A group of eminent Nigerians, the G-53, has called upon the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to search for President Umaru Yar’Adua to brief the nation about his real health status
For the third time in a month, the G-53 said it was constrained to speak out on the constitutional crisis Nigeria has been facing because of the refusal of President Yar’Adua to hand over the leadership of the country to his deputy when leaving the country on 23 November, 2009 for medical vacation as prescribed by the 1999 Constitution.
Members of the group, in a statement signed by the spokesman, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, expressed strong conviction that, the induced crisis could be resolved and the nation saved from anarchy.
They therefore demanded that, “the FEC must be made to live up to its constitutional obligations, and therefore call upon the Council of State to precipitate such action by the FEC and act in the best interests of Nigeria.”
The expected actions, the G-53 said included, “formally requesting the Saudi Arabian hospital authorities to provide details of the medical condition of President Umaru Yar’Adua, who is not a private citizen but a public officer employed by 150 million Nigerians, and sending a delegation of its members to Saudi Arabia and determine for itself the true state of health and mind of President Yar’Adua and to act in the best interest of the nation after establishing the true state of things.”
The group warned that, “if the FEC continues to refuse to act in the face of such delegation’s report, its members must either resign or the National Assembly must take action to remove the President for multiple violations of the Constitution and continued absence from duty.”
According to the G-53, the call was made because, “all that Nigerians have been told is that President Yar’Adua is in hospital in Saudi Arabia, believing that, he was in an infirm state and incapable of exercising the judgment needed by the President of Nigeria.
“Nigerians have neither seen him nor heard from him directly for over six weeks. We further believe that the reason his family and aides have refused access to him is because any sight of him will reveal to everyone that he is permanently and irreversibly incapacitated. We challenge those who dispute this to prove otherwise with immediate video and audio evidence.
“These times call for all well-meaning Nigerians to sacrifice petty self-interest in favour of the nation. We appeal to our leaders not to continue to leave our democracy and sovereignty at risk because of the megalomania of a clique. Nigeria is more important than any individual or group,” the group submitted.
The rest of the statement read thus:
“While we catalogued issues an available President would have dealt with in our second statement, recent events have exposed even further the vulnerability of Nigeria as she goes through an interregnum. These include but are not limited to the following;
“A Nigerian citizen, son of a prominent Nigerian has recently been involved in an attempt to detonate an explosive device on a plane in U.S. airspace on Christmas Day. There has been no coherent response to this incident from Nigeria capable of calming the anxieties of either Nigerians or the international community because of the vacuum in Nigeria’s leadership.
“Until a few days ago, the 2009 supplementary remained unsigned thereby putting vital programs necessary for the economic well -being of Nigeria in limbo, and making unconstitutional, extra-budgetary spending by agencies inevitable. In view of the fact that the proclivities of some members of Yar’Adua’s kitchen cabinet for contriving signatures have been catalogued in recent charges now before a London Crown Court, Nigerians should be wary of recent claims of officials purporting to have travelled to Saudi Arabia to get the President’s ‘signature’ on any document. We insist that any such ‘signature’ must be documented by a notarized and dated video recording, and a sworn affidavit by those that claimed to have witnessed the ‘signature’.
“The fragile peace in the Niger Delta has been shattered, as militants have perceived a weakness and lack of commitment in the Federal Government. They have therefore returned to the activities that have crippled Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.
“Violence again erupted again in Bauchi leading to the death of many people has worsened the nation’s image as an unstable country whose weak government is unable to maintain law and order or contain religious fanatics.
“Regrettably, in the face of this leadership vacuum, the security agencies have redefined their jobs away from protection of the liberty, lives and property of Nigerians to political persecution and extortion, arrest and detention of journalists, and disrupting the operations of media houses and civil society organizations.
“The lack of a clear and undisputed leader has caused ministers to treat the Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, with open disdain, flouting his instructions. For example, Nigerians learned with shock that the senior Minister for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Rilwanu Lukman, took off for Austria in wilful disobedience to the Vice President’s directive to Ministers responsible for the energy and petroleum sectors to remain on duty in the country to tackle the fuel and energy crises crippling economic activities in Nigeria.
“Chaos looms as some persons have gone to court seeking to declare all actions taken by the Federal Executive Council since the departure of the President as null and void and ultra vires. Meanwhile, the Judiciary which ought to be the last hope of the ordinary Nigerian has become the laughing stock of the world. Today, Nigeria has two serving “Chief Justices”
“The administration has failed to generate and transmit the promised 6,000 MW of electricity by December 2009, and failed to complete a single road construction out of 18 planned for completion in 2009.
“Unrestrained by any clear supervisory authority, Ministers have made utterances that embarrass the people of Nigeria and lower their repute in the eyes of right thinking members of the global community including self-serving statements by the FEC that President Yar’Adua’s absence has not affected governance in any way. This was an open insult to the President since if his absence has no effect on government, it inevitably means that his presence also has no effect, and that he is in fact unnecessary.
“Another such careless statement was one claiming that the President could rule Nigeria from anywhere in the world, in complete disregard of the fact that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of government.
“In view of all this, we assert that when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable must be the truth. Thus the only reasonable assumption for now (and we are forced to assume only because the government has not been forthcoming with the truth) is that the President is under some form of incapacity, which forecloses implementing the transfer of power envisaged in Section 145 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“However, in gross dereliction of duty, the Federal Executive Council had earlier refused to implement Section 144 by insisting they would not ask for a medical panel to ascertain the infirmity or otherwise of the President. We say that this position is no longer tenable.”
The statement was endorsed by:
1) Alh. Balarabe Musa. 2) Chief Olu Falae 3) Gen. Alani Akinrinade 4) Prof. Pat Utomi 5) Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, 6) Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu 7) Hon. Olawale Oshun 8) Mr. Femi Falana 9) Engr. Buba Galadima 10) Mr. Osita Okechukwu 11) Mr. Yinka Odumakin 12) Chief Supo Shonibare 13) Barr. Sani Hussaini Garun– Gabbas 14) Mrs. Jumoke Anifowoshe 15) Ms. Ayo Obe 16) Dr. Joe Okei – Odumakin 17) Ms. Annkio Briggs 18) Mr. supo Ojo 19) ) Mallam Nasir Kura 20) Mr. Akitoye Brancho Rhodes 21) Hon. Bashir Idris Nadabo 22) Mr. Kayode Ogundamisi 23) Hon. Balarabe Wakili 24) Hon. Babatunde Ogala 25) Alh. Amitolu Shittu 26) Mallam Uba Sani 27) Mallam Saliu Lukman 28) Mr. Biodun Sowunmi 29) Ms. Roz Ben – Okagbue 30) Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni 31) Mallam Tanko Yunisa 32) Mr. Morakinyo Ogele, 33) Mr. Achike Chude 34) Mr. Malachy Ugwumadu 35) Comrade Sadiq Ya’ adua 36) Ben Ezeagwu Esq. 37) Hon. Lawal Garba 38) Mr. Saint George – Ekeh 39) Hon. ( Dr.) Ishaq Kurfi 40) Hon. Haruna Yerima 41) Hon. Uche Onyeagocha 42) Mr. Bamidele Aturu 43) Hon. Umar El – Yakub 44) Prince Oye Oyewunmi and 45) Dr. Ropo Sekoni, 46) Mallam Nasir El-Rufai among others.