By Jide Ajani

ABUJA — FRESH facts emerged, yesterday, from Aso Rock Presidential Villa on why Acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is yet to have audience with his boss, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, as tension in the Presidency is likely to be heightened this week.

Meanwhile, there are fresh moves by the rump of Yar’Adua loyalists, led by Turai, his wife, to scuttle any attempt by the in-coming members of the Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, to invoke provisions of Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Vanguard has learnt that the reason Acting President Jonathan has not been allowed to see Yar’Adua is “because of the fears by Yar’Adua loyalists, especially Madam Turai, of what the response of Acting President Jonathan would be.”

An Aso Rock insider told Vanguard: “I can tell you for a fact that there is only one reason which has been discovered and it is that they are not sure what the Acting President will do when he sees the shape of Yar’Adua’s health.

“What is going on will only further heighten the tension in the land, specifically the Presidency. The reason is because some people are insisting and piling pressure on the Acting President to ensure that in-coming members of EXCOF invoke Section 144; but the man is being careful in handling the matter.

“Then you have to understand that the North, too, is upbeat about its insistence on the nomination of a vice presidential replacement that would give the Presidency the face of a united northern and southern Nigeria working together.

“But what is going on, starting with the so-called visit of some Islamic clerics to Yar’Adua is to give another slant to the whole matter. When there was an outcry about the religious slant to the visit, another report came out that Christian leaders, too, would be invited to Aso Rock to come and pray with Yar’Adua.

“If EXCOF members are sworn-in and they now attempt to do what is desired and meaningful, that is invoking Section 144, some other people will immediately rise up to say that the words of religious leaders are not being followed. And in any case, one of the visitors told us that Yar’Adua is not incapacitated. How did he come about that despite his own description of the Yar’Adua they saw.”

Facts about Yar’Adua’s health status

In an earlier interview with Second Republic Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Richard Abimbola Osuolale Akinjide, it was discovered that some people may have chosen to deceive Nigerians regarding the health condition of Yar’Adua.

Akinjide, whose understanding of what is going on can not be dismissed, said: “the western intelligence has incontrovertible facts about Yar’Adua’s health status. The western countries, particularly countries of Europe and the United States of America, USA, have up to 80 per cent investment in Nigeria. Our trade with them is about 90 per cent and it is largely crude oil.

“These countries can not be fooled on Yar’Adua’s health condition and the incontrovertible evidence before them suggests that Yar’Adua is not fit to govern this country.

“Now, what we must all understand is that it is not Yar’Adua’s fault, it is not the fault of members of the National Assembly, it is not the fault of Nigerians and it is not the fault of anybody.  Only God Almighty is immortal. It is time we stop deceiving people.”

Vanguard was also informed by a member of the Presidential Advisory Council, PAC, chaired by General T Y Danjuma, that “what these people are doing is nothing more than a divisive game which is not in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. Why would a few people just decide to toe a path of destruction not just for themselves, or Yar’Adua but for the generality of Nigerians by attempting to polarize the country?”

Invocation of Section 144 of Constitution

Reminded of the insinuation that the in-coming EXCOF may invoke Section 144 and that may be the reason why all these are happening, the source queried: “When did acting in the national interest become a problem?  Why can’t the in-coming EXCOF members do what is right and in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians?

“Mind you, the Acting President has not been allowed to see this man yet they arranged some so called religious leaders to go and see him and those ones came out and started talking and pontificating on why the man is not incapacitated.

“Why have they not allowed the Acting President to see him if they are not hiding something. Is that what they have reduced Nigeria to?  Just one man! And a few people are the ones doing this thing.”

General Jeremiah Useni, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the retired Army General, in an interview with Vanguard, last week, wondered why Nigerians were not being allowed to see their president.

Useni said: “I do not know how a situation came about when Yar’Adua’s wife decided to hide him. Yar’Adua is the property of Nigerians and Nigerians deserve to see their president.”

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