YAR'ADUA: LET'S FOLLOW CONSTITUTION, NOT EMOTION
The Action Congress (AC) has said the decision on whether or not the Executive Council of the Federation should invoke Section 144 to resolve the issue of President Umaru Yar'Adua's lingering illness should be guided by the Constitution, not emotion.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it has no doubt that if the Constitution is strictly followed, the EXCOF will not wait a day longer to kick-start the process of declaring the President incapacitated, based on his long-term illness, the prognosis for his return to office and the need to keep the country going.
'Those who are trying to appeal to our emotion, who are saying we should keep the President in office even if he is unable to perform his official functions, must be told in clear terms that one cannot eat his cake and have it too: It is either we want to be ruled by law or by emotion!'' it said.
AC said the framers of the Constitution had definitely envisaged the situation in which Nigeria has found itself since November 2009, when President Yar'Adua has not been able to function officially, hence they made the provision for Section 144.
'Now we are being told by self-acclaimed guardians of the President that our morality will be debased if we follow the stipulations of our Constitution to resolve this lingering issue. These moralists are saying there is no difference between the occupier of the presidency, who is an individual, and the Presidency itself, which is an institution. They are saying national interest should be subjugated to personal interest.
'They are saying we must maintain the status quo and have an Acting President that stays that way indefinitely. No, the Constitution did not make provision for an indefinite Acting Presidency. We must resolve this issue within the dictates of the Constitution, remove the Sword of Damocles that Yar'Adua's invisible presidency has become on the Acting Presidency and get our country moving. Sentiments have no place in this issue!'' the party said.
It also condemned a situation in which the Acting President has yet to see the President since his return to the country from Saudi Arabia almost three months ago – even when both are within the precinct of Aso Rock.
'The mere fact that the Acting President has so far been prevented from seeing the President is a confirmation of the fact that the cabal holding Yar'Adua hostage is doing so for selfish reasons, rather than acting in the interest of the President or that of the Nigerian people.
'It is sad that these myopic few, the abductors of a helpless President, are now being further emboldened by another growing cabal, whose mantra seems to be: Let emotion rule! Since Nigeria is a democracy, rather than a fiefdom, Nigerians must ignore these Yar'Adua apologists. The members of the EXCOF must act in accordance with the Constitution'' AC said.