Stories by Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa, a former member of Nigeria’s senate says the issue of President Yar Adua’s long absence is a mystery and urges for the application of the constitution:

The issue of Yar’Adua absence is too long and more than a mystery. The constitution should be applied. He swore to that  and he has not lived  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 being  sick but the constitution should be complied with but it’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 are  worried about him. But I don’t blame him.

He is surrounded people who have no regard for the country and its people.

I’m delighted that Soyinka had to do what he did. He is a patriotic Nigerian. I salute him. How I  wish  a person like him had become president. But he does not have the money and if he has, he won’t spend  it on bribing for votes.

I’m a bit worried about the divergent views in the senate but I know David Mark. He  is a gentleman and very calm.
The constitution is clear on this issue. It is for  the National Assembly to ensure that the  constitution is complied with.

It is because  the constitution has not been complied with that the national assembly is finding  itself in a difficult position. The FEC has no powers to do anything. They  are  mere  kitchen boys.

I will not discuss Yar’Adua —  Maitama Sule

Ambassador Maitama Sule, elder statesman and Kano-based politician told Saturday Vanguard he would not discuss Yar’ Adua’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 Yar’Adua or VP Jonathan. My faith forbids me to do that . It is only in this country that I’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 in  a terrorist -watch list and  I think the US has to take a second look at that because there  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 that  his son was missing. There is a kind of misconception about Nigeria and the  North by the US. There is no terrorist camp in the North. The boy is not a Nigerian  terrorist.

The Nigeria government should  try to do something to get the  US to  take a second look at that list and de-list Nigeria from the terroristswatch countries  because Nigeria is not and the North or Muslims are not terrorists.

They are creating ill-feelings between Yar’Adua and Jonathan –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 a  diversionary tension to heat up the polity.  They want to create a problem between the president and the VP or to  create ill-feelings between them in their display of  ignorance of  the constitution.

The constitution  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 when  the president  or governor is permanently incapacitated by an ailment that he cannot recover from.

Then, the FEC will write  the Senate President who will appoint a specialist including the president’s or the governor’s  personal physician to declare him incapacitated.

Those who are  pushing this want to create ill-feelings between the president and the VP because what they were doing  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 can  take  a year or two. The president is not permanently  incapacitated. There is nothing  in  Wole  Soyinka leading a protest march.

He is always like that. There is hardly any government that Wole  Soyinka  will not protest against including  his best friend Muahmmadu Buhari. So, its his trade mark. He is always like that.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.