“El-Rufai did the most to ensure that Jonathan took over”.
Highly placed sources in Nigeria’s seat of power say there is an agreement between El-Rufai and Jonathan that facilitated his return to Nigeria yesterday, saying, “El rufai expects to be made a vice-president”.
“They promised El-Rufai that the case against him would be dropped because Yar’adua pushed his trial as a case of political vendetta. Then El-Rufai is still pushing for a Jonathan Presidency and for himself to be Vice President”, the source said.
Asked what El Rufai did to merit such reward, the source said, “El-Rufai did the most to ensure that Jonathan took over. He provided the intelligence input that gave Jonathan the courage to assume office as Acting President”.
When asked what political capital El Rufai will bring to the table in a Jonathan/El rufai presidential candidacy, the source said “In this El-Rufai’s role is to rally the Northern young Turks to Jonathan’s side and at least divide the North”.
El-Rufai who was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and placed on INTERPOL’s wanted persons list arrived Nigeria Saturday without any security incident or harassment.
The highly placed source told elombah.com that the early clamour for Jonathan to have Yar’Adua declared incapacitated was the result of a highly orchestrated media manipulation by El Rufai and his group to grab power.
But their scheme will be frustrated, he claimed: “After-all, The PDP NEC meeting did hold and Bankole is still Speaker of the House of Reps. and he cannot even arrest Ibori; 12 more months to go…so much for the power of the acting presidency!”
Reference was made to earlier efforts to have a Vice President for the Mr. Jonathan if he “becomes substantive President. The push for a vice president has abated for now but not entirely discarded”, he said.
Another source hints the push to have the FEC invoke Section 144 of the constitution might be exhumed in light of hints from Yar’Adua’s cronies that Yar’Adua is “fastly recovering”. If that were so “Jonathan will also need El Rufai’s sources in Yar’adua’s inner cycle to monitor the progress made by Yar’adua if any”.
According to earlier reports by elombah.com, In the thick of the struggle by the SNG and other groups, El Rufai had suggested that “the sum total of the forgoing is that we must continue to push for the declaration of the permanent incapacity of Yar’Adua so that Goodluck will be substantive President and will nominate a VP and put Yar’Adua totally behind us. There are two other ways to achieve this – impeachment and FEC (Federal Executive Council made up of the presidency and the ministers) resolution for a medical panel by the Senate. In my humble view, the impeachment option is not viable” as it could take up to six months to conclude”.
He continued; “The most viable option – which process can be completed within weeks – is the FEC – Medical Panel –Permanent Incapacitation option. We must focus on that and remain resolute until success is achieved. This is through continuous pressure and emphasizing the reality of power – now with Goodluck and not Yar’Adua”.
El-Rufa’i was one of Nigeria’s most powerful ministers during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo and was wanted by the EFCC to explain corruption charges against him while he was in office. “All the allegations are false,” he told the BBC, “because they have not built any case against them.”
Mr.El-rufai has been a passionate and forceful proponent of a Jonathan’s presidency some say because he expects a juicy stake if a Jonathan presidency comes to pass because his name is one of those being touted as a possible vice.
El-Rufai went into exile just when it was apparent the EFCC was going to arrest him to face the charges against him. While away, he alleged that there are political motives to his ordeal with the anti-corruption agency. He has been critical of the Umaru Yar’adua administration while saying good things about the current one helmed by Goodluck Jonathan, prompting speculations that his return under a favourable government is to pave way for him to play an active role in the politics of the country.
He used various opportunities to speak out against the return of Nigeria’s long-absent President Umaru Yar’Adua to the capital city of Abuja in late February saying his return has thrown the West African country into a dangerous existential crisis.
In one of such article, ‘Time for a New Nigerian President’, El Rufai warned that the president is still apparently incapacitated, but his cadres are certainly not — and they are doing all they can to remain in power.
He wrote that Yar’adua’s henchmen now threaten not only the constitutional succession process, which had placed provisional powers in the hands of Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, but also Nigeria’s very stability.
He accused Yar’adua’s inner circle of spreading falsehoods — misinforming and misleading Nigerians into mass violence if necessary — to preserve its hold on power.
He also spoke against the PDP zoning system, saying “the presidency has been framed as if it were a rotating office, traded every eight years between the supposedly Christian South and Muslim North…Backroom deals in which political elites negotiate the fate of Nigeria’s 150 million people are a relic of the past — or they should be. The North-South power rotation, or “zoning” arrangement, that pretends to offer stability to Nigeria’s ethnically diverse population has morphed into a convenient justification for self-centred politicians”.
He accused Yar’adua’s cabal of using this idea to whip up primordial sentiment, persuading the country and the international community of an invented North-South chasm and concealing a selfish agenda under the aegis of preventing a Muslim vs. Christian religious divide.
He warned “it is a clever ruse to prevent Jonathan (who is from the South) from succeeding Yar’Adua (who hails from the North). And the reduction of Nigeria’s complex political problems to such clichés and sound bites” and according to that false tradition, Yar’Adua (or someone from the North) must remain in power.
El Rufai said “what’s needed now is a clean sweep of the administration to remove potential troublemakers, which Jonathan has begun with his cabinet shuffle. But the first matter to address is a comprehensive and public assessment of Yar’adua’s health and his ability to carry out the duties of his office”.
He said, “What’s needed is the strict observance of the constitutional succession process to lawfully replace the ailing president with the acting president, as established under Section 144 of the Nigerian Constitution. This requires the cabinet to pass a resolution with a two-thirds majority affirming the president’s inability to govern, a confirmation by a medical board appointed by the Senate president, and the swearing-in of the acting president as substantive president of Nigeria. If this process is manipulated or obstructed by Yar’adua’s loyalists, the two houses of the National Assembly must remove the president through impeachment for gross misconduct, incompetence, abuse, and corruption in the discharge of his office. The grounds for doing so are clear: Yar’adua’s supporters have refused to allow an independent medical assessment of his condition, and the president, if he is conscious, has failed to transfer the powers of his office to Jonathan, in contravention of the law”.