By  Tony Edike

ENUGU—THE apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo yesterday asked the National Assembly to immediately confer the status of Acting President on Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to avoid creating a state of anarchy in the country.

The organisation said having reviewed the state of the nation, especially as it affects the long absence of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, it had become imperative for the National Assembly to stop further violation of the nation’s constitution by invoking the relevant sections of the constitution and the Public Service Rules.

Nigeria on standstill
Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nduka Eya, who made the position of the organisation known while speaking with newsmen in Enugu, described the country as a nation on “stand-still,” saying that the Yar’Adua issue had gone beyond the issue of ill-health as the constitution had been roundly violated.

He expressed worry over the present situation in the country, which he described as “very terrible” and accused some people he described as “hawks within the corridors of power” of being the mastermind of the current state of uncertainty in the country.

Eya said, “it’s indeed a sorry state. We claim to be following the footsteps of the United States but unfortunately, we do terrible things. When President Clinton went for a minor surgery, the nation was informed of everything that transpired. Though, nobody is happy that Yar’Adua is sick, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know his state of health. Why do we have a running-mate in an election, what is the idea of having a vice, if not so that there will be no vacuum in the absence of the president.

BBC interview, an insult
“Conferring the status of the Acting President on Jonathan will not take anything away from Yar’Adua, unfortunately, there are hawks in the polity, who are toying with the fate of Nigerians. We were further insulted when a frail voice told us on BBC that he would soon be back without addressing the issue of the Acting President.

“Yar’Adua has succeeded in telling the rest of the 140 million Nigerians to wait until he comes back before anything happens. We should wait indefinitely until his doctors discharge him. What a shame.”

The Ohanaeze scribe, who decried the continued quietness of members of the Federal Executive Council on the matter, said that time has come for all well-meaning Nigerians to take a stand against the goings-on in the country.

He also berated some members of the FEC, especially the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who, he said, had consistently deceived Nigerians on the state of the health of the president.

“These people are simply beneficiaries of a failing system and there is no way they will come out to be fighting against the same system. But what they have failed to know is that when this country finally collapses, God forbid, it will collapse on their heads and there will be no hiding place for them. Some of them will boldly tells us that there is nothing wrong in the president being sick, that he can rule from anywhere, that he can stay away for eternity, what a shame,” he said.


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