By Luka Binniyat
ABUJAâ€”In a surprising development, the House of Representatives South-South Parliamentary caucus came out from a closed door meeting in Abuja last week and declared that it stands by the resolution passed by the House of Representatives three weeks ago. The resolutionÂ states that Vice President Goodluck JonathanÂ is already acting as Nigeriaâ€™s President irrespective of provision of section 145 of the Nigerian constitution.
The Chairman of the caucus, Hon. Andrew Uchendu (PDP/Rivers), in a statement, said, instead of sectionalising the provision of section 145 of the constitution, Nigerians should urge the Federal Government to ensure that all post amnesty programmes are executed.
â€œAs members of the House of Representatives, we support the House resolution and the delegating of a 7-man team on goodwill visit to Mr. President in Saudi Arabia,â€ the statement said.
On the issue of leadership vacuum in the country, the statement declared: â€œThe caucus observed that the President and the Vice President ran the Presidential election on a joint ticket. Therefore, in compliance with the constitutional provision, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Vice President, has so far most ably covered the duties of Mr. President including the deployment of troops during the recent crisis in Jos.
â€œIt is unfortunate, therefore, that some elements are reading some regional bias on the issue of transmitting of a letter by Mr. President to the National Assembly.
â€œThe South-South caucus realises what is in the best interest of Nigeria. We invite Nigerians who love us most to encourage the Federal Government to ensure that the amnesty programmes is fully executed and it awards all contracts in the 2009 supplementary budget for the development of the Niger Delta,â€ the statement added.
According to the caucus, it has become very urgent for government to look into the post amnesty programme so as not to allow a resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region again.