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By NBF News

Watch your back
•Jonathan warned
Thursday, March 11 , 2010


Acting President Goodluck Jonathan has been advised to watch his back because of a desperate group to hijack his presidency. Former President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, who gave the advice, told Daily Sun that the group is causing crisis to attract military intervention and take over the presidency.

He, however, warned that the general mood of Nigerians is that 'we don't want the military.'

As Nigerians wait for the next line of action now that President Musa Yar' Adua is said to have returned from Saudi Arabia after about three months of futile medical treatment there, Dr Ikedife is of the opinion that President Yar' Adua should address the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to douse all speculations as he has advised the Acting President to watch his back , saying that any group 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 condemned 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.'

Presidency and Jonathan
'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, And there are people who very much want him to continue. They have their own reasons. And if he is unable to continue they will be afraid of something they might lose.

I don't even 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 perspectives. People have various interests, various aspirations, various ambitions and they will see him as either enhancing or stopping or even blocking them. 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.

'There may be people who would like the military to come back but I know they are more or less joking. You know 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. 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. What will happen when a President is absent or sick or dead, the sequence of handing over of power is very well stipulated in the constitution. That is why there are other four people 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 Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first President of this country, was going on leave 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 Hon Akweke Nwafor Orizu. That was why Orizu was the Acting President when the coup of January 1966 took place.

'There should be no rigmarole, no fancy show about going on leave. Your deputy takes takes over, you look after the affairs of the state. The state cannot be left naked without a head. It is being foolhardy to think otherwise, and we say that the country belongs to all Nigerians. 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. No special people should have monopoly of headship or leadership of this country. That is why we say that the 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. It is necessary to strengthen the cement that is holding this country together. 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.'