By John Ighodaro
CALABAR â€” Chairman of the South South Peoples Assembly (SSPA), Cross River State chapter, Chief Ambrose Akpanika, has expressed surprise that President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, who signed an appropriation bill of over 100 pages, could not sign a one-page letter authorising Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to act as president in his absence.
Akpanika, who spoke in Calabar, added that there would have be no crisis if Dr. Goodluck Jonathan became acting president, except that â€œhawks have decided to capitalise on the situation for their selfish interests.â€
Akpanika argued that the president’s stay outside the country had gone beyond the constitutionally stipulated 60 days without empowering his vice to act as president, adding that the constitution had been violated.
His words: â€œIt is no longer news that our President, Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, is sick and is currently under life support and can no longer rule this nation. This singular situation has plunged the nation into too much uncertainties.â€
He expressed disappoint-ment at the Federal High Courtâ€™s ruling in Abuja on who should act as president when the president is absent.
â€œThat judgment is full of semantics and empty.Â In honour and trust we have for the judiciary, one would have expected that if a motion or defective request was placed before it, the judge should first of all correct the defect before giving ruling.
â€œIf the vice president is allowed to act, he can be impeached for usurping the powers of Mr. President in that circumstance.â€
He wondered why the president could â€œsign the appropriation bill withÂ over 100 pages in Saudi Arabia and cannot sign a one page letter empowering his vice to act as president. There must be something wrong,â€ he added.