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Buhari asks EXCOF to declare Yar’Adua incapacitated

By Emeka Mamah

Kaduna — Former Head of State and Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, in the 2007 Presidential election, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, has said that the only option to the present political logjam in the country was for the National Assembly to start impeachment processes against ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Buhari spoke while addressing members of the National Unity Forum, NUF, who paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna yesterday. He, however, said Yar’Adua could save himself from ridicule of impeachment by resigning from office honourably.

He said the Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, owed the nation a sacred duty by ensuring the ongoing confusion is resolved by declaring Yar’Adua incapacitated to pave the way for his removal from office through impeachment.

According to him, the country should not have been in the present situation if the provisions of the 1999 Constitution were respected by the leadership of the country, maintaining  that the constitution has specific provisions on how a sick  president can be replaced.

Buhari said the refusal by the EXCOF to respect and apply the constitutional provisions had led to the present rudderless situation the country had found itself.

On N/Assembly resolution on Jonathan
Obviously referring to the resolution by the National Assembly empowering Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to act as President, Buhari said it was wrong to use extra-constitutional measures to resolve matters that had already been addressed by the constitution.

He said the temporary joy of political expediency would never replace clearly laid out regulations in the constitution.

According to Buhari, “political expediency won’t remedy this kind of problem because if the EXCOF had acted in accordance with the constitution, by invoking the necessary sections to declare the President incapacitated, we would not have found ourselves in this present situation.

“As you can see, adopting extra-constitutional measures has not addressed the problem. If it had, we would not have been subjected to the raging debates and controversies going on.

“So, we must go back to the constitution. The EXCOF must do the right thing because once we start moving away from the constitution, then we are inviting anarchy.”

Electoral reform
Buhari, however, asked the Acting President Jonathan to make electoral reform the priority of his government, even as he said he had a feeling that Nigerians would stand up for the truth and reject any imposition or any government that wins future election through rigging.

The former Head of State warned that unless free and fair polls are conducted next year, there would be no stability in the country, pointing out that the first measure of commitment to the electoral reform agenda would be to re-organise INEC and make it more effective as the organisation as currently constituted, would not give Nigerians what they need in 2011.

His words: “Look at what happened in Anambra. Voters list went missing and a lot of people were denied the right to vote in the election. If INEC cannot organise credible poll in one state, how can they do it in 36 states and the FCT?

“But one way or the other, the PDP will be out of office by next May.”

Chairman of the Forum, Alhaji Maigida Abdul, said they were in Buhari’s residence to seek advice on how best they could carry out their programmes.


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