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IT’S NOT THE CONSTITUTION, STUPID!!

Those who follow American politics should easily recognize the above title as a paraphrase of Bill Clinton's famous presidential campaign slogan nearly two decades ago… “It's the economy, stupid”.

With the recent diversionary gimmick by our ignominious morally bankrupt National Assembly to amend our constitution, supposedly to address the needless political logjam occasioned by Yar Adua's incapacitation and obstinate refusal to properly handover to the VP; I couldn't help but exclaim…“it's not the constitution, stupid”, or “it's the politicians, stupid”.

Granted our constitution is defective in other ways, but with regards to the President's incapacitation, the constitution is quite clear on what should be done. However vested interests of our self-serving unpatriotic “leaders” prevent them from abiding by the constitution they all swore to uphold and defend. Cursed with these selfish treacherous “elected” and appointed “leaders”, a constitutional amendment won't make much difference.

Britain doesn't even have a constitution yet functions well as a democracy, because her politicians are for the most part principled…or at least not as degenerate as the plundering traitors & leeches parading Nigeria's corridors of power.

To become effective, a constitutional amendment requires approval by at least 24 state Houses of Assembly. The Senate's proposed 14-day rule also applies to governors and their deputies. Given the unsavory history of frosty relations between Governors and their deputies in this quasi-democratic dispensation, many Governors will almost certainly use their state legislatures to block the amendment.

Not surprisingly, at a recent meeting, governors insisted Yar'Adua is still president and objected to declaring him incapacitated or impeaching him.

As evident from the governors' stand above, the real issue is self-serving politicians sabotaging our democracy by putting their personal political interests above that of the nation. They pointedly refuse to abide by our constitution when it doesn't suit their interest.

Hence Yar'Adua refuses to formally notify the National Assembly of his incapacitation and/or absence from the country as clearly demanded by the constitution. However some reports indicate that UMYA did write a letter but a self-serving clique intent on upholding northern presidency and blocking Jonathan seem to have hijacked the letter.

Our “Acting President” must as a matter of urgency, investigate the missing letter which Mohammed Abba-Ajji (UMYA's National Assembly adviser) reportedly promised to deliver to the National Assembly. Those behind the unpardonable disappearance of the letter that has wrought havoc on our polity, must be made to bear the full brunt of the law.

Even without a letter, with UMYA's 3 months incapacitation our Federal Executive Council should have long declared Yar'Adua unfit to rule in accordance with Section 144, so that the VP can be properly take over.

But the traitorous FEC cabal is mostly composed of Yar Adua's self-serving appointees who are more interested in maintaining their plum contract-awarding ministerial jobs than abiding by our constitution to do right for Naija.

Not even the contemptuous derision of the FEC by UMYA's handlers, who have blocked any access to the “dead bodi” president for 3 whole months, has deterred the shameless parasitic FEC stooges, or compel them to rethink their crass selfishness.

We are not deceived by Akunyili's gallery-playing opportunistic posturing for a post-Yar'Adua presidency. If she's seriously against the ignoble perfidy of her FEC colleagues in the Yar'Adua incapacitation saga, she should resign.

Then there is National Assembly which in the absence of a notifiying letter from the president, ought to have impeached the incapacitated president wannabe for his continued flagrant violation of our constitution. Again for self-serving unpatriotic reasons, the National Assembly leadership is not interested in doing right for the nation and impeaching the comatose president.

Both David Mark and Dimeji Bankole know they will loose their privileged positions as Senate President and Speaker in any post-Yar Adua reshuffle of National Assembly leadership to restore zonal balance. President Jonathan will require a northern VP, so Senate Presidency will have to go south, most likely South-west since South-east held the position in the immediate past maladministration.

As a Christian like Jonathan, David Mark although a “northerner” cannot lobby for VP, so he loses out and is demoted to ordinary floor senator. With the South West in control of the post-Yar'Adua Senate, the House of Reps Speaker will have to be zoned northwards. So Dimeji will also be a goner.

Thus it's quite clear why none of those empowered by the constitution to do right for our troubled nation, wants to commit political suicide by rocking the boat of Yar'Adua's ineffectual rudderless presidency.

Some have called for “Acting President” Jonathan to sack Yar'Adua's FEC and reconstitute his own loyal FEC which can then declare UMYA incapacitated for proper presidential handover.

But “Acting President” Jonathan cannot reconstitute his cabinet without National Assembly consent, since all ministerial appointments must be approved by the Senate. As already explained, the unpatriotic David Mark is unlikely to endorse any action that will fully empower Jonathan as President and ultimately terminate his (Mark's) Senate presidency.

That leaves the “distinguished” and “honorable” floor members of our federal legislature to impeach their self-serving leaders so that the National Assembly can rise to its patriotic responsibility and restore sanity to our endangered democracy.

Unfortunately like the nation at large, the National Assembly is wracked by ethno-regional schisms with many northern federal legislators openly rooting for UMYA, thus rendering impeachment of their self-serving leaders for the ultimate purpose of impeaching UMYA unlikely.

Unless of course Jonathan can do an OBJ i.e. buy off or blackmail key members of the National Assembly with the resources and incriminating security agencies' dossiers now supposedly at his disposal as “Acting President”. It worked well for our erstwhile “do or die” president who severally disposed of troublesome National Assembly leaders like Ghali Umar Na'abba and Chuba Okadigbo.

Apart from selfish personal interests, ethno-regional considerations are also a major factor in the current unconstitutional impasse as some northerners are concerned that with Goodluck as President, the North would lose its entitled 8-year run of power. These narrow-minded ethno-regional jingoists and schemers need to be reminded that but for Shonekan's negligible 6 month stint, Northerners ruled this country almost uninterrupted for 20 years from Shagari in 1979 to Abdusalam in 1999.

So there's nothing untoward if Southern rulers similarly enjoy 16-year plundering spree, interrupted by Yar Adua's 2½ year hiatus. PDP's intra-party rotation arrangement must not trump our constitution.

The inordinate unconstitutional machinations by some narrow-minded northern oligarchs to retain presidential power at all costs and continue to block Jonathan, risks tearing apart our fragile nation. It plays right into the hands of restive Niger Delta secessionists who now have an additional excuse to break away from we “parasitic” Northerners unconstitutionally denying them presidential power.

In this retrogressive endeavour, they can count on the support of other Southerners. Particularly with the reported provocative statement (albeit unconvincingly denied) by General Dambazau, the Northern Chief of Army Staff that he only recognizes Yar'Adua as Commander-in-Chief.

It would thus appear that a shadowy Northern power mafia is pushing Nigeria to the precipice by their inordinate insistence on holding to power at the expense of our constitutional democracy.

If this country is to survive as one nation, our constitution must be allowed to prevail. Self-serving personal, ethnic, regional, religious and other such parochial interests must all take a back seat to the Nigerian nation. Only such positive ethos for good governance can favorably transform our nation and sustain our democracy.

Constitution amendments or Sovereign National Conference which Nigerians make a lot of noise about can only be as useful as the politicians and citizenry who abide by them.

Meanwhile I continue to wish Yar'Adua expeditious death, in order to end all this nonsense.

Nafata Bamaguje

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Nafata Bamaguje and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Nafata Bamaguje