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Date Published: 12/02/09



The presidency of any nation whether big or small is not a kindergarten affair. It is a serious business. The bucks stops on the President’s table, as he or she takes decision every second, every minute, every hour, every day. The bigger the nation the more complex, tedious and more tasking the job become. If a President of a fragile nation like Nigeria abdicates office for seconds or minutes, something can go wrong. If a vacuum is created for one hour or a day, we may be in big trouble and it becomes more dangerous when it lasts for days, weeks and even months.

Our President, His Excellency Umaru Yar’Adua was flown to Saudi Arabia few weeks back following a lingering heart problem that has crippled governance in Nigeria. Granted that a President is a human being, he can be sick like every other human. He can have malaria, he can be saddled with common headache, he can have catarrh, he can have stomach upset or any other ailment for that matter, but if the ailment becomes a recurring decimal that has a capacity to cripple governance then something urgent needs to be done. President Yar’Adua has been sick since the past two years now and time has come for us to know what is wrong with him and whether the ailment will allow him to continue in office as the president of a complex, fragile and troubled country.

I remember that a presidential candidate in the United States once rode in an open car without a shirt, in an acid rain for nearly a 1000 kilometres to prove that he has a good health. Former President Ronald Reagan signed off his presidency before going for a major surgery and when he recovered he took back the presidency. President Yar’Adua has been away for two weeks now and nobody knows who has been in charge. Nobody knows whether a criminal gang has filled the vacuum since the president left for Saudi Arabia. To the best of my knowledge President Yar’Adua did not hand over the Vice President Jonathan Goodluck. Rumours have it also that some criminals who have been destroying and ruining this country for years now have been mounting pressures on Goodluck Jonathan to resign to preserve a fraudulent and criminal power arrangement that has been the shame of the nation since independence.


Nigeria has become a banana republic for years now and I do not think this political stupidity and irresponsibility should be allowed to continue. Rapacious greed of few people in this country who have had it all has refused that this country will make progress and it is either we stop them now or we sacrifice Nigeria. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is clear on who succeeds the President in case of incapacity, ill-health or death, and I do not think anybody is confused about it. I repeat that I do not want anything to happen to President Umaru Yar’Adua because he is an improvement on former President Obasanjo. I pray to Allah, the most gracious, the most passionate, the most merciful, the most enduring, the most magnanimous to heal our president. I want him to recover as soon as possible and as quickly as possible.

A day is too important to us to lose in the life of a nation that is in a hurry to meet the world’s minimum standard of development. I hear that President Yar’Adua may not return till next year and if this is true, who presides over Nigeria till next year? Do we need to wait until he returns? Who will fill the vacuum while Yar’Adua is away? What did the Constitution say in a situation like this? Who is in charge of Nigeria now, if we cannot see the Vice President taking up the responsibility? I just hope that a cabal or a criminal clique is not plundering and looting the nation now. I hope some people are not benefiting from the president’s health crisis? I believe the vice President is in a better position to tell the nation what is going on and whether there is pressure on him to resign from the mafia that has destroyed Nigeria. We need to know what is going on. Silence is not golden now. Vice President Jonathan Goodluck must tell us what is
 happening at the presidency now.

Joe Igbokwe

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