…wants 5-member medical team to examine President
By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa â€” Worried by the continued absence of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua from his duty post, a group, Ijaw Foundation, has called on the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to pass a resolution declaring the President incapable of discharging the functions of his office.
The group also asked that the Vice-President be invested as acting president, pending the presidentâ€™s return to the country, even as it called on the Senate President to appoint a 5-member medical panel of medical practitioners in Nigeria, including the presidentâ€™s personal physi-cian, to examine the President to certify whether he is capable of continuing with his job.
In a statement made available to Vanguard in Yenagoa, President of Ijaw Foundation Board of Directors, Dr. Ebipamone Nanakumo, noted with concern that the avoidable failure to comply with Section 145 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has created an avoidable but contrived constitutional crisis, which must be resolved immediately to avert anarchy and disaster.
He said, â€œthe failure and/or inability of sick President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua to comply with the spirit of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to temporarily handover powers, duties and functions of the President to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan before traveling for his current hospitalisation abroad, has prevented our otherwise capable Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan from discharging the much needed functions of the President, which he was duly elected to do in the absence or incapaci-tation of the President.
â€œGiven President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s prolonged and indefinite hospitalisation abroad for ultra-intensive medical care, it is crystal clear and incontestable that he is incapacitated, at least temporarily, from performing his duties as President of Nigeria.
â€œIn the circumstance, it is unpatriotic, unacceptable, illegal and unconstitutional for the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly to delay effecting a constitutio-nally mandatory smooth transfer of presidential authority to the Vice-President through the invocation of Sections 144 and 146 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to invest him as Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
â€œIn accordance with Section 144 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, therefore, we hereby ask the Federal Executive Council to pass a resolution declaring that the president is currently incapable of discharging the functions of his office and that the vice-president be invested as acting president.
â€œWe also hereby ask the president of the Senate to appoint a 5-member medical panel of medical practitioners in Nigeria, including the Presidentâ€™s personal physi-cian, to examine the President and certify that the President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind that renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office.
â€œWe, hereby, further ask that a notice thereof be signed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives and publi-shed in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.â€
â€œPursuant thereto, by virtue of section 146 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN, 1999), Vice President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assumes the mantle of leadership of Nigeria as Acting President.
â€œIn the face of the Al-Qaeda sponsored attempted terrorist attack of United Statesâ€™ Delta Airline flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit by a misguided and gullible Nigerian on Christmas Eve, it is particularly imperative for Nigeria not to allow or create a leadership vacuum at the highest level of governance.
â€œIn the interest of national and international security, and peace, Nigeria needs a substantive commander-in-chief with the physical and mental capacities to act quickly and decisively. Therefore, the need and urgency to invoke and comply with the relevant sections of the Constitution to invest the vice president as acting president cannot be over-emphasized.