Yar’adua has behaved worse than any Nigerian president – Balarabe Musa

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Alhaji Balarabe Musa

Yar’adua’s action is mindless, unconstitutional and unpatriotic. In view of the state of his health, he ought to have handed over in an acting capacity to the vice-president; unfortunately he is not prepared to do it.

Yar’adua has behaved worse than any Nigerian president – Balarabe Musa 

From all indications, that the United States has decision to blacklist Nigeria as a breeding ground for terrorists shows the country have a fundamental problem. The first is the bankrupt and non-performing state of the government in the country. The second is this clear case of delisting the country by the United States. The implication of this is that the US will now regard Nigeria, alongside Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and other countries as areas from which al-Qaeda attacks them.

In the face of all these, President Umaru Yar‘Adua has been away for more than 40 days without constitutionally handing over to his deputy and the situation has created vacuum in the leadership of the nation.

Yar’adua’s action is mindless, unconstitutional and unpatriotic. In view of the state of his health, he ought to have handed over in an acting capacity to the vice-president; unfortunately he is not prepared to do it. Secondly, if his condition of health is as bad as we suspect it is, then he should resign. Again, unfortunately, he is not going to do that. For instance, we have been told that he signed a fundamental document even on his sick bed. How are we sure if the signature that was appended on these documents was his? Who is sure if the signature in the 2009 supplementary Appropriation Bill was actually his own? The situation is so bad that we do not get any credible information from the people in government about his state of health. I have not seen any situation since the dawn of democracy, where the President acted like the way Yar‘Adua is acting right now. It is very unusual and absurd. It is time for Nigerians to demand to know whether Yar‘Adua is still alive or capable of being their leader because we cannot continue to rely on these so-called signatures.

If in the first few weeks into this first quarter Yar‘Adua continues to hold onto power despite being incapacitated, the result would be clear anarchy because the constitution has gradually become irrelevant. I am not interested in the utterances of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa and the Senate President, David Mark, who are saying all kinds of ridiculous things; those things are not constitutional. Same goes for members of the Federal Executive Council. The Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the Judiciary, are the three bodies that can save the country from the situation it is at the moment. But unfortunately, none of them is doing what they ought to have been doing under the present circumstance. For instance, why can‘t FEC see to it that Nigerians are convinced that the President is not capable? Their announcements that the President is recuperating fast is not enough, they have said some three weeks ago that he (Yar‘Adua) is capable. They ought to, by now, supply Nigerians with enough facts that he is still capable. It was even reported that the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari, had been in Saudi Arabia in the past 40 days because of the health of the President. Nobody knows how many governors have abandoned their duties and gone to Saudi Arabia to stay with Yar‘Adua. Nobody also knows how many fundamental documents are waiting to be attended to. We have reached a situation where one can say that we have a feudal despot.

Do we expect a contrary position from a FEC that is made up of Yar‘Adua‘s loyalists?

We really don‘t. A member of FEC had said clearly that they could not betray a President who appointed them and that was in connection with the demand that they should institute a medical panel that would ascertain the wellbeing of Yar‘Adua. When this minister was being interviewed on why they took that decision, he simply said that they could not do anything other than what they did because ‘this man appointed us to our positions.‘

The PDP is in control of 90 per cent at the local, state, federal governments and National Assembly. Unfortunately, the party is in negative control of the whole affairs of governance in the country. Because the PDP and its government are bankrupt and irrelevant, you have a serious problem of leadership in the country which any imperialist can use.

The Federal Government has kicked against US classification of the country as a security risk state. However, it is no longer an issue of kicking against the decision to blacklist the country because the US will have to protect its own national interest and that is all. They have taken this decision to protect their own way of life. They are protecting themselves against these 14 countries that have been listed and viewed as capable of attacking the US. These are small countries that have been viewed as coming together to attack a mighty country like the US. If as at four weeks ago, anybody had said that Nigeria would be tagged a security risk nation by the US, a lot of people would have said that it was not possible, but it is reality because we harbour terrorists. Just one instance can make the US government declare any suspected country a target.

The problem of electoral reform is a fundamental problem in the country, but the two most outstanding problems are: bankruptcy, irrelevance and non-performance by the Federal Government. The second one will be the implication of this declaration by the US. The issue of electoral reform-yes, very important because it will make the country stronger, but I do not see how we can have that reform with the PDP and the government that it controls. No! It is not possible. We need a revolutionary change to have a credible electoral process in the country and we are not going to have it by 2011 unless something interrupts the consolidation and the development PDP-led government.

Nigerians are capable of rising up to the challenges by confronting government on this issue of electoral reform.  But it does not seem possible now because of the deliberate weakness and lack of unity to the opposition of the PDP-led government, opposition in terms of political parties. It does appear that the leadership of these political parties don‘t differ fundamentally from the PDP leadership, except for the fact that the PDP is in power and they are not. Take the case of the political parties controlling government at different levels; you will discover that the behaviour of the opposition parties is not different from that of the PDP-controlled government. You can see the actions of the opposition in attempting to produce one candidate that will challenge the PDP in the 2011 election. Do you see this as possible if you take into account the realities of the situation on ground? No. There is nothing on ground to show that they will collectively take this decision to oust the PDP for now. Again, the PDP will again hold a fake election and declare itself the winner of in 2011, if the present situation continues, and it is likely to continue, unless some fundamental changes are made.

Balarabe Musa is the former Governor of Kaduna State