Finally, FEC delegation leaves for Saudi, may not see Yar’Adua
Nigerians will not be surprised if the ministerial team set up by the Federal Executive
Council (FEC) to visit President Yar'Adua return without seeing him even as a member
of the team and the minister of Foreign Affairs Chief Ojo Maduekwe said their mandate
is not to determine the health status of the President.
Maduekwe who gave the hint in a chat with Journalists at the presidential villa Abuja
insisted that their team is not a medical panel and that Nigerians should not expect a
report on the health of the president.
According to him the purpose of the visit is to thank king of Saudi, express solidarity
with the first lady, pray for the quick recovery of the president, and assuring them that
under the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, the business of governance moves on.
However, Maduekwe's comment on the mandate of the ministerial team contradicted
the story told by the Information Minister Dora Akinyuli when the panel was constituted.
Recall that the Information and Communications Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili told State
House Correspondents last week that the "Council Constituted a six-man team to go
to Saudi Arabia to visit Mr. President and his family. The team will also convey a formal
appreciation of the country to the King of Saudi Arabia."
It is evident in Prof. Akunyili's statement that the team was actually mandated to “visit
Mr. President and his family” but about a week later the song has changed according
to Maduekwe rhetoric, who said their mandate was not to visit the president but ''We will
be expressing our deep appreciation to the King of Saudi Arabia for the excellent and
generous attention, both the government and people of Saudi have given to our
A source who spoke to African Examiner about the power game described the trip as
exercise in futility if the minister will not see the President adding that the original
purpose of the visit was to help them determine the invocation of section 144(1) of the
Section 144 (1) reads: The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office if (a)
by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive
council of the Federation it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable
of discharging the functions of his office; and (b) The declaration is verified, after such
a medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under
subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers who are pushing for the impeachment of the President on
the account of being incapacitated are waiting in the sideline for the return of the
ministerial team before proceeding to the next line of action.