Turai Assumes Command, as Acting President Jonathan Reverts to Vice-President

Why Yar’adua was ferried back…”Jonathan is going too far”

The Yar'adua'sFeelers from the presidency indicate that while Goodluck Jonathan will continue to oversee the affairs of state while the President Umaru Yar’adua completes his recuperation, he will perform such functions as a Vice President and not as an acting president. sources say while the news media generally report that Goodluck Jonathan will stay in charge of the affairs of government, the reality on the ground is that he will only replace Yar’adua as the face of the regime while the person that calls the shot is the wife of the president, Turai, who settles back into her role as the President and Commander in Chief in everything else but name.

Early indications to this effect emerged today in a statement signed by Yar’adua’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi who referred to Jonathan not as an acting president but as vice-president saying: “President Yar’Adua is grateful to the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for competently overseeing the affairs of state in his absence”.

But as to who call the shots and who constitutes the locus of power, Information Minister Dora Akunyili told reporters after a brief cabinet meeting that acting president Goodluck Jonathan “hopes to see the wife of the president this evening …and when he is eventually briefed by our president, he (Jonathan) will call us again,” she said.

Reports say Turai Yar’adua has already moved to assert herself by intimidating the vice-president and systematically divesting Mr Jonathan of any opportunity to exercise the powers of the presidency.

He has been denied access to the President and to any information that will keep him abreast of the unfolding drama. As events keep changing around him sources say he only gets to hear of the changes after they were announced.

Informed observers say Jonathan might be forced to resign in the coming days. One looming area of contention is the redeployment of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa.

One of the first acts of Jonathan as acting president is to demote him to an obscure Ministry as Minister of Special Duties. Sources say he is likely to be recalled as the Attorney General.

Why Yar’adua was Ferried Back 

Meanwhile sources close to the presidency say President Yar’adua was forced to come back because Goodluck Jonathan as Acting President “is going too far”.

The surreptitious return last night was to stop the Federal Executive Council under Acting President Jonathan “from disgracing Yar’adua out of power”.

“The first lady was alarmed at the steady move by Jonathan to declare Yar’adua incapacitated claiming refuge under Section 144 of the Constitution and get himself sworn as the substantive president”.

When reminded that Nigerians are united in the clamour for Jonathan to assume the presidency in order to move Nigeria forward, the source retorted that “the same Nigerians would soon be queuing up to Asso Villa to declare loyalty to Yar’adua and sponsor congratulatory messages”.

The source continued: “even apart from Turai, what about the other members of the Kitchen cabinet and other power brokers, do you imagine that they will sit by and allow Jonathan to transmute into a substantive president, perhaps from 2011 and beyond?”

He also said Jonathan erred by allowing The Federal Executive Council, FEC, at its weekly meeting to commence the process that could lead to the invocation of Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution, by setting up a six-man team to travel to Saudi Arabia to ascertain the state of health of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua, who has been outside Nigeria on medical vacation.

“The resolution by the National Assembly (NASS) making Jonathan Acting President and its acceptance by the FEC ought to have been enough for him. The move to declare the President incapacitated is a joke taken too far”, he concluded.

A source close to the cabal that plots Yar’adua’s affairs told me last week: “Jonathan will never be President”!