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Date Published: 05/12/10



MAY 12, 2010



Yesterday’s defeat in the Senate of the motion to probe the late President Umaru Musa Adua’s ill-health and subsequent death is not only a shame to the Senate but a slap on Nigerians as well. The Northern caucus in the Senate who defeated the motion has chosen as always to allow personal and sectional interest to override national interest, with the unacceptable excuse that the late president should be allowed to rest in peace. I am not going to waste my time on rhetoric’s going over the issues that surrounded the health of the late president which eventually led to his death; that much is incandescently clear already to the nation and indeed the entire world. Suffice to say however that the macabre manner in which the so-called cabal made up of his immediate family led in part by his ubiquitous wife, Turai Yar Adua and his cronies, bootlickers and sycophants led by the immediate past Attorney General and Justice Minister, Kaase Michael Aondoakaa (SAN) exacerbated the president’s ill-health inevitably resulting in his death. These few individuals insulted the collective psyche of Nigerians and took the nation for granted with their callous and irresponsible attitude. They virtually ran amuck; playing God and acting as if the right to determine who to keep alive or allowed to die was their exclusive preserve. Now that the Man has been visited by the common denominator of all men, why didn’t they remain in Aso Rock that they thought they could keep for life?

It is therefore of utmost importance that the issue should not just be swept under the carpet like so many others. This is not simply about Umaru Musa Yar Adua; it is about the sacred Office of the president. If this issue is glossed over, there will be a repeat in the future because no lesson is learnt. In my own humble opinion, these men and women; the so-called cabal walking the streets of the nation today like free men should be apprehended and tried for the role they played all through the given period especially in holding the nation hostage. Nigerians must know why the late president was flown back from Saudi Arabia in the dead of the night, when he was still critically ill. Nigerians must know why the late President was not taken to well-equipped Hospitals in the West for further medical attention or at least to get a second medical opinion if it is indeed true that the Saudi doctors advised his wife to return him back to die as is being touted in some circles. Nigerians deserve to know why troops were deployed to the Streets of Abuja and to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja without the knowledge of the then Acting President. Nigerians have to know why the key actors in government, including the then Acting President, the Senate President and the Speaker, House of Representatives were denied access to the President. Nigerians ought to know why foreign doctors who are not licensed to practice in Nigeria were brought into the Seat of Power to treat the late president without the approval of the government. Nigerians should know why no autopsy was conducted on the number one citizen when he died last Wednesday; the argument of him being a Muslim is inconsequential because the presidency must not be subjected to such ridicule. That was also how the late of Head of State and Dictator, General Sani Abacha died in Office and was buried without an autopsy conducted. I know someone is wondering; Abacha too! Oh yes! He too! He was a Nigerian Head of state notwithstanding his frailties. I know that some will argue that the government should not waste its time on these issues dismissing it as frivolous and insisting that there is no time left for the government to act on critical issues dear to the Nigerian people, but we have tread that path before and this matter is not as trivial as some are trying to make it. I am equally aware that there are those who will be mad with me for raising this issue just like some have been with me due to the interview I granted to the CNN late last year on the late president insincere electoral reforms; the excerpts of which were played on his death last Wednesday, and which infuriated them because they myopically thought that I granted that interview on the day of his death. And I also know that death often make people to become very hypocritical like so many Nigerians have become in the last few days talking from both sides of their mouth (all in the name of not talking ill of the dead) in their eulogisation and deification of the late president; the very same people that were pulling him down and calling for his removal from Office just about two or three months ago, but that is life. I will however not yield to such politics of hypocrisy for I am not the sort of Man who says what people want to hear. I will say what is on my mind whether they like it or not. I maintain again that this issue is not about late President Yar Adua or his family or indeed the core North; it is about the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is about whoever is occupying that Office and the fact that whoever is occupying that office is a public property belonging to all Nigerians.

So Nigerians ought to know what happened and the government should do the right thing and not ignore this matter so that it will serve as a deterrent to others. Failure to do this will set a dangerous precedent. Nigeria can never truly be one nation and will certainly not progress if personal and sectional interests are always allowed to prevail over the overall interest of the nation like the Northern caucus in the Senate have done. 

On the issue of the choice of a vice president by President Goodluck Jonathan and the talk in the public domain about whether his party should have input in it or not, I believe that, that choice is entirely in the hands of the president in line with the constitution; his party cannot choose or arm-twist him on the matter. But I also believe that the extent to which he can exercise that right even if the constitution does not expressly say so is restricted. The reason is really very simple: historically, the president and the vice president must come from the same party for there is bound to be chaos if both personalities come from different parties. That is the norm all over the world and so I believe that much as the president has the exclusive right to choose or nominate the vice president, he cannot exercise that right outside of his party. In other words, he is free to choose whomever he wishes but he must choose from within his party irrespective of how unpopular that choice may be. But that choice is also subject to the approval of the National Assembly for the sake of checks and balances.

Comrade Eneruvie ENAKOKO

(CLO Chairman in Lagos)


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