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Yar’Adua: Invoke Section 144, group tells EXCOF

LAGOS—Acting President Goodluck Jonathan and members of the new Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, have been called upon to immediately invoke Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution to ensure that the ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua was gracefully eased out of office, so he could focus on his health for the nation to  focus on good governance and dividends of democracy.

This was one of three key demands made yesterday by the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy, UNDEDSS at a media briefing, following its 16th emergency executive meeting held in Lagos.

“Acting President Jonathan and the EXCOF are duty-bound to respect and uphold this nation’s  Constitution whether they like to or not and must not toy with the sensibilities of Nigerians who virtually brought them into their present positions, by making it appear that the choice to let an obviously-incapacitated President hold 150 million Nigerians back is theirs to make, based on sentiments.

Nigerians say, ‘Enough is Enough.’ Yar’Adua has to be respectfully eased out of Aso Villa now!” UNDEDSS President, Prof. Pat Utomi posited.

Ther group also demanded that INEC Chairman, Professor Maurice Iwu, must be compelled to proceed on compulsory leave immediately to last till expiration of his tenure in June, 2010, at which time his tenure must be terminated.

UNDEDSS Secretary-General, Mr. Tony I. Uranta, asserted that “Maurice Iwu, through his incorrigible corruption of the electoral process in Nigeria, has become an albatross helping to hold this nation back from attaining its politico-economic potentials.

“Acting President Jonathan must stop prevaricating and immediately do the bidding of all Nigerians by terminating Iwu’s appointment forthwith. Iwu must proceed on compulsory leave now, prior to his final disengagement in June.

The terminations of Yar’Adua’s and Iwu’s tenures are non-negotiable demands of the Nigerian peoples; and the voice of the people is the voice of God!”

UNDEDSS equally demanded that the Acting President urgently ensured that positive mileage began to be visible regarding the Niger Delta, starting with the immediate publication of the long-overdue White Paper on the Report of the Presidential Technical Committee on the Niger Delta; the full empowerment of the Office of the Special Adviser for immediate commencement of the stalled Post-Amnesty Process.

It also made case for the real kick-off of infrastructural development in the region by both the Niger Delta Ministry and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; and the earliest resolution of the anti-progress  wrangling presently ongoing within the NDDC Board/management.

He said:  “Unless, and until, Acting President Jonathan publishes the long-overdue White Paper on the Niger Delta Technical Committee Report, and ensures expeditious execution of the its recommendations regarding justice and development for/in that still-beleaguered region,the people of the Niger Delta will see him, unfortunately, as part of the problems of the region, and history will not be kind to him.

“His success in the Niger Delta is crucial to overall national unity, security and development. So, should he fail to now begin resolutely and holistically to resolve the region’s challenges, Goodluck will have chosen to fail in nearly every other area of his ‘administration.”


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