“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of constitutional and moral crisis maintain their neutrality or silence” (Adapted from Dante)
It is in the love for rule of law in our nation, the interminable loyalty to our Nigerian sacred Constitution and our concern for the progress and well-being of the entire 140 million or more Nigerians who had actually toiled and sweated for framing this nation to be structured and continued existing as our only homeland and a true giant of Africa, that;
WE HAVE TAKEN TIME, IN THE SILENCE OF MOMENT, TO SPARE OUR ENERGY TO EXAMINE AND SHOW GENUINE CONCERN FOR THE EXTANT STATE OF OUR NATION.
Our understanding of the Presidential system of government and the position of Mr President is in harmony with the estimation of Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe that;
“the President occupies a place that cannot readily be assimilated to that of the other branches… He is elected by the entire nation, represents the entire nation to the world, carries all alone the executive power which, subject only to the Constitution… be exercised by him…”.
No wonder why Section 130(2) of our Constitution shouldered our President with the responsibilities of both Chief Executive and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.
Then, we wondered what and how the man vested with these weighty responsibilities could be away for a whole month and his whereabouts has been kept off from the entire 140 million Nigerian populace.
What cannot but be amusing one than it is annoying is the fact that some few privilege ones in this country had decided to take over the instrumentality of power and insisted that the electorates, who elected the President to the office and in favour of whom he had sworn to an oath of allegiance and office, have no right at all to know the state of health and whereabouts of the president.
Nigerians have been driven to the smoky sludge of the beach of the unknown as some sycophantic cabal in the corridor of power are playing on our intelligence especially in the course to have access to the health status and whereabouts of Mr. Umaru Yar’Adua.
We find it quite knotty to understand that the real truth behind the whereabouts of President Umaru Yar’Adua has yet not been disclosed to the innocent Nigerians as have only been told that the President of our cherished Federal Republic of Nigeria has been on admission at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where, according to his personal physician, he is being treated for acute pericarditis, an inflation of the outer membrane of the heart.
Up till now, nobody knew exactly when Mr. President was flown out of the country, nobody can say he knows his health condition right now, nobody can say if he is responding to treatment, nobody can even say if he is being treated by capable hands. The only thing Nigerians are told to know are apparently conflicting reports that our president will return soon and that we should pray for his quick recovery.
This call for prayers is fundamentally faulty and it is only persons of wobble minds that can believe that they can play on Nigerians intelligences by calling for such prayer.
When a Muslim, Christian or Traditionalist intends to commune with spirituality to invoke the grace of the metaphysical to solve physical problem, such prayer is not offered in Vacuum. It must have a focus and such must be rooted on the podium of truth and sincerity of purpose.
We cannot be praying for somebody who we don’t know what exactly the nature of his problem is.
For how long shall we continue to tolerate and consent to some few privileges to deceive the whole Nigerians?
It is indeed consistent with human intellect to reason that it is either our president has been abducted, arrested, kidnapped, taken hostage, died or has finally abdicated his office or is permanently incapacitated. We don’t see anything that should be of utmost secret in the health condition of Mr. President that the Nigerians should be cut off from accessing.
We have taken our time to understand that the recent happenings in the country especially in the absence of the Chief Executive officer and Commander-in-chief of our nation are nothing but another happenstance of a junta’.
There is little or no difference between the conducts of the past and much damned Military governments and what we have been experiencing in the recent past in our country.
The Military government then upon taken over the instrumentality of governance at each time will first suspend some provisions of the Constitution, especially the Supremacy of the Constitution which is contained in Section 1(1) of most Constitution.
Meanwhile, in the same way our recently oligarchic-type leaders have implicitly suspended the provision of Section 1 of our 1999 Constitution which state;
1. “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and person throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
2. “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
3. “If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.
The spirit of the above provisions could be summarized to mean that;
1. nobody should be allowed to govern this country except the people occupying the position of leadership and acting in accordance with the constitution;
2. that no other interest shall be considered to prevail over the provisions of this constitution and
3. ultimately any ‘conducts’, ‘approvals’, ‘decisions’ and ‘laws’ formulated and carried out by people in authority contrary to the provisions of this constitution should be invalid.
How else then can one reconcile this sacred provisions with the conduct of the Federal Executive Council in their recently formed oligarchy.
In discharge of the Presidential duties and functions as may directed by the President in person, the Executive Council, known as Federal Executive Council as described in Section 144 (5) of our constitution is established by the President and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of government.
Section 148 (2) of the Constitution makes it MANDATORY for the President to be at the Federal Executive Meetings as Section 148 (2) states thus:
“(2) The President SHALL hold regular meetings with the Vice-President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of –
(a) determining the general direction of domestic and native policies of the Government of the Federation;
(b) Co-ordinating the activities of the President, the Vice-President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and
(c) advising the President generally in discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by this Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body.
It is no more a fresh truth that the above provision forbids any meeting of the Federal Executive Council without the attendance of the President SAVE for the meeting to deliberate on the incapability of the President to discharge his function as provided by the provision of Section 144 of the Constitution, but what is of utmost concern now is that the FEC is not ready to disclose to the entire world the state of our president’s health and the exact location.
Instead they have been using the indecent opportunity to enrich their purses and proxies while Nigerians are bewildering in the wilderness of uncertainty.
The peak was the serial bazaar of illegal award of contracts which included the building of Vice Presidential mansion for 7 billion Naira.
Our treasury is being looted in a stylish manner under the disguise of Euro currency so that an average Nigerian would not be too astonished about the enormity of the fund involve even when the President has been kept somewhere.
We demand to know where our president is and his state of health.
It therefore suffices to say that no degree of a cloaked defence can avail the Presidency unless and until the truth is told to the people of Nigeria who have saddled the President with the mandate to stir the course of this nation.
Our sense of history is tuned to the happenings in South African and what led to the resignation of Nelson Mandela in the office but when the organizers of the FIFA World Cup 2009 couldn’t get the well-respected but gravely ailing Nelson Mandela physically to the draws ceremony, a video conference was done where the over-90-year old sick Mandela was glimpsed by the whole world and even interacted with his people, ditto for Signor Fidel Castro of Cuba, when Castrol felt terribly ill, he took a bow for the functionality of governance and withdrew to his abode where he communicates often with his people most time through video conference.
Let’s bring our memory down a little to the initiation of Umaru Yar’Adua in office. When the erstwhile President Obasanjo was campaigning for him and there was a chitchat that Yar’Adua has died in an hospital abroad, the same ailing president talked to the whole nation through telephone.
If this can be done when Yar’Adua had not mounted the mountain of power, what had thus happened now that he is a public figure allegedly voted into office by generality of Nigerians, we make bold to say that in these day of electronic communications, Nigeria is not so much out of civilization that an electronic conference address cannot be staged by the Federal Executive Council to enable Mr. President to responsibly respect and assuage the feelings of his people.
What is so special or secret about our president’s health conditions or whereabouts that average electorate in the street should not know. This singular mystery has revealed that the inner sanctum of power in the Nigerian scene is fraught with rot and political decadence, the reason is not far to seek as the entirety of the Nigerian and non-Nigerian citizenry have been wallowing in the thick darkness of ignorance as it affects the President’s state of health and the official stance of the presidency. This lacuna is affecting the whole sectors of our economy, yet our leaders would not listen.
The recent illegal hike in fuel price and the resultant scarcity of fuel in Nigeria is just a tip of an evidence of the fact that nothing is progressing anymore in this Nation. Many have to queue for days before a little litre of petrol could be bought even at exorbitant price. Where then are we heading to? We have lost our head? Or can we say our leader has been abducted in a foreign land? or he has abdicated office and is seeking the wholeness of his mortal body as against that of the national body?
May be the Federal Executive Council had not taken their time to examine the spirit and letters of the Oath of office of president which Umaru Yar’Adua has sworn to. It states inter alia;
“I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and…ALWAYS IN THE INTEREST OF THE SOVEREIGNTY, INTEGRITY, SOLIDARITY, WELL-BEING AND PROSPERITY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA…I will not allow my PERSONAL TO INFLUENCE MY OFFICIAL CONDUCT…AND THAT I WILL DEVOTE MYSELF TO THE SERVICE AND WELL-BEING OF THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA. SO HELP ME GOD.”
The letters of the Oath never provided for Nigerians to be praying for the ailing president when his exact condition is not known and when some few rulers had decided to keep us in the dark. We reject this.
Somebody who is away for a month or more cannot be said to have capacity to devote himself to the service and well-being of the people of his nation. This is just the truth and no sympathy about this.
Wither Nigerians, where are our mightiest, where are our intellectuals, our oracles of knowledge and voltrons of our democracy, the non communication of the President is depriving the democratic society of Nigeria a most fundamental right to information and given credence to the unconsciously established belief in the return or unfortunate nonexistence of the President Umaru Yar’Adua again.
WE, the members of Egalitarian Mission Africa and our affiliates herein in attendance in today’s meeting at Abuja had UNEQUIVOCALLY THEREFORE, RESOLVED TO DEMAND FROM THE MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL to address the entire nation on the State of the President’s health with compelling and forensic evidence which may not be limited to video conference/clips, medical reports/updates clearly showing the true situation about the President’s state of health and whereabouts.
BE NOTIFIED that this IRREVOCABLE SEVENTY TWO HOURS (72 HRS.) ULTIMATUM has expiry period between 7:00HRS OF MONDAY, 28TH DECEMBER, 2009 TO 7:00HRS OF THURSDAY, 31ST DECEMBER, 2009.
BE FURTHER NOTIFIED THAT FAILURE TO YEILD TO OUR DEMAND WILL LEAVE US AND THE ENTIRE NIGERIANS TO BELIEVE THAT IT IS EITHER THE PRESIDENT IS NO MORE OR IS PERMANENTLY INCAPACITATED OF WHICH WE WILL EMBARK ON CONCERTED CIVIL ACTIONS TO ENSURE THE FULL ACTIVATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF OUR SACRED CONSTITUTION UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCE.
WE THEREFORE SALUTE THE LEADERSHIP OF NLC, TUC, NBA, NUJ, WABA, CLO, CDHR, YSO, ORGANISED PRIVATE SECTORS, STUDENTS BODIES, ETHNIC AND NATIONAL MOVEMENTS AND ALL OUR AFFILIATES FOR PROVIDING PURPOSEFUL DIRECTION TO NIGERIA AND FURTHER URGE THEM TO JOIN US IN THIS NOBLE CAUSE.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NOTICE IS A PATRIOTIC QUEST OF MAINTAINING THE SACNTIMONIUOS NATURE AND SPIRIT OF OUR MUCH CHERISED CONSTITUTION AND THE PROGRESS OF OUR MUCH MORE EXALTED NATION, NIGERIA.
DATED SUNDAY, 27TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2009
Comrade Samson Sadiq
Malam Jubril Jelani-Dutse