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PDP considers 3 options on hand over to Jonathan

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor
LAGOS—THE Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, is considering three options on how to make  Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan to act  in acting capacity as ailing President Umaru Yar’ Adua’s absence enters 58 days.

One of the options is to prevail on the President to allow the Vice-President take over in acting capacity to enable him have enough time to recuperate.

The second option is to ask the Federal Executive Council, FEC, to invoke constitutional provisions while the third is to call on the National Assembly to act.

The party’s new position may not be unconnected with the tension the President’s long absence has generated and the need to halt what it perceived as the country’s drift toward avoidable chaos.

A founding member of PDP, who is also a member of its Board of Trustee, BOT,  Senator Onyeabo Obi,  told Vanguard in an exclusive chat that the current situation in the country demanded that the Vice- President took over legally.

Specifically, the BOT member said fresh outbreak of violence in Jos and the need to call erring ministers to order made it imperative for the VP to take over in acting capacity, noting that the Federal High Court’s judgment which empowered him (VP) to exercise executive functions did not say anything new.

He said whatever option that will be chosen, the party was on top of the situation, adding  that Tuesday’s meeting of  Service Chiefs, National Assembly leadership  and leadership of PDP and the Vice-President was an indicator that something positive was about to happen.

According to the Second Republic Senator, “Everybody is concerned about the present situation in the country.

The President has been away for about 60 days now.  Something positive will surely happen, at least for the VP to take over legally so that there will not be problem.”

He stated that “the Federal High Court which empowered the Vice- President to exercise executive powers did not say anything new. The whole situation is generating a lot of tension which is not necessary.

The President will be persuaded to write the letter because he knows there is a lot of pressure on him to return. Even if he returns, he must be well enough to continue in office.

”We can excuse the swearing on the Chief Justice because there is a law which permits that, but the situation in Jos demands that if the military must be invited, it is the Commander -in-Chief that must give the order.

We cannot continue with the present situation because the country is hemorrhaging and we have stop the drift.

”Also, the VP must have the power to call the ministers to order and discipline them because some of them have been doing anything they like. All that is required now is for the party to give directive to the effect that the VP takes over in acting capacity and all others will fall in line. Don’t forget that the party is a disciplined one.”


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