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Who needs an acting president?

Nigerians amuse me. Since President Umaru Yar’Adua  declared himself sick and reported that he was going to Saudi Arabia,  Nigerians, especially those in the civil society groups,  have been calling for the installation of Vice President  Goodluck Jonathan as acting president.

The argument of those who led the campaign for the installation of  Jonathan as acting president is  that the nation’s activities have ground  to a halt. True, there are certain things the man cannot do in his capacity as vice – president but he has been presiding over the Federal Executive Council meetings in that capacity.

True, he cannot receive letters of credence from ambassadors designate. If Nigerians are waiting, then let the ambassadors designate also wait.

Others feel that power is not being handed over to Jonathan because he is from a section of the country; South – South.
The question for this agitators is simple, didn’t Yar’ Adua know that Jonathan is from the South – South, Niger- Delta or an Ijaw man when he accepted him as his vice – president? Of course he knew and still knows.

On a serious note, can we really trust  Jonathan with power?

My observation of the man’s conduct gives cause for concern.  Here was a man who refused to make a public declaration of his assets when   his boss  did.  Indeed   Jonathan’s office issued a statement claiming that the man was not bound to follow the footsteps of Yar’Adua. He was however forced to publicly declare his assets by  public pressure.

Jonathan  has had goodluck all the way.  With Goodluck he became governor of Bayelsa State after the questionable impeachment of then Governor Dieprieye Alameyeseigha.

Even when he did not lobby to be vice- president, goodluck again pushed him to get Obasanjo to pick him as vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party.

Jonathan, a well educated man, is said to be very loyal which is a virtue but how does one place this against his alleged role in the Ekiti re-run?

It has been alleged that against the wishes of Mr.  President that the people of Ekiti should be allowed to choose their leaders in a free and fair election, Mr.  Vice – President allegedly led the PDP team that raised money in questionable circumstances to influence the election.

Mr. President ordered a probe into the Ekiti election but the report has not seen the light of the day.
Now to Edo State, in the last two weeks, there has been tension in the state over a re-run election in Estako Central Constituency.

Accusing fingers have again been pointed in the direction of the vice- president as his principal secretary and former deputy governor of Edo State, one Ogiadome, is said to be using the office of the vice- president to work against the interest of the state.

One may dismiss this as mere allegation but should the exalted office of the vice president be dragged into an election in any  state?

If the truth must be told, the PDP of which the vice- president is a staunch member has never allowed free and fair election anywhere including Bayelsa, the state of the vice- president.  It is therefore safe to say, perhaps, Mr. Vice- President is not used to free and fair election.

Whereas Yar’ Adua believes and demonstrates his commitment to due process though he breached same by not informing the National Assembly in writing  before embarking on his medical trip, he could be forgiven.   Afterall, but for his non- interference policy, Ondo would not have had  Olusegun Mimiko as governor, neither will Edo have  Comrade  Adams Oshiomhole as governor.

It is doubtful if Mr. Vice- President believes in due process.  He appears to me as one of those who believe Nigeria must be ruled by the  PDP ( People Deceiving People)  at all costs.

One understands clearly that what Femi  Falana, Professor Soyinka, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Col.  Abubakar Umar, the president of the Nigeria Bar Association and others  are fighting for is the principle.

Principle? Yes. But the problem with our system is that we in the civil society groups fight for justice but the beneficiaries are  usually the wrong people who will use the same office to oppress the people.

We fought for democracy and the wrong people are in government.  At no time was there a Goodluck Jonathan or Umara Musa Yar’ Adua at any pro-democracy rally.

Let everyone know that there is NO VACANCY  IN ASO ROCK.
We wish our president full recovery and can’t wait for him to resume his duties.

Florence Omokharo is resident in Benin.


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