By Kunle Oyatomi
Over 100 million Nigerians are currently held hostage by a few people who want us to believe that President Yarâ€™Adua is conscious, fit and sound to rule. And they have the audacity to insult our collective intelligence by saying that no law prevents the president from ruling in absentia!!
And sadly enough, for 75 days on they have succeeded in hijacking presidential power, and kept it inÂ the cooler in order to take advantage of the vacuum.
As this dastardly political terrorism unfolds, we are playing with the blame game, trying to locate the problem on President Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s court.
I am afraid, that is chasing shadows. At least we now know that the ailing president was rushed out of this country practically unconscious or virtually helpless, and so was probably not in a position to be in full grasp of himself. And nobody in Nigeria today can say categorically how the president looks like or give a credible account of his state of health.
The only people who know for sure what is happening are Turai (the wife) and … (the chief of staff).
And these people have been not just silent, but also out of sight. Apart from the BBC stunt, we do not know a thing about our President beyond the banal resolution of the Federal Executive Council which said the president is capable of performing his duties.
On yes, no law obligates that FEC to prove to us that Yarâ€™Adua is fit to rule, so, as demanded by the court, they have done what the constitution asked them to do – pass a banal resolution that is totally false, because unsubstantiated, that the president is in â€œperfect healthâ€. So, end of story, and the pillage of the country is accelerated beyond whatever this country has ever experienced.
Now, how do we know that President Yarâ€™Adua is in a state of mind stable enough to make critical decisions about governing a country in crisis like Nigeria? At least we can make very intelligent guess that the only reason Yarâ€™Adua has not come out to respond to the outcry against his absenteeism could be that he is incapable of responding – the man is in a terrible battle for his life, and that is all that matters right now.
If for any reason the world wouldÂ want to think of Nigerians as docile people too dumb to reason quickly, isnâ€™t 75 days enough to tell us that Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s absence from his duty post is because he is incapable of performing his duties? For Godâ€™s sake let the likes of Andoaaka and Taminu credit us with some intelligence.
Yarâ€™Adua cannot be fit to rule, and for 75 day prefer to lie down on a Saudi hospital bed wasting public funds to treat himself of a mild indisposition that aÂ roadside chemist in Nigeria can treat. That would be criminal of the man. But for all that we know of him, our ailing president is not a criminal, like those who are telling damnable lies about his health.
We know that something serious is happening to our President to keep him back in a Saudi hospital this long.
Without a doubt he is INCAPABLE of performing his function at the presidency.
Thus it is most uncharitable for us to locate the blame for our crisis on the President. He could be to all intent and purposes unaware of the state of the nation as a result of his ill-health-absolutely unaware despite his BBC interview.
Who then shall we hold accountable for the festering crisis that we now haveÂ on our hands? The chief architects of this situation are the Attorney General of the Federation Mr Andoaaka, and hisÂ Foreign Affairs counterpart, Ojo Maduekwe, the economic adviser to the President Mr Taminu, and the entire cabinet in the Federal Executive Council.
They are the ones holding Nigeria to ransom, using the court process to manipulate the constitution of the Federal Republic.
But for Dora Akunyili, the only voice in the din who at the meeting of Ministers last Wednesday decided to follow the path of honour. Anyone who knows Akunyili will testify that the woman does not have the liver to live a lie. She told her colleagues to say it loud and clear that Yarâ€™Adua is not fit to still rule.
The most tragic aspect of this crisis is that the whole lot of them are not elected by the Nigerian people andÂ so they will be considering themselves unaccountable to Nigerians except Mr President who appointed them. And by extension, perhaps, they cannot be trusted to act in the national interest, except the president asks them so to do!! There are the characters that are holding us hostage in the name of Mr President.
In a situation like this, who can we depend on to save the nation from the catastrophic consequence of imminent collapse that stares us in the face. My humble submission is this, after the President, on whose table the buck stops, the next group of people or institution that can come to the rescue are members of the National Assembly. They are the peoplesâ€™ representatives, and they, (not the FEC), are responsible to the Nigerian citizens for good governance and ensuring that the rule of lawÂ prevails.
So if governance is in crisis today, the National Assembly, not the FEC should be held accountable especially so because in this particular case, they occupy the highest seat of the moral conscience of this country. But so far they have broken faith with public trust, and still have not reached a consensus as to what to do in the public interest.
Yarâ€™Adua is not the problem. The man is too enfeebled by ill-health to be in charge; and those whose responsibility it is to secure governance are as disabled as Mr President himself.Â That is our dilemma. Until the National Assembly wakes up or is cured of its (is it terminal?) slumber, we are racing ever faster to disaster. Time is running out!!