The Games that the Yar'Adua Cabal are Playing.....with Nigeria! [Updated]

The Games that the Yar'Adua Cabal are Playing.....with Nigeria!

By Nasir El-Rufai

The return of Nigeria's Yar'adua's
Return; The Implicationslong-absent and partly-unseated President Umaru Yar'Adua to Abuja on February 24th has thrown the country into a dangerous existential crisis, threatening the constitutional process which had placed provisional powers into the hands of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

This threat to our national integrity is due to the willingness of Yar'Adua's inner circle to misinform and mislead Nigerians into mass violence, if necessary, in order to complete their capture of the presidency. Through deliberate disinformation and whipping up primordial sentiments, this cabal will seek to persuade Nigerians and the international community that the succession process is underscored by an invented North-South chasm, and conceal their selfish agenda under the aegis of Muslim vs. Christian religious divide. This is an age-old yet often effective strategy of playing off North-South tensions.

A recent example of this irresponsible strategy by the cabal are the latest stories of access to Yar'Adua granted to selected "Muslim Leaders". How can an invisible and elusive Yar'Adua, not seen by the Acting President, the Senate President or the Chief Justice of Nigeria then be revealed to be sighted, not by a combined team of Christian and Muslim leaders, but another carefully handpicked clique?

The recent ethnic violence that has repeatedly seized the villages surrounding Jos, claiming hundreds of lives, as Fulani herdsmen clashed with Berom villagers, just a little more than a month since the last outbreak is another example. Perpetrators of the recent violence in Jos – some of whom are believed to been organized and armed from Bauchi State, where President Yar'Adua's son-in-law is Governor - are acting upon the opportunity presented by the perpetuation of the power struggle by the Yar'Adua cabal.

They know that the president is clearly permanently incapacitated - having sneaked into Abuja, without parades and welcoming party, but accompanied by an unauthorized deployment of the military, and ferried away to the presidential villa in an ambulance under close guard like a criminal into the night. Their sponsors also know that tough the constitutional politics of Abuja may appear far removed from Jos, by creating rising tensions and inaccurate perceptions of religious and ethnic tensions between the "North" and "South", the resultant effect of creating a serious threat to the integrity and governability of the country is achieved.

From early February when, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was given provisional powers and became Acting President – he has faced constant disinformation, obstruction, and undermining by the Yar'Adua cabal seeking to cling to the rents of office. Until their firing last week, these individuals have correctly grasped that the law and the constitution are not on their side – that in following due process the president must be formally and permanently removed from office through the constitutional process. Unfortunately, their only recourse is to interrupt the process through the age-old yet often effective strategy of rumor mongering and mischief to deepen and broaden the invented North-South chasm and Muslim-Christian division.

These misperceptions of broad religious strife - the central disruptive narrative that the Yar'Adua cabal is pushing to derail the constitutional succession process - have extremely high human costs, tragic human costs as proven in Jos. Instead of complying lawfully with the provisions pertaining to fitness for leadership, the Yar'Adua the cabal in its struggle to cling to power, is bringing us potentially closer than ever to a repeat of 1967 violence and the return of military intervention.

Nigeria's understandably complex politics cannot be reduced to divisive clichés and sound bites, shamefully rehashed by a controversial African Head of State, diplomats and gullible media, thereby perpetuating such myth. Not only is this portrayal profoundly untrue, I fear that if allowed unchecked, will push the country close to the violent catastrophe that preceded Nigerian Civil War, which claimed more than 1 million lives and led to successive military interventions. For Africa's most populous nation of over 150 million people, and its role as a crucial supplier of oil to world markets, a constitutional resolution to this crisis should be of urgent concern not only to Nigerians but to world leaders.

At this point, we must commend the Nigerian military for respecting democracy and insisting on subordination to civil authority. The people of Nigeria guided by opposition groups like Save Nigeria Group, civil society and media have exercised great restraint, maturity and understanding of Yar'Adua cabal's game plan to deliberately invent a crisis that could break up the country. We have all seen through them this time but the high human and economic costs remain indelible in our history.

A return to bloodshed and military dictatorship is not, however, a foregone conclusion. It is clear that the Yar'Adua cabal has put that as its ultimate goal. By recruiting ethnic and religious irredentists on both sides, falsehoods like excessive spending, discretionary grant of oil blocs, diversion of funds from one project to another and mass sackings of the top echelons of the Army have been sponsored and published in the media in the recent past to create Jonathan-phobia in the North. False reports of searches of Jonathan's office, plots to poison him and such like were designed to anger the militants of the Niger Delta and other "Southerners" to feel aggrieved and increase hostility to all "Northerners". We must all continue to resist the temptation to fall for their tricks and keep our eyes on the ball of orderly, constitutional succession.

The mischief of the remnants of the Yar'Adua cabal within the government will not end overnight. Unless they are cleared out of sensitive positions and their principal removed, they will never stop trying to put Nigeria at risk. There are certain steps that must now be taken and laws that must be observed. These steps, as outlined, will require the perseverance, fortitude, and determination of the Nigerian people , institutions and the allies of civil democratic process in the international community.

The facts must first be established that since November, President Yar'Adua has not been heard from, but for a short, deeply suspicious radio interview, while no images, video, or statements to the people have been provided. Following the attempted terrorist attack over U.S. soil by a radicalized, aberrant young Nigerian, there were no words from the president, which did not help with the resulting indignity of having all Nigerians placed on the U.S. terror watch list at airports. In January and March ethnic violence erupted in Jos, claiming the lives of more than hundreds of people – a much larger death toll than the recent massive earthquake in Chile, yet we did not hear a word from the leadership. In other words, Nigerians not only saw and felt the vacuum of leadership, it was also causing enormous damage to our national interest.

Nevertheless, while in silent convalescence in a Saudi hospital, President Yar'Adua did find the energy and wherewithal to sign a supplementary budget bill, releasing millions of dollars in discretionary funds to his cabal to loot, and leading many to speculate that key individuals close to the president, including his wife Turai Yar'Adua, had seized de facto power. It is gratifying that the attempted power grab was resisted by the Nigerian people, but this is yet to fully resolve the political uncertainty.

More than just uncertainty in the democratic process, there is an increasing possibility that the country's integrity is at risk or return to military rule. By continuously instigating the ethnic divisions between the North and South in order to obstruct the constitutional process, the Yar'Adua cabal is attempting to force a dangerously narrow outcome. When their callous gamble goes out of control and the violence begins, they expected either segments of the South-East or the Niger Delta region to declare secession in response to their misconduct, which will eventually lead to a military intervention and suspension of civilian rule. Thankfully, either scenario materialized, to the disappointment of the cabal.

The first matter to address is the immediate and comprehensive revelation of President Yar'Adua's health and independent ability to carry out the duties of office. This is an area where the international community must come to Nigeria's assistance with any intelligence gathered from Yar'Adua's three-month hospice stay in Saudi Arabia. US Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson has given an early indication in his statement: "We hope that President Yar'Adua's return to Nigeria is not an effort by his senior advisers to upset Nigeria's stability and create renewed uncertainty in the democratic process." Similar statements from the British, Canadian and European Union officials have been helpful in strengthening Acting President to stabilize the nation and reduce the leadership vacuum.

What must be done now is the strict observance of the constitutional succession process to lawfully the replace of the president by the acting president, as established under Section 144 of the Nigerian Constitution. This requires the cabinet being formed to have the courage to pass resolution with a two-thirds majority on the president's ill-health, confirmation by medical board appointed by the Senate President, and the swearing in of the Acting President as substantive President of Nigeria. If this process is manipulated or obstructed by the Yar'Adua cabal without his public appearance (which is expected), the two houses of the National Assembly must proceed to seven-step process under Section 146 to remove the president through impeachment for gross misconduct, incompetence, abuse and corruption in the discharge of his office. The evidence is available in Nigeria and abroad for these charges to be proved easily.

However the country needs political support, international partnership, and encouragement to undergo this existential challenge – and understandably perhaps we have exhausted the patience of many of our people and allies. But we all need to use a fresh lens when looking at Nigeria.  Back room deals where political elites negotiate the fate of Nigeria's 150 million people are a relic of the past.  The North/South power rotation or "zoning" arrangement that pretends to offer stability to Nigeria's diverse ethnic population has morphed into a convenient justification for self-centered politicians and power elite to rob the country of its resources. It must be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Nigeria has too much going for it to be allowed to fail. Despite the current political crisis, the green shoots of democracy are appearing across the country.  Some State Governors like Raji Fashola of Lagos and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers are striking out their own path and delivering services to the people.  Civil society has become empowered through new technologies like text and instant messaging .  The international community must respond to what Nigeria could be and not constrained by those who have a vested interest in the old way of doing business. If we can regain the confidence of our people and win the support of the free world, Nigeria could grow into one of the greatest and proudest nations and a leading example for the Gulf of Guinea region. The world will benefit greatly from such a country.

I call on all Nigerians and the international community to maintain their demands for the transition of full Presidential powers to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, through an orderly constitutional process; and to resist all attempts by the Yar'Adua cabal to plunge Nigeria into tragic and irreparable ethnic violence and untold hardship.



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Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
ChangeAgent posted on 04-02-2010, 16:22:38 PM
Every where you look, we find the signs of the desperation of the Northern Nigerians to fool Nigerians and the rest of world with their one indivisible Nigeria message. Nigeria is too big to fail? Granted that El Rufia has sense of what is right and perhaps what is fair. Nevertheless, he is a beneficiary of the Nigerian system of nepotism and despotism that has marginalize and exiled her best from the South, East and West as economic refugees all over the world. I can almost certainly guaranty that if he were from the Niger Delta, the East or even perhaps the West, he could not have enjoyed the spectacular carrier that thrust him into national prominence. He is where he is today because of the Nigeria system that favors anyone with even a mediocre education from the North especially his side of the of the divide. I know one of is class mates and fellow professional surveyor from the South that did not get so lucky. Granted, there will be those from the North who may see the benefit of a functioning devolved power to the regions and local government with a small functioning central government as the right frame work to better Nigeria, but those few are too insignificant to make up for the majority and fundamental aversion fairness and equity.

The Northern military detectors led Nigeria of 40 of the last 50 years fashioned a dysfunctional suffocating whopped, wicked unitary system of government. Consequently, those like El Rufia who benefit from that centered wickedness will do all they can to nurture it. The oppressed and disposes ed members of that failed system, have been reasonable in advocating for the restructuring of the nation on equitable and compatible basis for more than 40 years without a correspondent reasonableness from beneficiaries of the wicked arrangement. Reasonable Nigerians everywhere are simple tired of the failed system and now simple want Nigeria to be break up into manageable nations. That should be the focus of any reasonable Nigerian. The name Nigeria is now a liability to anyone as it stands.
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
Obi posted on 04-02-2010, 17:18:21 PM
Rufai,

The solution does not lie in changing the occupant of Nigeria's presidential villa.

In spite of the recent unfortunate crises of seismic proportions in Nigeria, there was nothing new in your paper. You guys don't get it!
Much as you appear to be worried, your article was defect of the necessary strategic vision to realizing an enduring union. Your mention that,"Nigeria is too big and has too much going for it to be allowed to fail." was indeed annoying, and an additional insult on the feelings of the masses of that union. El Rufai, what is the "big" about this Sudanic Nigeria? Name just one thing that is "going for it" that the citizens would miss if allowed to fail?

You make a fool of yourself each time you brag about Nigeria's "big" or "giant"status. Wait a minute! Is it the paltry 2,000 dollar GDP per capita? Something that doesn't compare with that of Angola's 9000 dollars GDP per capita - a country that just emerged from a 30 year civil war.

Nigeria's leadership was once thought to be a dynamic one by other African countries, but that notion has fizzled out over the years. It will interest you to know that Kenya, within the past 48 hours, has made history. BBC has confirmed that the 20 year bitter and acrimonious debate about devolution of power has ended on a positive note. The Kenyan parliament has approved a draft that provides for greater checks on presidential powers and regional devolution of power. El Rufai, this is what love of country, unity, diversity and synthesis is all about. It is expected that people like you would see the imperatives of a Sovereign National Conference at least. Having said that, I believe the majority of my people will actualize themselves in a new nation other than Nigeria.
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
Agbonizuanghwe posted on 04-02-2010, 18:26:08 PM


What is wrong with the one and a bit that we have? (Two thirds of one and one fifth of the other) No other country has that!!
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
Mgiwa6 posted on 04-02-2010, 22:44:37 PM
Mr. El Rufai,
Maybe you should direct your article to those idiots who are holding the country hostage. You can also copy those who, at one time or another, have been at the helm of power in Nigeria. If, as you said "Nigeria is too big and has too much going for it to be allowed to fail", then tell your people to live Nigeria alone so that she can rise to the levels that have eluded her for decades.
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
Ariteni posted on 04-03-2010, 04:02:54 AM
Excellent piece but comes too late! This does not add up positively, my friend. We have solved our problem and moved on! Unless President YarAdua dies (or is killed) the staus quo remains till we elect a new President within the next nine months. You better maintain contact with Baba Iyabo so you dont embarass yourself with this type of ill-considered write up again. Nigeria has you in mind for high level participation again next time. For emphasis, our resolution remains that Dr Jonathan runs the Govt period. We do not even worry any-more about the state of health of the President. We wish him recovery. When he does, we will re-examine the position and decide what to do.

Dont expose your ignorance and lack of faith. Dr Jonathan is the substantive de facto President. He lacks the ability to create or change his own title and must live with what we choose to call him - Mr Ag President. It does not make him less of a President. e.g. Buhari called himself HOS but Babangida merely changed the name by naming himself President both exercised the autocratic powers of Military dictators. We reserve the privilege through our elected Reps to change that title before or even after May 29, 2011.

Nasir, dont pull us back. Even the tea party members who had earlier beseiged Abuja vowing not to sleep till Dr Jonathan is called President are now snoring! Prof Soyinka is with Dr Jonathan and our fiery Archbishop Makarios has quietly abandoned the Abuja sheep and moved on with us.

If you really want to help Nigeria, you should not join the "youths" to condemn rotation. That is what works for us for now. That is what made President Obasanjo. But it is merely an accord. If for example Prof Soyinka or like personality decides to contest we will consider the accord because such people are in reality "citizens of the world". But they dont come too often. I am not seeing any in the Present horizon. Start your anti-rotation Party which will be Party No 55 and lets see how many Nigerians will join you. Gani tried, Atiku tried, Kalu tried. Maybe you will succeed where they failed. The last two are still begging to return to the "rotation" party - PDP. Ask them why.

If you have a name to suggest for Presidency tell us and we will consider him for a post-Jonathan Presidency - 2011. You are free to join others to "draft" Dr Jonathan into the race. But you cannot tell us to impeach YarAdua - capacity or no capacity, conscious or not conscious. We will interprete that to be another "eye service" statement with ulterior motive. If you are afraid to come back because Yardua is still de jure President stay abroad till May 29, 2011.

Right now, we are looking for a new INEC Chief since Prof Iwu is quiting at the expiration of his term unless re-appointed by Dr Jonathan as is being canvassed by Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu and some other elders. Since you helped Nigeria "source" Yar Adua please help to find a suitable successor to Prof Iwu. Dont drag us back into the imaginary "cabal" fruitless tango. Abi you self wan come back to Ministerial like "Dora the explorer"?

Are you wiser than Dr Jonathan, Senate, House of Reps, PDP BOT, etc and wise Nigerians that put this AG Presidency thing in place? Do you think President Obama, PM Brown and all our supporters took an unwise decision to support? Have you heard Kongi worry about "title" for Jonathan any more? Abeg go find somewhere siddon look (and drink "miri oyi" over your small loot) ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
S. Njokede posted on 04-03-2010, 06:02:28 AM
Rufai has failed to mention governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State as one of the ace governors churning seeable developments in their states when he mentioned Fashola of Lagos and governor of Port Harcourt. I was in Nigeria for three months and came back last week: I saw the fantastic works ongoing in Edo State. I´m not holding any brief for governor Oshiomhole, Modesty forbids that I do!

El-Rufia was in Obsanjo´s government when the core criteria for boxing president Yar´Adua via backdoor into the presidency was the Machiavellian PDP rotation president and yet, he didn´t speak out. Rufai need a lot of repentance to do nowadays that he´s identifying with the masses and showing socio-centric manners. He was no doubt part of the cabal that derailed the OBJ´s government with his lust for dodging court orders. Rational presidency is PDP´s figment of imagination on no account should it be made an all-come affair across the board in Nigeria. PDP can sell or lend their rational democracy philosophy to the Taleban in Afghanistan, Nazi in Germany and the Apartheid supremacist in South Africa.

Those with moral high ground like ex-president General Buhari who´s derelict of corruption should be empowered to leadership positions in Nigeria. The politics of where- you-com- from is nonsensical to the yearnings of modern day social organisations. Mediocre!

www.rig2011electionyoudie@rocketmail.com
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
S. Njokede posted on 04-03-2010, 06:03:15 AM
Rufai has failed to mention governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State as one of the ace governors churning seeable developments in their states when he mentioned Fashola of Lagos and governor of Port Harcourt. I was in Nigeria for three months and came back last week: I saw the fantastic works ongoing in Edo State. I´m not holding any brief for governor Oshiomhole, Modesty forbids that I do!

El-Rufia was in Obsanjo´s government when the core criteria for boxing president Yar´Adua via backdoor into the presidency was the Machiavellian PDP rotation president and yet, he didn´t speak out. Rufai need a lot of repentance to do nowadays that he´s identifying with the masses and showing socio-centric manners. He was no doubt part of the cabal that derailed the OBJ´s government with his lust for dodging court orders. Rational presidency is PDP´s figment of imagination on no account should it be made an all-come affair across the board in Nigeria. PDP can sell or lend their rational democracy philosophy to the Taleban in Afghanistan, Nazi in Germany and the Apartheid supremacist in South Africa.

Those with moral high ground like ex-president General Buhari who´s derelict of corruption should be empowered to leadership positions in Nigeria. The politics of where- you-com- from is nonsensical to the yearnings of modern day social organisations. Mediocre!

www.rig2011electionyoudie@rocketmail.com
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
NWANZA posted on 04-03-2010, 09:12:04 AM
QUOTE:
The political mayhem and the ethnic tensions fomented by the Yar'Adua faction have pushed Nigeria closer than ever either to a repeat of the country's 1967-1970 civil war, in which the southern Biafra region sought to secede, or the return of military intervention.


You can still let my people go - we don't believe in Nigeria.
Deep down inside the heart of your Southern friends, they look at the Northerners as usurpers.
Not as enermies per say, but as a clog-in-the-wheel of progress.

QUOTE:
In pushing so hard on the North-South divide, Yar'Adua's supporters risk creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; if regions are told they will be the \"losers\" of a constitutional transition, they might pick up arms to defend their position. Military leaders resolutely believe in the integrity of the Nigerian state, so if the country were to approach the brink of disintegration, they would likely step in. Goodbye, Nigerian democracy.


Democracy is not always the answer, because we have concentrated power in the center and made the regions weak with 36 states.

QUOTE:
What's needed now is a clean sweep of the administration to remove potential troublemakers, which Jonathan has begun with his cabinet shuffle. But the first matter to address is a comprehensive and public assessment of Yar'Adua's health and his ability to carry out the duties of his office. This is an area on which the international community must come to Nigeria's assistance with any intelligence gathered from Yar'Adua's three-month hospital stay in Saudi Arabia.


Sorry my friend, but that is the nature of our animal kingdom. When a new regime is in power, they haunt the previous regime into exile.

If i were you, i will keep hiding.

There is no wisdom in everything they do in Nigeria, as the land of "nigers".

We are on the sideline laughing our ass off, and as you can imagine "lamenting"

Deal with your woes, you brought it all to yourself by serving an evil regime.
Re: Time For A New Nigerian President
Bahaushe posted on 04-05-2010, 22:22:33 PM
QUOTE:
You can still let my people go - we don't believe in Nigeria.
Deep down inside the heart of your Southern friends, they look at the Northerners as usurpers.
Not as enermies per say, but as a clog-in-the-wheel of progress.



Democracy is not always the answer, because we have concentrated power in the center and made the regions weak with 36 states.



Sorry my friend, but that is the nature of our animal kingdom. When a new regime is in power, they haunt the previous regime into exile.

If i were you, i will keep hiding.

There is no wisdom in everything they do in Nigeria, as the land of \"nigers\".

We are on the sideline laughing our ass off, and as you can imagine \"lamenting\"

Deal with your woes, you brought it all to yourself by serving an evil regime.


My Dear El Rufai,

The deluge of hate mail that assails your write-up is what you get trying to play to the Southern gallery. What ever you do to please such convoluted minds, you would end up reduced to the pigeonhole they have already created for you and others from the North. Jakolo I hope u r also there! These cyber loudmouths can not even mobilize their families to protest but they are here shouting hail and brimstone regarding the need to divide Nigeria. But even if that turns out to be a reality, I assure you that the south will be the first to blink. How many Southerners are well ensconced in the North carrying out their both legitimate and illegitimate businesses. For every one Northerner you see in the South, there are ten southerners in the North. There are well close to 2million Igbos between Kano and Jigawa states only. Each to his tent Nigerians and let's see!
Time For A New Nigerian President
Nasir El-Rufai posted on 04-05-2010, 22:54:46 PM



The Games that the Yar'Adua Cabal
are Playing.....with Nigeria!


By Nasir El-Rufai


The return of Nigeria's Yar'adua's
<br />Return; The Implicationslong-absent
and partly-unseated President Umaru Yar'Adua to Abuja on February
24th has thrown the country into a dangerous existential crisis,
threatening
the constitutional process which had placed provisional powers into
the hands of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.


This threat to our national integrity
is due to the willingness of Yar'Adua's inner circle to misinform
and mislead Nigerians into mass violence, if necessary, in order to
complete their capture of the presidency. Through deliberate
disinformation
and whipping up primordial sentiments, this cabal will seek to persuade
Nigerians and the international community that the succession process
is underscored by an invented North-South chasm, and conceal their
selfish
agenda under the aegis of Muslim vs. Christian religious divide. This
is an age-old yet often effective strategy of playing off North-South
tensions.


A recent example of this irresponsible
strategy by the cabal are the latest stories of access to Yar'Adua
granted
to selected "Muslim Leaders". How can an invisible and elusive
Yar'Adua, not seen by the Acting President, the Senate President or
the Chief Justice of Nigeria then be revealed to be sighted, not by
a combined team of Christian and Muslim leaders, but another carefully
handpicked clique?


The recent ethnic violence that has
repeatedly seized the villages surrounding Jos, claiming hundreds of
lives, as Fulani herdsmen clashed with Berom villagers, just a little
more than a month since the last outbreak is another example.
Perpetrators
of the recent violence in Jos – some of whom are believed to been
organized and armed from Bauchi State, where President Yar'Adua's
son-in-law
is Governor - are acting upon the opportunity presented by the
perpetuation
of the power struggle by the Yar'Adua cabal.


They know that the president is clearly

permanently incapacitated - having sneaked into Abuja, without parades
and welcoming party, but accompanied by an unauthorized deployment of
the military, and ferried away to the presidential villa in an ambulance

under close guard like a criminal into the night. Their sponsors also
know that tough the constitutional politics of Abuja may appear far
removed from Jos, by creating rising tensions and inaccurate perceptions

of religious and ethnic tensions between the "North" and "South",
the resultant effect of creating a serious threat to the integrity and
governability of the country is achieved.


From early February when, Vice
President
Goodluck Jonathan was given provisional powers and became Acting
President
– he has faced constant disinformation, obstruction, and undermining
by the Yar'Adua cabal seeking to cling to the rents of office. Until
their firing last week, these individuals have correctly grasped that
the law and the constitution are not on their side – that in following
due process the president must be formally and permanently removed from
office through the constitutional process. Unfortunately, their only
recourse is to interrupt the process through the age-old yet often
effective
strategy of rumor mongering and mischief to deepen and broaden the
invented
North-South chasm and Muslim-Christian division.


These misperceptions of broad religious

strife - the central disruptive narrative that the Yar'Adua cabal
is pushing to derail the constitutional succession process - have
extremely
high human costs, tragic human costs as proven in Jos. Instead of
complying
lawfully with the provisions pertaining to fitness for leadership, the
Yar'Adua the cabal in its struggle to cling to power, is bringing
us potentially closer than ever to a repeat of 1967 violence and the
return of military intervention.


Nigeria's understandably complex
politics
cannot be reduced to divisive clichés and sound bites, shamefully
rehashed
by a controversial African Head of State, diplomats and gullible media,
thereby perpetuating such myth. Not only is this portrayal profoundly
untrue, I fear that if allowed unchecked, will push the country close
to the violent catastrophe that preceded Nigerian Civil War, which
claimed
more than 1 million lives and led to successive military interventions.
For Africa's most populous nation of over 150 million people, and
its role as a crucial supplier of oil to world markets, a constitutional

resolution to this crisis should be of urgent concern not only to
Nigerians
but to world leaders.


At this point, we must commend the
Nigerian military for respecting democracy and insisting on
subordination
to civil authority. The people of Nigeria guided by opposition groups
like Save Nigeria Group, civil society and media have exercised great
restraint, maturity and understanding of Yar'Adua cabal's game plan
to deliberately invent a crisis that could break up the country. We
have all seen through them this time but the high human and economic
costs remain indelible in our history.


A return to bloodshed and military
dictatorship is not, however, a foregone conclusion. It is clear that
the Yar'Adua cabal has put that as its ultimate goal. By recruiting
ethnic and religious irredentists on both sides, falsehoods like
excessive
spending, discretionary grant of oil blocs, diversion of funds from
one project to another and mass sackings of the top echelons of the
Army have been sponsored and published in the media in the recent past
to create Jonathan-phobia in the North. False reports of searches of
Jonathan's office, plots to poison him and such like were designed to
anger the militants of the Niger Delta and other "Southerners"
to feel aggrieved and increase hostility to all "Northerners".
We must all continue to resist the temptation to fall for their tricks
and keep our eyes on the ball of orderly, constitutional succession.


The mischief of the remnants of the
Yar'Adua cabal within the government will not end overnight. Unless
they are cleared out of sensitive positions and their principal removed,

they will never stop trying to put Nigeria at risk. There are certain
steps that must now be taken and laws that must be observed. These
steps,
as outlined, will require the perseverance, fortitude, and determination

of the Nigerian people , institutions and the allies of civil democratic

process in the international community.


The facts must first be established
that since November, President Yar'Adua has not been heard from, but
for a short, deeply suspicious radio interview, while no images, video,
or statements to the people have been provided. Following the attempted
terrorist attack over U.S. soil by a radicalized, aberrant young
Nigerian,
there were no words from the president, which did not help with the
resulting indignity of having all Nigerians placed on the U.S. terror
watch list at airports. In January and March ethnic violence erupted
in Jos, claiming the lives of more than hundreds of people – a much
larger death toll than the recent massive earthquake in Chile, yet we
did not hear a word from the leadership. In other words, Nigerians not
only saw and felt the vacuum of leadership, it was also causing enormous

damage to our national interest.


Nevertheless, while in silent
convalescence
in a Saudi hospital, President Yar'Adua did find the energy and
wherewithal
to sign a supplementary budget bill, releasing millions of dollars in
discretionary funds to his cabal to loot, and leading many to speculate
that key individuals close to the president, including his wife Turai
Yar'Adua, had seized de facto power. It is gratifying that the attempted

power grab was resisted by the Nigerian people, but this is yet to fully

resolve the political uncertainty.


More than just uncertainty in the
democratic
process, there is an increasing possibility that the country's integrity

is at risk or return to military rule. By continuously instigating the
ethnic divisions between the North and South in order to obstruct the
constitutional process, the Yar'Adua cabal is attempting to force
a dangerously narrow outcome. When their callous gamble goes out of
control and the violence begins, they expected either segments of the
South-East or the Niger Delta region to declare secession in response
to their misconduct, which will eventually lead to a military
intervention
and suspension of civilian rule. Thankfully, either scenario
materialized,
to the disappointment of the cabal.


The first matter to address is the
immediate and comprehensive revelation of President Yar'Adua's health
and independent ability to carry out the duties of office. This is an
area where the international community must come to Nigeria's assistance

with any intelligence gathered from Yar'Adua's three-month hospice
stay in Saudi Arabia. US Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson
has given an early indication in his statement: "We hope that President
Yar'Adua's return to Nigeria is not an effort by his senior advisers
to upset Nigeria's stability and create renewed uncertainty in the
democratic process." Similar statements from the British, Canadian
and European Union officials have been helpful in strengthening Acting
President to stabilize the nation and reduce the leadership vacuum.


What must be done now is the strict
observance of the constitutional succession process to lawfully the
replace of the president by the acting president, as established under
Section 144 of the Nigerian Constitution. This requires the cabinet
being formed to have the courage to pass resolution with a two-thirds
majority on the president's ill-health, confirmation by medical board
appointed by the Senate President, and the swearing in of the Acting
President as substantive President of Nigeria. If this process is
manipulated
or obstructed by the Yar'Adua cabal without his public appearance (which

is expected), the two houses of the National Assembly must proceed to
seven-step process under Section 146 to remove the president through
impeachment for gross misconduct, incompetence, abuse and corruption
in the discharge of his office. The evidence is available in Nigeria
and abroad for these charges to be proved easily.


However the country needs political
support, international partnership, and encouragement to undergo this
existential challenge – and understandably perhaps we have exhausted
the patience of many of our people and allies. But we all need to use
a fresh lens when looking at Nigeria.  Back room deals where political
elites negotiate the fate of Nigeria's 150 million people are a relic
of the past.  The North/South power rotation or "zoning"
arrangement that pretends to offer stability to Nigeria's diverse
ethnic population has morphed into a convenient justification for
self-centered
politicians and power elite to rob the country of its resources. It
must be consigned to the dustbin of history.


Nigeria has too much going for it to
be allowed to fail. Despite the current political crisis, the green
shoots of democracy are appearing across the country.  Some State
Governors like Raji Fashola of Lagos and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers are
striking out their own path and delivering services to the people. 
Civil society has become empowered through new technologies like text
and instant messaging .  The international community must respond
to what Nigeria could be and not constrained by those who have a vested
interest in the old way of doing business. If we can regain the
confidence
of our people and win the support of the free world, Nigeria could grow
into one of the greatest and proudest nations and a leading example
for the Gulf of Guinea region. The world will benefit greatly from such
a country.


I call on all Nigerians and the
international
community to maintain their demands for the transition of full
Presidential
powers to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, through an orderly
constitutional
process; and to resist all attempts by the Yar'Adua cabal to plunge
Nigeria into tragic and irreparable ethnic violence and untold hardship.





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