The Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, Dr. Sayyidi Abba Ruma, believed to be a key member of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s kitchen cabinet  got the entire issue wrong in his public statement that was published yesterday. Indeed, he is the one who is at the mercy of his emotions in discussing the matter of the ill health of the President and the prolonged admission of the president at a foreign hospital.

The issues are
•    Firstly, the government told a series of lies to Nigerians over a long period of time in respect of the ill health of the president. The people have not been carried along.
•    Secondly, the president failed to act as required by Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution. Indeed , the latter error is the cause of the confusion that is generating discussion in respect of the ill health of the President.  Unfortunately, most of the public comments do not address the real issues.

It is wrong to compare the situation with the era of military  dictatorship as the kitchen cabinet minister erroneously did in his comments. Those guys were not answerable to the people. They were dictators and usurpers, pure and simple. The military dictators were  not poised to give any account of their activities to the people just as no one expected any accounting from them. Today, there is a constitution that spells out exactly what the President should do when he is proceeding on vacation. He is not visiting Saudi Arabia on government business. He is on an indefinite vacation to take care of his ill health. He is not working. The correction to be made now and I believe that is the only way out of the current mess in which the PDP government has put our country, is for Shehu Musa Yar'Adua to sign the letter informing the President of the Senate that he is abroad to look after his health.

His ministers and other agents of government should prepare the letter and take it to him to sign on his hospital bed and give the letter to the President of the Senate. Everybody knows that the president is on a hospital bed and not working. Even the senate president has asked the people to pray for him. There should be no further pretence that the President is running the government. He is not working because he is ill.

We pray for his recovery. Whenever he returns to the country, he will send another letter to the President of the senate that he is back in Nigeria to resume his work as President. It is a very simple matter and I advise the PDP to make that correction now.  Let us be honest with the people and stop all pretensions and lying. Get on with the business of government.

Dr Abayomi Ferreira
President
Democratic Alternative
23 December 2009

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