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As Power game shifts to 2011

Jonathan: Taking the heat

Be satisfied  as acting President, Northern politicians tell Jonathan

By Chioma GABRIEL, Deputy Editor

In the face of the precarious political development in the country, the Northern caucus in the national assembly holds sway as those agitating that acting President Jonathan becomes a full-fledged President lost out in the bid to actualise their dream.

The decision by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Governors of the 36 states that despite ill health, Yar Adua  remains President seems to have doused the political tension in the country. The North feels appeased that no matter what happens, Yar Adua must remain President.

What has left many wondering is the fact that the powers of  the Vice President seems to have reduced. Will  Jonathan now be taking orders from the First lady Turai Yar’Adua or the national assembly? He appears to have been gagged as the north insists he cannot become anything more than acting President even as the supreme council of PDP has decreed  he cannot exercise his constitutional powers of contesting election in 2011.

To consolidate this decision, the Senate for the second time Wednesday, halted moves to probe the heath of President Yar’ Adua. That tallied with the failure by the governors to conduct a vote that would have determined whether Yar’ Adua should continue in office or not.

It is a statement of fact that acting President Jonathan has never pushed for anything. As a matter of fact, he seems to be a typical Yar” Adua acolyte , threatening ministers who may tow out of line by conducting  their affairs along ethnic or religious lines.

To ensure that unnecessary tension does not rear its ugly head, the acting President Thursday commissioned a 26 -man Presidential Advisory Council he constituted earlier in the week.

In this edition, Saturday Vanguard brings the views of northern elites on the development and their verdict is that Jonathan should be okay as acting President.
Read and enjoy.

It’s okay for Jonathan to remain  acting President  — Gowon

General Yakubu Gowon was the military Head of State from 1966-1975. In this encounter, he advises that Nigerians should take things easy to avoid unnecessary crisis.

What advice would you give the acting President concerning the affairs of the nation?
I have been praying for Nigeria. I have  not been  following all the reports. I am optimistic that things will go well for Nigeria.

The national assembly recently took on Dora Akunyili over her recent interview. They accuse her saying things that could heat up the polity.

She is not heating up the polity. She is doing what she  is supposed to do. She is the information minister and people are looking up to her to hear about the health of the President. That is why I am saying that we must rally support for  his quick recovery.

He is not well and  it is not his fault.  Except we want to question God why things are this way. We should pray to God to heal him. We should not politicise the whole thing.  Jonathan is acting for him. That is just okay that way.

If  the President  is not well, we should support this arrangement until another election and not politicise it.

All those asking the President to speak are being inhuman and should stop this unnecessary harassment. What do they want a sick man to tell them?  People should stop being inhuman and  let him get well so as to continue with us. All these arguments are unnecessary. We are sending out negative vibes.

The bid to make Jonathan the substantive President just failed. What is your take on that?

That the Ag. President should become  a full-fledged President should not arise. We still have a President and we should not stampede him out or dishonour him.

Jonathan as acting President is okay and we should support that. It is these agitations that Jonathan becomes the substantive President and the arguments that are heating up the polity and that is annoying the Yar’Adua group.

Let the Ag. President continue the way it is. I know he is not pushing to become President himself but those doing that are annoying the Yar’Adua group and they should stop so that Jonathan should concentrate.

If by circumstances of fate, it becomes necessary for Acting President to become President, that is okay but making a case out of it is not necessary and t we should avoid that. It is uncalled for now. We should let Yar’Adua be.

He is our President and we should show him love and understanding at this time that he needs it most. We should stop asking to see him or for him to show his face or speak. What do we want to hear again or  do we want to disgrace him out of office?.

We should show love for Nigeria — Maitama Sule

Dr Yusuf Maitama Sule, first republic politician in this encounter said he is fed up with being asked questions on Yar’Adua.

Dr Yusuf Maitama Sule, first republic politician in this encounter said he is fed up with being asked questions on Yar’Adua.

What advice do you have for Jonathan on the state of the nation?

I don’t want to talk about it.  I’m recovering from malaria and I’m not fully following the political developments.

I don’t know what they are saying because many people are talking at the same time. I really need to study the situation on ground so I can speak explicitly on the development.

But whatever they are doing or saying, I stand by the constitution. We must respect it and observe the provisions. It is quite clear and we must not try to anticipate things. We must have national interest above personal interest.

I love Nigeria and stand by everything that will hold us as one people and bring peace. There must be no sectional interest and no emotions. We must not let things go the wrong way. I’m proud of Nigeria. Nigerians must be proud of their country.

What advice do you have for people asking that Jonathan becomes a full fledged President?

We should not anticipate anything or speak or act in anticipation of something we hope will happen. I’m understudying the utterances of different interest groups and individuals. The Constitution must be followed to the letter. The President is the President of the country.

We all know he is ill. He is not the first President to be ill. Cuba had a President that was ill. Israel’s President was bedridden for months before the country had the next election.They did not make fools of themselves as we are doing by our careless utterances.

The country can go on. If Yar Adua is too sick to continue to be in power, he has to go.

But he has to confirm it himself. I’m not against Jonathan fully  taking over if the circumstances allow but it has to be done constitutionally. What I’m against is people  rejoicing over the illness of another.

It is not  our culture because our culture as Africans forbids that. Christianity and Islam do not support rejoicing over the sickness of anybody. So, I don’t want to grant any interview on him.I have to ask people that know.

Click below to read more

What Jonathan must do – Northern Politicians


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