By Sam Eyoboka
BOGGED by the tension brewing in the Aso Rock Villa as a result of the sudden return of ailing President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua from Saudi Arabia where he was receiving medical treatment, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has called for a silent revolution by Nigerians to resolve the miasma.
In a telephone interview, the cleric urged the ailing president to throw in the towel if he was convinced that he could no longer perform his statutory functions as the president of this country, adding that if the president failed to take the part of honour, the National Assembly owed the country a duty to invoke the relevant portions of the 1999 constitution.
Failure of the National Assembly to bail the nation from current international embarrassment, Okogie said, the people of this country, who had been at rung of all the political manoeuvres of self-serving politicians, must therefore take their destiny in their own hands through a silent revolution that would rescue them from the murky waters.
His words: â€œWe all know that the man is sick but certain fellows in government, who are economical with the truth because of their own selfish interests, are bent on making him look capable of piloting the affairs of the nation. TheÂ the international community is watching the show of shame that is currently unfolding in Nigeria.
â€œHow many just men do we have in this country where persons are after their own pockets and not the well being of the poor masses of the nation?â€
The cleric also urged the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to urgently make a clean sweep of all political actors who had held this country by the jugular in the last couple of weeks, saying that they knew the truth all the while but refused to do anything in the interest of the nation.
â€œThey went about telling the nation blatant lies because they are determined to line their pockets at the expense of the poor people of this country who should be protected,â€ he said, pointing out that those who were willing to tell the truth, this same cabal had perfected plans to eliminate such honest people.
Drawing inspiration from a statement credited to the Special Assistant to President Yarâ€™Adua on Media and Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi to the effect that he would leave to tell his own side of the unfolding drama at Aso Rock one day, Okogie challenged the journalist to immediately come out to tell Nigerians what he knows.
On the call by Northern Christian Elders and other well meaning Nigerians for the immediate sack of the Chief of Army Staff and the Commander of Brigade of Guards for the deployment of troops to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the streets of Abuja, Okogie calls for caution.
According to the archbishop, there must had â€œbeen something that precipitated the action of the Army officers concerned, stressing that to err is human but to forgive is divine.â€
Stating that the military had amply demonstrated its commitment to democratic principles, he maintained that â€œthere is a mentality in the military which can be likened to taking an oath of allegiance which makes it almost impossible for serving officers to transfer allegiance so quickly as the situation we have at hand.â€
To Okogie, â€œthe officers must be given fair hearing before any action is taken against them for allegedly deploying troops to the streets of Abuja ahead of last Wednesdayâ€™s nocturnal re-entry of the ailing president to Nigeria after three months in a Saudi Arabian hospital.â€