Stories by Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, a former member of Nigeriaâ€™s senate says the issue of President Yar Aduaâ€™s long absence is a mystery and urges for the application of the constitution:
The issue of Yarâ€™Adua absence is too long and more than a mystery. The constitution should be applied. He swore to thatÂ and he has not livedÂ up to that expectation. He has left for a long time and an Acting President is necessary at this time.
The way I see it, the National Assembly is pitched. There is nothing wrong in a president beingÂ sick but the constitution should be complied with but itâ€™s unfortunate it is not so.
Speaking to BBC was another thing altogether . He should have spoken to Nigerians. He has no regard for Nigeria where he was elected to rule. It is not BBC he should speak to but Nigerians who areÂ worried about him. But I donâ€™t blame him.
He is surrounded people who have no regard for the country and its people.
Iâ€™m delighted that Soyinka had to do what he did. He is a patriotic Nigerian. I salute him. How IÂ wishÂ a person like him had become president. But he does not have the money and if he has, he wonâ€™t spendÂ it on bribing for votes.
Iâ€™m a bit worried about the divergent views in the senate but I know David Mark. HeÂ is a gentleman and very calm.
The constitution is clear on this issue. It is forÂ the National Assembly to ensure that theÂ constitution is complied with.
It is becauseÂ the constitution has not been complied with that the national assembly is findingÂ itself in a difficult position. The FEC has no powers to do anything. TheyÂ areÂ mereÂ kitchen boys.
I will not discuss Yarâ€™Adua â€”Â Maitama Sule
Ambassador Maitama Sule, elder statesman and Kano-based politician told Saturday Vanguard he would not discuss Yarâ€™ Aduaâ€™s ailment or the issue of his absence anymore because Nigerians seem to be celebrating his sickness and wanting him to die:
I am not saying anything on Yarâ€™Adua or VP Jonathan. My faith forbids me to do that . It is only in this country that Iâ€™m seeing this kind of thing and people are rejoicing over the illness of the other. Islam forbids that. Christianity forbids that too.
My worry is the place of Nigeria inÂ a terrorist -watch list andÂ I think the US has to take a second look at that because thereÂ is nothing to be connected to Nigeria about the boy. He was not trained in Nigeria. He did not fly out from Nigeria.
He was trained in Yemen. His father reported to the police in London thatÂ his son was missing. There is a kind of misconception about Nigeria and theÂ North by the US. There is no terrorist camp in the North. The boy is not a NigerianÂ terrorist.
The Nigeria government shouldÂ try to do something to get theÂ US toÂ take a second look at that list and de-list Nigeria from the terroristswatch countriesÂ because Nigeria is not and the North or Muslims are not terrorists.
They are creating ill-feelings between Yarâ€™Adua and Jonathan â€“Tanko Yakassai
Alhaji Tanko Yakassai is a first republic politician and a top civil servant whose opinion on national issues is highly respected and he dismisses the controversy as unnecessary :
The controversy is unnecessary. All these agitations to empower the VP as Acting President is just aÂ diversionary tension to heat up the polity.Â They want to create a problem between the president and the VP or toÂ create ill-feelings between them in their display ofÂ ignorance ofÂ the constitution.
The constitutionÂ did not provide for a governor to handover power to his deputy or the President to hand over to the VP. The constitution says if he wishes.
He is not compelled to do so if he has to go on leave. It is the council of ministers that should write to the national assembly whenÂ the presidentÂ or governor is permanently incapacitated by an ailment that he cannot recover from.
Then, the FEC will writeÂ the Senate President who will appoint a specialist including the presidentâ€™s or the governorâ€™sÂ personal physician to declare him incapacitated.
Those who areÂ pushing this want to create ill-feelings between the president and the VP because what they were doingÂ is unconstitutional. Neither the National Assembly nor the court has the rights.
It is not for Nigerians or anybody to suggest. It has to be a permanent incapacitation, not a temporary one. It canÂ takeÂ a year or two. The president is not permanentlyÂ incapacitated. There is nothingÂ inÂ WoleÂ Soyinka leading a protest march.
He is always like that. There is hardly any government that WoleÂ SoyinkaÂ will not protest against includingÂ his best friend Muahmmadu Buhari. So, its his trade mark. He is always like that.