Wednesday 10 March 2010

Nigeria: Yar'Adua cannot resign because of 2015

Party politics influence

Somehow I am disappointed that contemporaneous circumstances are beclouding the ability of people to see the reality of why we have the phantom of a comatose President Umaru Yar’Adua lurking the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s corridors of influence.

It goes without saying that party politics in Nigeria has a way of supplanting due process and offers the ruling party the opportunity to become the machinery of state.

Just like we had in the Second Republic [1], the ruling party was the National Party of Nigeria and chieftains in the party seemed to have a higher public profile than the elected executives, face of the government then was Chief A. M. A. Akinloye the chairman of NPN whilst the President, Shehu Shagari was the figurehead fa├žade of rampant kleptocracy.

The snouts in the trough

Now, in the Fourth Republic [2], the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has progressively dominated all the levels of government with the patronage that allows for the abuse and misuse of power.

Worse still, the PDP operates a constitution that relegates the Nigerian Constitution to a subsection of their procedures and rules of engagement – that has become so evident with the saga surrounding the departure from the public space of the President Yar’Adua due to suspected ill health.

In order to appease the conflicting egos and forces of influence in the ruling party they arranged that executive power would alternate between the Christian South and the Muslim North, neither the North nor South is exclusively Muslim or Christian but that is the accepted view of Nigerians.

8 for us and 8 for them

A Christian Southerner held power for 2 terms adding up to 8 years with his Muslim Northerner running mate and from May 2007 a Muslim Northerner with his Christian Southerner running was selected to run the country and approved to take power through one of the most widely rigged elections ever in Nigeria.

The little detail in this matter was that the Muslim Northerner had a pre-existing illness which probably has been exacerbated by the burden of office and forced him out of public view since November 2009.

We now have an Acting President who was the running mate and a Christian Southerner as well as a conundrum that leaves the ruling party in a quandary.

Resignation leaves them with 7

Their perverse constitution requires for power to be vested in the North until 2015 which is the two terms of 4 years each starting from 2007, but if the seemingly incapacitated substantive President were to resign the ruling party would have a Christian Southerner in charge, albeit for just a year because they do not intend the Southerner to run in 2011.

By 2015, the Northerners would only have had 7 years with their snouts to the trough, the Southerners would want their candidate for 2015 and the clamour would be around fulfilling the 8 years with the Northerners running for 11 years and all the mess that would be a right old mess.

For that supposedly obscure reason, the ruling party would rather have a comatose Northern President lurking in the background of the Acting President until the next elections in 2011 than risk the trough-sharing opportunities they have projected for the future.

The issue is in 2015

That way, the 2-term 8 year power sharing arrangement of the pre-eminent constitution of the ruling party is kept without much regard for the Nigerian Constitution or Nigerians.

It is the reason why the entire clamour around the presence or absence of President Yar’Adua must stop and we should start to bolster the authority of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, thereby, forcing the hand of the ruling party to bow to the inevitable.

The issue today is not about the health of the President or 2011, it is really about the consequences actions of today might have on 2015 – that is where the problem really is – in 2015.


Nigerian Second Republic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nigerian Fourth Republic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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