yar'Adua's cabinet,which the constitution presumes will be populated largely by women and men of some character and patriotism, and therefore could be trusted to declare the president medically incapacitated so that Vice President Goodluck Jonathan could take over with some measure of orderliness until the next election.

Fat chance.

Then yesterday we faced the farce in the National Assembly,

presided over by the spineless and unpatriotic duo of David Mark, the Senate president,and Dimeji Bankole, the Speaker of the House. Both arms of the national legislature effectively said it was not important enough even to debate the issue. The political opposition, of course, is largely mealy-mouthed and has so far provided no concrete example of leadership around which the nation could rally.

Finally, we have political leaders, former President Olusegun Obasanjo prominent among them, who have proved most cowardly and unworthy.

What we have left are citizens, on whom we now call to express their justifiable outrage and disgust by saying, enough. Please sign our electronic petition on our web site, 234NEXT.com. Let a million voices be heard.

Article culled from NEXT  Newspaper.
Cartoon culled from Vanguard Newspaper


olapeju olasunkanmi said...

As much as we ,as human beings, are empathetic of Yar'dua's medical situation,we can't afford to fold our arms when the constitution, which defines our national essence is being flagrantly abused. More so, our leaders should understand that the cost of being consistent with constitutional provisions is far less and more comfortable than that associated with Military usurpation(a situation which they seem to be plunging us into).

Anonymous said...

Since diplomatic calls to end their corrupt ways have so far fallen on deaf ears, I think we need to compile a list of those in government(EVERY SINGLE ONE) who are known to have looted the countries money and those who are known to be corrupt. These names should be put on a web page for the whole world to see. Also a description of their fraudulent undertakings should also be listed. This is a name and shame game but I believe it will have an impact. This names would be sent to institutions (Banks, governments etc around the world wanring them that dealing with this individuals is harming the welfare of the Nigerian people and would affect future relations with the country if they do not cease. Its a good shot and I'm sure it will work.

soji said...

I find it very interesting how a country with about 150 million citizens with over 200 ethnic background, multicultural,secular religious state, can all sleep with their heads in same direction..