By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJAâ€”The Federal Executive Council, FEC, Thursday, said it is only President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua who can declare himself incapacitated and not it, arguing that it lacks the powers to do so.
The council, which rose from its weekly meeting presided over by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan said it discussed extensively the ruling of Justice Dan Abutu of the Federal High Court which gave FEC 14 days ultimatum to ascertain or determine the capability or otherwise of Yarâ€™Adua to function as president of the country.
FEC, therefore, urged Nigerians wishing it to declare Yarâ€™Adua as incapable of governing the country to stop, stressing that it is impossible to do so under the present circumstances.
It added that it will also be very difficult for Yarâ€™Adua to declare himself unfit as he only went for medical treatment and not surgery, which will warrant such declaration as the only three cases reported in the US history.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr.Â Michael Aondoakaa, who made the councilâ€™s position known to State House Correspondents, at the end of the meeting, added that the council, acting pursuant to the order of the court, unanimously passed a resolution that the President remains fit to rule.
â€œThat the president is not incapable of discharging the functions of his office, and that the medical treatment outside the country does not constitute incapacity to warrant or commence the process of the removal of the president from office, under Sections 144 and 146 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,â€ he said.
According to an angry Aondoakaa, â€œ even in the US, of the three cases of incapacitation reported, the affected presidents only handed over power just for less than two hours, except one.”
He stressed that if a president who handed over power to an acting president and went into the theatre room for surgery returned after one hour and takes back power, it means that the cry for acting president is a mere wish.
The minister, who took time to relate the Nigerian experience to that of the US, where three president had at different times went on surgery after handing over to their Vice to act only to return within an hour or two to take back â€œtheir power,â€ appeared to be painting a glooming picture that shows that advocates of acting president in the Nigerian situation should better come to terms with the impossibility of their quest.