Press Statement by Founder of the Odua Peoples Congress, Dr Frederick Fasehun
Having watched with a mixture of disbelief, disgust and disappointment the unfolding events that have beset our Beloved Nation these past days, we wish to bring to your attention the need for the National Assembly to act promptly and decisively to stave off calamity arising from this disquieting drift.
Like anybody with any tinge of human feeling, we strongly wish Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua ultimate recovery from the ailment he suffers from. However, we wish to place on record that because of the impunity with which he has treated the Nigerian people and the Constitution that he swore to uphold, His Excellency has completely spent the goodwill of majority of Nigerians.
Attitudes have changed from empathy to dissent principally because of his audacious disregard for simple provisions of the Constitution, an audacity that resulted in the unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional crisis he has thrown this country into.
One man is holding 150 million people to ransom. He holds the country by the jugular as if Nigerians are too sedate, too stupid and too docile to decline one man’s act of impunity. This has all the trappings of banana republic.
The moment Alhaji Yar’Adua violated our Constitution, he invited himself for impeachment. But Nigerians, being what they are, decided to give him opportunity for self-realisation, self-realisation that he has not only discarded the Constitution, but that he has disregarded the Constitution for 70 whole days.
His action (or inaction) has earned us disdain, opprobrium and mockery. We have become a global laughing stock. Despite suffering various indignities from friends and foes, we chose to pray for his recovery and his safe return to his duty post. Well, time has come for the Nigerian people to take their own future in their hands. And this we have elected to do through our representatives.
Unfortunately, the two arms of the National Assembly behave as if they have been grafted as part of the conspiracy against the Constitution and the Nigerian people. Because of the National Assembly’s tardiness to act and comply with clear dictates of the Constitution of the land, they have exposed Nigeria and Nigeria ’s democracy to avoidable dangers.
Can it be because of the various sums of money that some people insinuate have been shared to our legislative representatives? Is that mess of pottage enough to sell the soul of this Nation? All the National Assembly has done is issue invitations and finally issue an ultimatum.
At this point in time, Nigerians’ ultimatum to President Yar’Adua is belated.
This is so because despite the people’s outpouring of faith and loyalty, the President’s kitchen cabinet has denied them any modicum of reliable information on the true state of the health of an absentee President and Commander-in-Chief. While his handlers dither, Nigeria suffers myriads of maladies, including:
- The breakdown of the erstwhile world-acclaimed amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta
- Nigeria ’s inglorious listing on the terrorist watch list
- Unconstitutional administering of official oath to key national appointees
- A drifting economy heading for an inevitable crash
- Unabated and inexplicable petroleum shortage
- Pervasive insecurity and personal fear
- Jos bloodbath
- General lawlessness and disorder at all levels of our national life
- Executive lawlessness
- Lack of a 2010 budget two months deep into the New Year.
All these issues needed the firm intervention of a sitting President. Instead the ship of State drifts rudderless with nobody to control heads of MDAs in their indiscipline.
Yet members of the National Assembly carry on as if all is well. Everybody behaves as if he only gained position in order to gain power and amass possession for himself. Nigerians say, Enough is enough.
Time has come to consider whether it is expedient for this Republic to perish for the sake of one man; or for it to survive despite one man and his kitchen cabinet.
The President’s sin is no longer that of refusing to hand over power temporarily to his deputy as the Constitution demands, but that of unbridled violation of the Constitution, that of ill-advised suspension of the Constitution and that of outright impunity. All these deserve impeachment. And time has come to do just that.
May we warn our Honourable mandate holders that should they wait and let anything sinister break upon our country, they may find it difficult to escape the sting of the bee. A word is enough for the wise.
If you still have the national interest at heart, please, act today. Don’t leave the needful till tomorrow lest extraneous forces overtake you and take over.
Save the Republic.
Save the Nation.
Impeach President Umar Yar’Adua now.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria .
DR. FREDERICK FASEHUN
FOUNDER/PRESIDENT OODUA PEOPLE’S CONGRESS.