LAGOS—“WE are happy that Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has become fit enough to travel, even if by air and land ambulances,” posits Professor Pat Utomi, “but, whether Yar’Adua is back or not, Acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is still fully in charge as current leader of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the nation’s armed forces!”

Professor Utomi’s assertion was part of a statement by the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy, UNDEDSS, the coalition of ethnic nationalities and civil society of the region, of which Utomi is its president.

The statement said that UNDEDSS felicitated with Alhaji Yar’Adua, his family and the nation on the visible step towards the full recovery of the missing Nigerian President, but noted that “the fact that his family still chooses to shroud everything concerning the President in secrecy, denying the Nigerian people free access to their ailing leader, strongly suggests that Yar’Adua is still incapacitated; and goes to further buttress the fact that Acting President Jonathan’s mandate is still fully in existence, and should not be trifled with by any persons or institutions.”

Script of opponents of democracy

UNDEDSS Secretary-General, Mr. Tony I. Uranta, in the statement further castigated Yar’Adua’s media aide, Segun Adeniyi, for “deliberately playing to the script of opponents of democracy and rule-of-law in Nigeria, by persistently and insultingly referring to Acting President Jonathan as ‘the Vice-President’ in his address to the media; where he claimed that Yar’Adua thanked the Acting President and National Assembly for holding fort for him whilst he was AWOL!

He said: “It is regrettable that a professional journalist of Adeniyi’s supposed standing should so soon lose the integrity and ethics he was putatively noted for, prior to his appointment to the Presidency.

Because not only does Dr. Jonathan enjoy the full confidence and mandate of the common people, the judiciary and the legislature of Nigeria, he has been further mandated, in the capacity of Acting President of Nigeria, to lead the sub-region of West Africa; and has been so duly recognized in both national and sub-regional capacities by the international comity of nations. Adeniyi and his fellow-travellers in obtuse denial should wake up and smell the coffee!”

UNDEDSS declared that “until, and unless, Acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has the mandate bestowed upon him, to lead Nigeria, rescinded as stipulated for, by due process, he remains Nigeria’s leader; and any attempt to subvert his authority, whether overtly, covertly or by insidious means, must be seen, and treated, as what it is!”


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