Gives condition for transfer of presidential power to Jonathan
By Emmanuel Aziken, Abuja
President Umaru Yar`Adua will have no problem transferring power to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan if his doctors determine that he is bound to a long stay in hospital, his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters Senator Mohammed Abba Aji has declared.
Abba-Aji in an interview yesterday also pooh-poohed insinuations of an imminent end of the Yar`Adua presidency predicting that the President would soon be in sound health and be in good bounce for a second term.
He, nevertheless, called for prayers for the President from all Nigerians who he said should pray for him as if they were praying for their fathers.
The presidential adviser spoke against the background of speculations in Abuja yesterday evening that a letter of transfer of authority to Vice-President Jonathan has been directed to the National Assembly.
While denying the existence of any such letter, Abba-Aji in a telephone interview said the President would have no problem writing such a letter if and when he felt the situation of his health demanded it.
â€œWhen he assesses that he will stay long, I believe he will send the letter and it depends on his discussion with his doctors. If the doctors say that he will stay long, the Yar`Adua I know will send the letter and if it is just a few more weeks I think there will be no problem,â€™â€™ he said.
Declaring that the Yar`Adua presidency would stretch out to the end of a second term in 2015, he said:
â€œWhat most people do not know is that Yar`Adua will come back. He has done it before, when he was Governor he was away for six months and the death wishers did the same thing when he was Governor and he returned and he did not only return to continue his job as Governor, but he went on to have a second term and completed the second term successfully and went on to contest the presidency of this country and won.â€
â€œHe will definitely return. Yar`Adua is a man with many lives, he will come back, he will come and complete his first term and he will re-contest. So, read my lips, he will come back a very healthy person and he will carry on with his work, complete his tenure and he will contest for a second term.â€
Asked when the President would be coming back, he said:
â€œHe will take his time. I agree that he will not come back until his doctors consider it safe for him to do so, but once he comes back, he will come back in full force. He will bounce back and I have no doubt in my mind that he will come back.â€
â€œJust because of his position some people are not even prepared to consider him becoming a human being. How many Nigerians have been on admission and returned to their jobs is it because they are not President?
He never said that he is a superman, Yar`Adua is an ordinary human being. He has been ill before and just as he did before, he will recover.â€