- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 28 September 2009 03:51
- Written by Christian Okeke
- Hits: 1981
EVEN as President Umaru Yar’Adua has returned to the country from Saudi Arabia, where he was said to have gone for an official tour, instead of the UN summit, Information available to the Nigerian Tribune revealed that the growing criticisms over the president’s action was already causing some disquiet in Aso Rock, where it was gathered that those in the corridors of power had also frowned at the manner in which the trip was managed by the president’s spokesperson.
A source, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune, said that since the president returned, there had been some discomfort over the embarrassment which the Saudi trip caused to the administration, as well as the credibility crisis it caused the government.
It was, however, not clear whether the kitchen cabinet of the president had finally resolved to meet with their boss on how to avoid further embarrassment to the administration.
But the source hinted that there had been some ‘’silent attacks’’ at the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Communications, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, over the ‘poor’ manner in which his office managed the president’s trip.
According to the source, some of the critics, who included the president’s foot soldiers, were at a loss on who to blame over the issue. It was their argument, the source stated, that even the most skillful image manager could not have done much to provide an effective excuse for the president’s absence in the US.
It was also gathered that there were growing concerns that the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, failed to give the excuse by Adeniyi the boost it required, even as it was obvious that the sitaution was generating concern from Nigerians and that was used to discredit the administration in no small measure.
The dust, which the president’s action was generating, Nigerian Tribune gathered, was reinforced by the fact that President Yar’Adua was seen as one who placed his personal interests above national interests, as he demonstrated in the trip to Saudi Arabia instead of attending the General Assembly of the United Nations, where the best interests of Nigeria within the international dynamic system would have been better served.
Apart from the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, who represented the president, was shut out from the meeting with the United States president, Barack Obama, critics have argued that President Yar’Adua would have used his presence to, at least, give a good account of his administration and counter the insinuation in the global circles that his government was inefficient and condoned corruption.
It was a concern as to how the country would fit into the first 20 most viable economies of the world, where it shunned such opportunity to market itself, as well as the vision of the government to attract assistance and cooperation.
Critics have said that the president should have reminded the world of the peacekeeping role Nigeria has been playing around the world, the sacrifices in both human and material resources which the country has made in restoring democracy in Africa and boost the country’s chances of getting the nod for a permanent seat at the Security Council.
One of the critics, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), in a statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune, on Sunday, in Abuja, argued that President Yar’Adua’s absence made Nigeria not only to lose its voice but also would have provided what it called a soothing balm to the African Union (AU) chairman, Colonel Muammar Ghadafi‘s bizarre address and Zimbabwe’s president, Mr. Robbert Mugabe’s coarse voice.
The group argued that there was no better place to promote and protect Nigeria’s national interests and a just world politico-eco order than the UN General Assembly; hence in compliance with the foreign policy objectives of the nation as enshrined in Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CNPP said it was worried that even in domestic policy, President Yar’Adua seemed to be more obsessed with his passions, idiosyncrasies and personal preferences than that of the country and observed that while the Director-General of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. A. Gadzama, was raising the alarm and warning the country of an impeding inferno, chaos and crisis ahead of the 2011 elections, the president was more concerned about how intra-party crises ahead of 2011 elections would affect his party’s, PDP, of victory.
Part of the CNPP statement reads: “The General Assembly is an organ of the United Nations, where each member has one vote and where resolutions are passed, where members that serve in other organs are chosen and where the sessions are used by presidents to assert the global views of their nation. How can we be enrolled among the first 20 countries in the world, if we do not assert ourself?
“Therefore, the CNPP meeting notes that there is no better place to promote and protect Nigeria’s national interest and a just world politico-eco order than the UN General Assembly; hence in compliance with the foreign policy objectives of the nation as enshrined in Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“CNPP also notes that President Yar’Adua’s absence means clearly that not only Nigeria that lost her voice but also Africa, as Nigeria’s voice could have provided the soothing balm to Ghadafi‘s bizarre address and Mugabe’s coarse voice.
Attempts to reach the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, to comment on the matter were unsuccessful, as the minister was said to have left for her home state, Anambra, for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries for the election of the party’s candidate for the governorship election for the state coming up soon.
Also, all efforts by the Nigerian Tribune to get across to the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, proved abortive, as he did not pick his calls.
Culled from Nigerian Tribune