By Mike Ebonugwo
Some parliamentarians have reason to question the motive behind the recent visits of some religious leaders to recuperating President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua. At an impromptu gathering last week at the Lawanson Bus-stop in Lagos, most of them dismissed the separate visits of Muslim clerics and Christian leaders, supposedly on the invitation of some aides of the ailing President, as nothing but a carefully contrived political move to hoodwink the populace that the President is presently on the speed lane of recovery.
â€œI donâ€™t know whether they think that the rest of us are mumu,â€ began one angry parliamentarian who gave his name as Philip. He did not stop there. â€œDid they think that by inviting religious leaders to see Yarâ€™Adua, that will make us to believe that he has miraculously recovered from his sickness? If he has recovered all he needs to do is to come and address us publicly through radio and TV. We donâ€™t need any religious leader to come and tell us whether the president has recovered or not; let him come out and talk to us,â€ he declared.
Parliamentarian Benson took it up from there. â€œDonâ€™t mind them. The timing of these visits clearly betrays their ulterior motives. It was about the time that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was planning to constitute a new cabinet after dissolving the one appointed by Yarâ€™Adua that they decided to arrange the visits. The whole intention is to cause distraction and confusion that will derail the inauguration of the new cabinet,â€ he alleged..
Another parliamentarian by name Akin readily agreed. â€œYes, thatâ€™s their game plan. We always get to hear that Yarâ€™Adua has made a sudden recovery from his sickness any time Jonathan is planning to do anything that will move the country forward. Was it not how they said not long ago that Yarâ€™Adua has started moving about on his own, that in fact he would soon visit the mosque to attend Jumat service. But nothing came out of that rumour because nobody saw Yarâ€™Adua near any mosque not to talk of him attending any Jumat service. Theyâ€™re just playing politics with the manâ€™s health and by extension his life, and that to me is wickedness,â€ he noted with a frown of disapproval.
Parliamentarian Nonsoâ€™s response to this was: â€œThey donâ€™t see it as wickedness; they see it as survival. It has just dawned on them that the more Jonathan consolidates his hold on power the more irrelevant all of them who are Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s men will become.
And they are aware that once a new cabinet is sworn in it may mark the end of their political relevance in government because the new cabinet may just decide to invoke section 145 of the Constition which will lead to the impeachment of Yarâ€™Adua as president. And once that happens, that is the end for them. That is why they are presently fighting tooth and nail to frustrate Jonathan with all this funny drama about how Yarâ€™Adua would soon recover to resume his duties as Presidentâ€.
To this Philip said: â€œSomebody was asking the other day why theyâ€™re so desperate to frustrate Jonathan from assuming power as president, and I said that itâ€™s because most of them have something to hide. They have so much soiled their hands while Yarâ€™Adua was in control that they are now afraid of what will happen to them when Jonathan starts exercising full powers and use that to probe their activities. They want to continue to hide under Yarâ€™Adua, praying that the man will not die suddenly because that one will certainly expose them.
I believe itâ€™s fear that is making them to do what theyâ€™re doing in the name of trying to prove that Yarâ€™Adua is recovering from his ill-healthâ€.
For parliamentarian Oscar: â€œIf that is the case, I donâ€™t blame them; it only means they see their interests and careers as being under threat. Who will not be afraid when he knows that a change is coming that will endanger his interest? Itâ€™s just simple human nature.
And if you look closely at how Jonathan is operating, you will understand the basis for their fear. And if the truth must be told, itâ€™s not really Jonathan that is in charge as Acting President but Obasanjo.
And we all know how vindictive Obasanjo is. We are already hearing that Ribadu will soon return to take over from Madam Farida Waziri in the EFCC. Donâ€™t you see Obasanjoâ€™s hand in that? And what will happen by the time Ribadu returns and starts hunting those in the Yarâ€™Adua cabinet that have offended Jonathan at one time or the other?â€
But Oscarâ€™s statement was loudly dismissed by majority of parliamentarians present.