With the state Nigeria now finds itself with no apparent leader, I continue to be afraid that elements within the corridors of power can act as they want without any consequences for their actions.
This is a very grave scenario and we need to tackle this very quickly. It is obvious that people in government are taking advantage of the president’s absence to pursue personal agendas and Nigeria is hemorrhaging. I mean for instance, ministers do not appear to have much regard for Vice President Jonathan and this was exemplified by the willful disobedience of a minister to stay behind and tackle the fuel crisis currently plaguing Nigeria. Nigeria is currently crippled by an artificial scarcity of petroleum products and this individual whose responsibility it is to see that the sector is well managed chose to fly out to Europe at the height of the crisis even when he had been publicly ordered not to do so. Now why would he act this way? Because he knows that there can be no consequence since his principal is not around and he rightly knows that VP Jonathan does not have any executive powers to act for his boss. Also we are told that after spending 2.7 billion Naira on foreign trips in 2009, another minister approached the National Assembly to request for even more money for foreign trips which as Senator Jubril Aminu patriotically said were wasteful having brought no economic benefit to Nigeria. It is obvious-when the cat is away, the mice will play!
Now where does this leave Nigeria? Everyday our sensibilities are being abased by outrageous comments emanating from members of the president’s kitchen cabinet. We are told that not only can the president rule Nigeria from anywhere, he may as well stay away for years without any consequence. And now the Niger Delta militants are back to their old practices. What is really going on?
Nigeria is a country that is too complicated to be without functioning central authority and this is an issue that all lovers of Nigeria must realize. It is beyond politics. Take for instance the unfortunate case involving Abdul Mutallab, the son of the respected Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, this is the biggest National Security scare since the Obama administration came into being and it involves a Nigerian and therefore Nigeria and what has been the response of Nigeria? Without our president acting personally on this, we can not be perceived by the International Community as reacting to this issue decisively.
Now, no one seems to know the state of health or mind of our president. The utterances of various government officials have been contradictory at best and comical at the worst and have particularly embarrassed Nigeria in the Committee of civilized nations. Imagine, how could the FEC have publicly said that the absence of the president does not affect governance? Even though they think they have helped him, this statement is a first class insult on President Yar’adua and Nigeria because it means that if the president’s absence is not noticed, then his presence is unnecessary making him no better than a rubber stamp. Oh no, FEC! The president’s absence DOES affect the smooth running of governance!
Let me illustrate with one small example. The Niger Delta has been relatively peaceful since the amnesty declared by the present administration. This was to be followed by post amnesty activities to appease the militants and this was rightly catered for in the supplementary budget. Now what is stopping the implementation of these post amnesty activities? Theese activities have been stalled because the supplementary budget has not been signed into law by the president. And yet the FEC wants us to believe that the presidents absence does not affect governance!
Nigeria can not continue like this. We wish the president well and we pray for him, however, the time is ripe for us to be told the whole truth about his condition. If government officials do not know, then those who have the highest stake in Nigeria should step in. The National Council of State should meet on this issue and constitute a panel of its members to travel to Saudi Arabia to verify for themselves the state of health and well being of the president and should make their findings known to Nigerians. Nigeria is not the Yar’adua family where family secrets can be told to only family members. Nigeria is a complex country of over 140 million people who can not continue to be kept in the dark or hoodwinked as to the state of health of their leader.
Once again, God bless Nigeria. PU