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Here comes The Jonathan Presidency

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor
At about 10 a.m. yesterday Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn-in as substantive President following President Umar Yar’ Adua’s  death.

For many, Jonathan’s ascending as the nation’s number one citizen was an event foretold. Similarly, the over-politicisation of Yar’ Adua’s health issue and the official secrecy that surrounded his protracted illness somewhat made his death an anti-climax.

In the minds of most people, the President might have died long before now given the high level intrigues  around his ailment. All these, according to analysts,  were orchestrated to frustrate actualisation of Jonathan’s presidency.

In an interview  with CNN,  during his recent visit to US, Jonathan said the last time he spoke to Yar’ Adua was 26 November, last year, that was three days after the latter was flown to King Faysal Hospital in Saudi Arabia.  From that day till yesterday, those surrounding Yar’ Adua did everything to ensure that Jonathan never became substantive President.

First was the failure of late Yar’ Adua to transmit a letter to the National Assembly informing the lawmakers of his medical trip  abroad. When the actual health condition filtered around, Yar’ Adua’s  men were unconcerned. Even when it became public knowledge that Yar’ Adua was incapacitated and could no longer continue in office, his men insisted otherwise.

However, the whole affair assumed a new dimension when the Senate invoked the Doctrine of Necessity to empower Jonathan as president.

The cabal inside Aso Rock would not let up. At this point, the then Executive Council of  the Federation, EXCOF, was divided on Yar’ Adua’s issue. It was when a delegation of ministers was sent to Saudi Arabia to confirm the true position of his health, a sub-plot was then woven by the cabal.

On 24 February,  Yar’ Adua was flown into the country in the early hours of the morning under the cover of darkness. Till he died yesterday, Jonathan never set his eyes on him.

Soon after he became Acting President, Jonathan took some steps to convince all that he is in charge. Former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoaaka was redeployed to a less visible ministry. Next, the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major-Gen. Sarki Murkor was dropped and he was replaced by Lt. Gen. Gusau. With the sack of the NSA, Jonathan  sent the right signal.


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