The charade, deception, collusion and outright fraud that we have been witnessing in the three realms of the Federal Government over the unconstitutional refusal of President Yarâ€™ Adua to observe the provisions of the constitution by writing to the National Assembly to enable Vice President Jonathan Goodluck act as President while he is away in Saudi Arabia for medical rescue should open the eyes of all Nigerians to the need for the Freedom of Access to Information Act.
It is also a potent evidence that the Act will not be for the benefit of journalists and the press alone, but for all Nigerians. It further demonstrates, perhaps, why the present National Assembly has been unwilling to pass such Act.
Now we are told that the House of Representatives wants to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia on a jamboree to â€œ pay a get-well visit to the President and discuss some matters of urgent importance with himâ€, presumably flying first class and collecting estacodes at the tax-payersâ€™ expense, not to talk of the cost of their retinue of aides, instead of passing resolutions, firstly, to request the President to obey the constitution under S.145 or face impeachment, and secondly, requesting the FederalÂ Executive Council to act in accordance with S.144 (a) of the constitution, which provides that â€œ by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation, it is declared that the President or Vice President is incapable ofÂ discharging the functions of this office; andÂ (b) the declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.â€
By their resolution on Tuesday, the House of Representatives has clearly not behaved as a â€œhouseâ€ of our own representatives, nor has the Senate served the Nigerian people better by their own resolution of the same date to simply invite the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, AlhajiÂ Yayale Ahmed, to brief it on President Yarâ€™ Aduaâ€™s health.
If a President from Katsina State, north-west zone is unwilling to formally allow his Vice President from Bayelsa State, in the South-South zone to formally act as President in his absence, and both the House and the Senate have failed to invoke constitutional provisions to put the President in check, after 50 days of medical absence, but have chosen merely to vacillate and temporize, with the tragi-comic insult of wasting money on a delegation of House members to Saudi Arabia, then, by their dereliction of duty, they are proving right those who have continued to argue that, despite our last civil war to keep the country as a country, Nigeria is content to remain only as a country, but never as a nation. And that will be darkness visible.