By Dapo Akinrefon
An Ijaw pressure group, Niger Delta Nationalities Forum has urged Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore the court orders asking him to take over as Acting President.
The group advised Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to be loyal to President Yarâ€™Adua saying that he should desist from listening to fifth columnists who are out to sabotage him.
It will be recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja held that the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan can go ahead to exercise the powers of the ailing President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua pending when he recovered and returns to office. In a statement, Lagos State chairman of the group, Mr Manager Seigha warned that the present zoning arrangement should not be scuttled as this may prevent a South-South presidency.
While reacting to the court ruling, he said â€œwe are begging Goodluck not to be bothered about the court ruling. Anything the president does not ask him to do, he should not do it. Since the president has not delegated him to act on his behalf, in writing, he should ignore calls from any quarters to harp on the court ordersâ€.
Seigha said â€œWe know that by the end of the Yarâ€™Adua administration, Jonathan will be a suitable candidate to take over from Yarâ€™Adua when itâ€™s our turn. We want the zoning arrangement of eight years to remain, there should not be any need to scuttle this arrangement already on ground. We also want to commend the Federal government on the on-going amnesty deal which has led to peace in the Niger Deltaâ€.
â€œOur positionâ€, it maintained, â€œis that Nigerians are over blowing the issue and that the most important thing as Niger Deltans, from our view point is that we are happier with our presently with Umaru Yarâ€™Adua as the present and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan. We are not part of those who are interested in the Vice President taking over from Yarâ€™Adua.â€
According to the groupâ€™s boss, â€œwe also want people to respect the current zoning formular. For instance, Chief Obasanjo, from the South-West ruled for eight years. We are waiting patiently for the North to complete their eight years so that the presidency will return to the South and this will afford the South-South to present a candidate of their choice
We know that by that time, the South West will not be too eager. We are not too keen about the present scheming about who takes over as far as we are concerned, nothing has changed in the country.â€
On the presidentâ€™s ill-health, he said â€œwe think that the issue of the President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s health is being blown out of proportion and why we think is not a big deal is because our prayer is Yarâ€™Adua should be healthy enough to return to his duty post to continue work.â€