By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJAâ€”The Senator Ken Nnamani-led Good Governance Group, 3G, has charged the Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, to declare President Umaru Yarâ€˜Adua incapacitated in accordance with Section 144 of the Constitution should he fail to show up at todayâ€™s meeting.
The group in a statement yesterday deposed that the presidency is an institution greater than an individual and that President Yarâ€˜Adua should as such be removed from office if he is unable to further perform the duties of his office.
3G includes erstwhile Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu and former Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Adamu Muazu.
The call by the 3G is coming against the background of the expected presentation of the report of the six-man EXCOF delegation that visited Saudi Arabia in search of the President last month.
The 3G statement by Salihu M. Lukman, Group Organizing Secretary read in part:
â€œWhat remains to be done? The Constitution does not leave us in the dark. Section 144 is made for moments like this. The framers of the 1999 Constitution understood that the Presidency is not a person but an institution; hence they realized that a time might come when the occupant of that office can no longer perform the duties attached to the office. In such times, reasonable men and women of the Executive Council of the Federation are expected to rise to the occasion and save the nation from avoidable political crisis.â€
He lacks capacity to act as President
â€œThree months had passed without Yarâ€™Adua performing his duties as President; three months without speaking to members of his cabinet; three months without being heard or seen by Nigerians who elected him to office.â€
â€œThere is no further evidence required to conclude that President Yarâ€™Adua has ceased to possess the capacity to act as President. In the past, the Good Governance Group had called on the Executive Council of the Federation to travel to Saudi Arabia to determine the health conditions of President Yarâ€™Adua.â€
â€œThis is no longer required as President Yarâ€™Adua is said to be in the country. If those who have control of his person refuse access to him, the EXCOF should declare him incapacitated for the office of the President.
We cannot continue in this game of deceit. The country should not be destroyed by those who refuse to relinquish power. The credible men and women in the Executive Council should do their duty now.
Delay is dangerous. Let us express our love and loyalty to President Yarâ€™Adua by commending him to the Lord for his mercies and miracles. Failure of the EXCOF to act leaves us no option but to call on the Senate to continue from where they stopped and ease him from office. For now, it is time to invoke Section 144 and end this painful suffering.â€
Ask Senate to invoke Section 144
Expressing disappointment in the sneaky return of the President to the country, the group said:
“The manner of President Yar’Aduaâ€™s return betrays bad will and desperation on the part of those managing his affairs. As President of Nigeria, his return should have been a cause for celebration rather than an opportunity for nefarious and opportunistic scheming. It is not President Yar’Aduaâ€™s fault that he is ill.
There is nothing to be ashamed about his illness, even if he is on life support. There are many world leaders who are critically ill, but their ill-health did not become occasion for conspiracy and indecent stratagems.â€
â€œIn all circumstances, after a President has been away for three months without speaking to the citizens, it is expected that as soon as he returns to the country he would address the citizens and express gratitude to all those who prayed for his recovery. President Yarâ€™Adua has not done this.