By NBF News

Jonathan must watch his back
-Ohaneze Chieftain
Wednesday, March 3 , 2010


As Nigerians are still in doubt whether President Musa Yar' Adua was brought back from Saudi Arabia after over three months of futile medical treatment there, former president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, has advised the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to watch his back , saying that any group of people that is out to highjack the Presidency of this country is calling for crisis and not for the best interest of peace and unity of Nigeria.

The Ohaneze chieftain also warned against any idea of military intervention in the country, although he said he is not expecting one, adding that the general mood of Nigerians is that 'we don't want the military.'

Northern cabals, Presidency and Jonathan
I hope the Presidency is not the birth right of the North. But you know there are people who have vested interest in the President's illness, health, continuing and not continuing. And there are people who very much want him to continue. They must have had their reasons. And if he is unable to continue, they must be afraid of something they might lose.

And I don't envy Acting President Jonathan Goodluck even though he is a man with a lot of good luck, he has to watch his back. People may see him from different views and light of prism. People will have various interests, various aspirations, various ambitions and they will see him as either enhancing or stopping or even blocking such game. And they may be wishing him success or failure depending on what spectrum of community they are coming from.

Military adventurists
I think the general mood of the country is that we don't want the military. I think that is the general mood unless I'm reading the mood wrongly.

I know that there are one or two people who would like the military to come back, but I know they are more or less joking, humoring themselves. The military should not come back. They should not come back, and they need not come back because there is no reason they should come back.

We are nurturing young democracy. And the unfortunate thing is that there are people who read the constitution upside-down. Some of them are in high places and they keep deceiving the country, otherwise, what will happen when a President is absent or sick or dead, the sequence of handing over of power is well stipulated in the constitution. That is why there are other four people sitting waiting. Number one is the Vice President, two the Senate President, three the Speaker of the House and then the Chief Judge of the federation. They are all there in case any of them happens to fall sick.

I recall clearly in 1965-66 in the First Republic when the Rt Hon Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of this country was going on leave, leave of absence to go for medical check up, he handed over to the Senate President, we didn't have a Vice President then, he handed over to the Senate President who then was Rt Hon Akweke Nwafor Orizu. That was why Dr Nwafor Orizu was the Acting President when the coup of January 1966 took place.

There was no rigmarole, no fancy show about I'm going on leave you take over, you look after the affairs of the state. The state cannot be left without a head. And it is being foolhardy to think otherwise. And we say that the country belongs to all Nigerians as at today, by the constitution which many of the operators want to protect or defend. Whether they are defending it and protecting it, defending what the constitution says either in the letter or spirit or not is another question.

Born to rule
No special people are born to rule this country. And no special people should have monopoly of leadership of this country. That is why we say that Presidency should be rotated so that there will be a sense of belonging. It will help to grow patriotism, love of the country. But if you know that you are permanently excluded, you can always say to your tent Oh Israel , what potion have we in the affairs. So, it is necessary to help cement or strengthen the cord that is holding this country together, that the Presidency must be seen to go from one segment of the country to another, otherwise anybody you exclude, any segment you exclude, by design or by accident then, you know you are planting seeds of dissension and trying to create anarchy.