The Action Congress, AC, has slammed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Michael Aondoakaa for seeking to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians with hisÂ comments on the health of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the latest statement credited to the AGF, that the President can perform his official functions without actually being around, amounts to a deliberate attempt to trample on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
â€œIf the framers of our Constitution had wanted the President to rule from a distance, it would not have dwelt on the need for the President to hand over to his deputy if he is proceeding on vacation or otherwise unable to carry out his official functions for whatever reasons.
â€œUnfortunately, many members of the Presidentâ€™s cabinet, in their desperate bid to ingratiate themselves to him, are ready to distort the Constitution and even peddle bold-face lies.
â€œIt is particularly sad when the official leading such a campaign of lies and deceit is the countryâ€™s chief law officer. The Minister was previously quoted as saying President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s ailment is â€˜minorâ€™, even when the President has been in Saudi Arabia for the past 23 days. With his latest comments, which have not been denied, Aondoakaa has hit a new low,â€™â€™ AC said.
The party said the truth is that many of the Presidentâ€™s aides and ministers are thinking more of themselves rather than the ailing President.
â€œWhile it may be fair to say that they donâ€™t want the President to die, it is also becoming increasingly clear that they donâ€™t want him to get well soon, so that they can continue their current freewheeling style with no one supervising them,â€™â€™ it said.
The party re-stated its stand on the issue of the Presidentâ€™s health, which is that it expects the appropriate organ of government – the FEC – to act in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution by initiating the process to ascertain whether or not the President can continue in office on the strength of his ill health.
â€œThe FEC is the only organ constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of starting this process. If it does not start it, no other organ can, and Nigeria will continue in this same state of suspended animation – which we have been subjected to in the past 23 days as at Dec. 16th
â€œUnfortunately, enlightened self interest will not allow the FEC to act. Members are not sure if a Jonathan presidency will retain them or not, hence they are not in a hurry to engage in an act that will amount to self immolation,â€™â€™ AC said.