Skip to main content

Power Transfer: Let’s Negotiate With Kidnappers Of Our "President"

February 8, 2010
The controversy generated by President Umaru Yar’adua’s ill health/incapacitation and his deliberate or maybe forced refusal to transfer power to his deputy Goodluck Jonathan has before now, been driven by mere emotional outbursts rather than deep meditations on the core crux of the matter which has now become obviously deadlocked. It is a common saying that desperate situation requires desperate measures and nothing can best describe the state of the nation now but to say that it has become desperately dangerous to just sit down and continue to trade blames in court and in the wider political circles.
Our servant leader was kidnapped on November 23, 2009 and has been held hostage since then. Only very insignificant few Nigerians outside the G-4 can authouritatively say anything about his where about, state of health and whether he is alive or dead.

 As it is now, the empathy the real Nigerians had for the President has been turned into burning anger towards his handlers for their callousness in making him an instrument of National shame and disgrace just because of their disreputable behavior and selfish interests.

Honestly, beyond all the politics and constitutional jargons, the real and dangerous Nigerians  are very angry with his handlers for their callousness in making him an instrument of National shame and disgrace just because of their disreputable behavior and selfish interests. And it is very clear that some of our leaders especially the former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo probably have some information concerning the President’s health that the public is not privy to.

Beyond doubt, President Yar’Adua’s health condition seems so bad that he cannot do anything by himself. Though according to the First Lady, Turai Yar’Adua that he listens to news every morning and evening, the President is most likely not conscious of all that is going on in the country especially in government.

He is presently not in a mental and Psychological state to dictate what he wants. His handlers are simply being wicked by subjecting his personality and all the President represents to this diabolical play for personal advantage. The obvious truth is that members of this cabal do not care a hoot about Yar’Adua, but their privileged positions of thievery.

The issue here is the unavailability of our president (the man imposed on us and who we accepted by keeping quite, to work for us as the leader).

Let’s look at some of the issues involved in this political logjam. It is important we know that there is a clear difference between delegation of power and transfer of power. Section 5 of the Constitution deals with delegation while Section 145 deals with transfer of power.

The question is: In what shade or form did Yar’Adua confer power of function to the vice president; was it verbal or through a written instrument? The truth is that the President actually delegated power by verbal communication to Vice President Jonathan. But the only time that the Vice President can exercise all the powers of the President is when there is transfer of power as stipulated in Section 145 of the Constitution.

Beyond all the constitutional and political jargons so far adduced in this power transfer matter, The 1999 Constitution prescribes a four-stage process to a transfer of power in case of incapacity or forced removal of the President for the same reason.

First, the Executive Council of the Federation (FEC) must agree and pass a resolution that the President is permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office. That resolution must be supported by two-third majority of all the cabinet ministers and not two-third of those present on the particular day of decision. This should be the first and the crucial stage which should then determine the necessity or otherwise of the three remaining stages.

And we all know that FEC has passed the resolution that President Yar’Adua though sick and quarantined, “is not incapable of discharging the functions of his office.”

The spokesperson of the kidnap gang holding our President hostage has equally told the nation that the President can govern from anywhere he finds himself around the world despite the fact that Section 298 of the Nigerian constitution says that “the FCT Abuja shall be the seat of the government of the federation, the central place.” Anyway, this is not the issue now.

So going by the constitution, all the doors for further discussions on the issue of power transfer were closed by the FEC resolution and the keys hidden in the same place where our servant leader has been hidden since November 23, 2009. The cabal holding our president hostage knows this very well and these evil men/women have helped all Nigerians- informed and uninformed, play into their hands by harping on “following the constitution’.

There is a deadlock situation whether anybody likes it or not and it has become clear that the challenges we have now in this matter are not constitutional at all. They are purely political and can only be solved politically or rather morally.

Even if a letter of resignation or vacation is sent now to National Assembly, somebody is bound to raise the issue of its authenticity. Someone is bound to claim it was forged. Unless Yar’Adua is seen on video signing or giving instruction on any document, nobody involved in this political crisis would believe the authenticity of such document from the President. So even if the National Assembly receives a letter tomorrow, we will still be back to where we started from.

If this is so, Nigerians should then find out if there’s anything in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that deals with a situation where the President is held against his will by a band of lawless individuals (more like a kidnap situation)? And if there is, that law should be invoked to bring our President out first, or make him transfer power to his deputy and then we decide how best to deal with anybody involved in this evil agenda that has crippled everything in the country.

Regrettably however, no such law exists in the 1999 Constitution and this is where the problem lies. So what do we do in the current situation?

Can the absence of the President from the country since Nov 23 2009 be regarded as absconding from office thereby creating a vacancy? And how long can temporary absence (as stipulated in the constitution) be? The truth is that the 1999 constitution is deliberately deaf and dumb on these issues. The only provision is that “the absence of the president over a long period(without time frame) connotes legal or rather constitutional death.” But this is what the kidnap gang does not want to hear. So as it is now, we should find out from them what they really want as ransom to free our country for us.

It is obvious that the manipulators of the current national tragedy do not care a hoot about Yar’Adua or what becomes of the country as result of their evil and selfish mindedness. Obviously, they are aware that their master is beyond redemption, hence their refusal to allow him temporarily relinquish executive control. If not, nobody is asking Yar’Adua to resign but to step aside so that he can adequately address his health challenges.

Since they have decided to kidnap and hold our president hostage, the new option we have to explore, is to engage them to negotiate the release of the executive powers of the president and enable the Vice President to step in and address the current crisis- political and socio-economic and even tribal or rather sectional divide is fast developing into big disaster for Nigeria as a country.

Since Michael Aondoakaa has been presented as the spokesperson of the cabal, Nigerians should ask him to find out from other members of the group what they really want and how they want it. This approach has become pertinent because we cannot continue like this; we have to move on as a nation.

It is outright evil and wickedness for the kidnappers of the president to think on dragging the nation until we begin to talk of the next PDP presidential candidate for the 2011 or rather 2010 general elections (that is if the National Assembly succeeds in the constitutional amendments and electoral reforms as proposed).

Let’s appeal to the conscience of this evil-minded clique that is if they still have anything that can be called conscience or rectitude, who knows, the Almighty God may twist their minds and hands to give us our nation back and make them pay for all they have robbed us of. No amount of grammar or any law court in this country can solve this matter except we want to use “Okija legal system.” Alternatively,………. bros you know now. Area!

IFEANYI IZEZE IS AN ABUJA-BASED CONSULTANT ON STRATEGY AND COMMUNICATION ([email protected])




googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });