Tuesday 9 February 2010

Nigeria: After 78 days of buffoonery, progress

For 78 days

In June 2009, I wrote a blog entitled Nigeria: On transparency about Yar’Adua’s health, I would not consider myself prescient but in it asked who held the levels of state and this is what I surmised.
“The concern is, if indeed there is cause to believe that the President can be incapacitated by an ailment such that he cannot perform the calling of the office of the President of the Federation of Nigeria and we do not see the effective transfer of articles of power and responsibility to the vice-President as required by the constitution, the whole ship of state falls into the hands of faceless mandarins, cohorts and handlers who are not accountable to the electorate and possibly cannot be called to order by other arms of government.”

For 78 days we have indeed had the whole ship of state fall into the hands of faceless mandarins, cohorts and handlers who are not accountable to the electorate and were not called to order by other arms of government.

Now they talk

That this untenable situation could have lasted so long is incredible to say the least given that this thinking had been published for 5 months before the President was carted off to Saudi Arabia and has seemingly lain incommunicado since then.

Today and finally, both houses of parliament have realised that this travesty can no more continue, there is no way any employee or leader can be absent without leave for 78 days and maintain the impression that every responsibility under the purview of the said person is taken care of.

Party over Nigerian constitution

The President was supposed to perform one simple task on the 23rd of November 2009 when he left for Saudi Arabia on the pretext of performing the Hajj and opening a Saudi Arabian university – he should have indicated to the Nigerian legislature that he might be away for an indeterminate period and for that time the Vice-President should act in his stead.

The constitutional provisions were clear about this exercise but the ruling party foisted its party constitution above the Nigerian constitution because of their inimical power sharing provision of alternating power between the Northern and Southern indigenes of the country.

Over the last few months there has been extensive lobbying, pressure, cajoling and probably bribery to maintain this rotten charade.

Having balls

It is a shame that the Federal Executive Council made of ministers of the Federal Republic had continually been gutless about declaring the President unfit to serve, in fact, the only person who seemed to have balls of the lot was the Minister of Information, being a female with a once enviable reputation probably found a slight redemptive outlet for her character.

Unfortunately, she was unable to persuade her colleagues of the truth that the power vacuum could no more be allowed to continue to the detriment of Nigeria for the sake of saving their skins and statuses – I would hope there is a way to sanction and punish the invertebrates that slither slimily in slovenly sycophancy.

The man cannot

Only last week, the newswires were ablaze with the news that the President will hand over power to his Vice-President, but as one quipped in a number of Twitter exchanges, the President might not be able to lift a hand to write or sign the letter.

I am still of the view that the so-called radio interview with the BBC 4 weeks ago was a hoax perpetrated by an impressionist to fool Nigerians, for over a month many have asked for the President to be broadcast on television to prove that he is around and capable – one can conclude that President Umaru Yar’Adua is no state to be displayed to a global audience.

The best we can expect is another forgery, a letter purportedly written by the President handing over power – the provisions for a effective handover of power need to be revisited and reformed to prevent a repeat of this debacle ever again.

No transparency still

Meanwhile, we still languish in suspense and obscurity about the current state of health of our President, there is still no transparency, the circumstantial evidence is simply that our inability to see him for 78 days simply means he is in no state to be seen and God forbid, probably dead.

The let we have had might also be that the faceless mandarins, cohorts and handlers who are not accountable to the electorate have completed the rape and loot of the country’s treasury that they have been sated in their thirst for money even if they no more have power to manipulate issues from the background with their filthily acquired lucre.

Justice must be served

The only reprieve we might have from this appalling saga would be that we have been a global laughing for so long it had become an embarrassment beyond expression and defence, something had to give.

The enemies of state that brought this rotten situation upon the great country called Nigeria must at one time or the other see justice and retribution for their actions – it must start with the Attorney General of the Federation and must not exclude the Minister of Foreign Affairs.


[1] Nigeria: On transparency about Yar'Adua's health [akin.blog-city.com]

[2] 234Next.com | Senate asks Goodluck to takeover

[3] Nigerian vice-president to take over from absent premier | World news | guardian.co.uk

[4] BBC News - Nigeria assembly urges ill Yar'Adua to transfer power

[5] BBC News - Sick Nigeria President Yar'Adua 'to hand over power'

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