President Umaru YarAdua of Nigeria Is Back Home to Presidential Duties?

by Paul I. Adujie

President Umaru Musa YarAdua’s departure from Saudi Arabia and arrival in Nigeria is very dramatic and, quite possibly pregnant and loaded with intrigues and meanings, to say the least. It is, back to base, and what a great relief, a huge sigh of relief it must have felt for many, many must have breathed, exhaling, loudly, upon hearing the news.

And so it is, that, after 93 days absence, and being away from presidential duties, President Umaru Musa YarAdua has returned to Nigeria, but his health conditions remain unclear, and it is unknown, whether is able or wiling to return to work immediately. And speculations are rife about scenarios and intrigues, which have conspired and culminated into the clandestine nighttime arrival in Nigeria, a couple of hours before dawn and daybreak, by Mr. President.

It will be recalled that President Umaru Musa YarAdua left Nigeria three whole months ago, precisely on November 23rd 2009, until today, February 23rd, 2010; the president left in a medical emergency, to seek medical for his imperfect and rather precarious health condition which have persisted over these several years.

The fact of President YarAdua’s impaired health have been public knowledge any, but, the brouhahas which ensued, was not because Nigerians were unaware of his ill-health, but rather, it was because, upon departing Nigeria in a medical emergency, which was subsequent to the president experiencing palpitations and pains in his chest, there were terse public statements.

But there were no indications, in the terse statements, of how long, the medical vacation would be. Statements which were issued, at the time by presidential spokesperson Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi were very brief, worse, it is was the case, that thorough out Mr. YarAdua sojourn and hibernation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, there were very poor, uncoordinated, abysmal and dismal management of presidential information, it was, to say the least, always shrouded in utmost secrecy and this, in turn, led to the sprouting of a cottage industries of speculations and misinformation and rumors galore.

Even now again, the president’s departure from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and arrival into Abuja in Nigeria, was, once again, shrouded and sheathed in absolute-extreme secrecy and covered in the dark of night, but why? This singular act, once again, a squandered public relations opportunity! If the president is well, fully recovered, and fit, after all this long treatments, therapy and recuperation, his return home should have been celebratory and even triumphant, flags waving, flags hoisting and all. Nigerian citizens deserves this.

But no, again, the president returns like a thief, at two thirty Anti Meridian in the wee hours of the morning! And this leads me to wonder aloud, who is exactly, is calling all the shots? Why is the need for all these seeming immature management of our national symbol? The Nigerian Press and Media and by extension, all citizens were deprived of, even a fleeting glimpse of President YarAdua, after 93 days in Saudi Arabian hospital.

Well, all that preliminaries now taken care of, and out of the way, the real gist is the muck and the clouds still surrounding Mr. YarAdua health, is he well enough now? Is he able to return to work immediately? Is Acting President Goodluck Jonathan at liberty, constitutionally, to perform presidential functions until further notice and until Mr. YarAdua is fully recovered and bubbly? Or would he leave the presidency on health grounds? What will the Federal Executive meeting on February 24th, 2010 be like, will he attend with a triumphal entry, sans jet lag and groggy face from medicament?

And how about now, that President YarAdua is back to base? And presumably, at the helms of affairs for Nigeria, once again? Is he now in Aso Rock, our seat of power and presidential residence and would remain there? Some have speculated, that he is on life support? How do we proceed? After Mr. YarAdua’s prolonged absence presidential duties and all the high decibels debates? How about the noncompliance and or violations of section 145 of the constitution? And many other questions, such as, whether the president failure to have transmitted a letter, to trigger and active vice president acting in his stead, should necessitate a hearing. Then, alternatively, there are more questions, whether he should have voluntarily resigned and relinquished power? Or whether he should have been pushed out office, through impeachment, for being physical-mentally unfit and incapacitated and unavailable? Additional questions still persist, such as, his failure, neglect, and or refusal to comply with the constitution. Or shall we now, just let all these be bygone, and let all that debate now rest, if he is well and returns to working conscientiously?

There is arguably, no longer, a constitutionally sound reason or predicate upon which to impeach President YarAdua. And, now that he is back, if he is healthy and fit, there is no longer a reason for Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to remain as the Acting President. The circumstances of the preceding 93 days, have changed and reverted to “normal” and so, Mr. Jonathan from now on, will only do duties assigned to him by Mr. YarAdua. We may now overlook the fact that Mr. YarAdaua for 93 days, abdicated his throne and was intransigent and recalcitrant, when he should just have complied with constitutionally mandated and stipulated procedure and processes.

However, there should be no mistake about it, that, now that Mr. YarAdua is back to presidential duties, all are reminded, that he remains our president and national symbol. And that he is, was always our substantive president, who was taken away, temporarily, by personal medical condition which had led to a national controversy, now he is back to work and that should end the brouhahas. Mr. Jonathan from now on, will only do, or carry out, duties assigned to him by Mr. YarAdua

President YarAdua swore to uphold and defend the constitution and now is the time to demonstrate that commitment. This is also time to act magnanimously and with malice towards none. Our servant leader, hopefully, is now found new energy from his medical vacation, should hunker down to do the presidential heavy lifting Mr. YarAdua, if he is now well and fit to resume work, he must refrain himself, put restraints on others, not to hound anyone on account of debates which surrounded his departure and long stay in Saudi Arabia, a stay which generated abundance controversy. If he is well enough to resume presidential duties, he must singularly focus on those duties and not waste valuable time seeking retributions and vengeful vendettas against anyone who became restive as a result of Mr. YarAdua long stay outside Nigeria, from work.

It is better that he is back home in full perfect health, imperfect, impaired or worse, than, remaining and sticking out like a sore thumb in Saudi Arabia, sticking out as monumental for embarrassment. There is now, no a constitutionally sound reason to impeach President YarAdua, unless there emerge an apparent reason or there is a subsequent affront against our constitution.

President Umaru Musa YarAdua is most probably returning to presidential duties which he had abandoned for 93 days. The time to have impeached him have passed. I was among those, who previously urged his impeachment because he abandoned presidential duties without compliance with section 145 of our constitution, so that his failure, neglect or refusal, could have been seen and or interpreted as “gross misconduct” and therefore impeachable . Now however, unless he voluntarily resigns, which is very doubtful, or that he is medically evaluated to be physically-mentally unfit and then removed from office, and this is also quite unlikely. He has returned to presidential duties and barring more clandestine actions and subterranean intrigues, Nigeria is back to normal, politically, constitutionally, starting now.

It is unfathomable, or impossible to imagine

or expect the FEC and the National Assembly is suddenly hyperactive, when they were stymied and frozen in place during all these 93 days of inaction when Mr. YarAdua was absent. I cannot see them becoming suddenly active or aggressive now, against Mr. YarAdua who is now present with own defense.
The only far-fetched expectation is perhaps that, he will resign voluntarily, highly unlikely!
If he was quitting, he would have headed for Abuja. But to Katsina state instead, as the aircraft was reported route-charted Abuja, Kano and Katsina.
The window and door on his impeachment prospect is now foreclosed or more like, slammed in on faces of all those who may have still been expecting that today!

The only options now left is a voluntary resignation by President Umaru YarAdua based on his discretion, taking full cognizance of his precarious health condition, but what if he just received a brand new heart and kidneys transplants etc

Clearly, from the constitutional standpoint, Nigerians through the National Assembly are the employers of President YarAdua. He was absent from his duty station for almost a hundred days, we did not fire him… but now, he has recovered after a long treatment and recuperation. No reason to fire him.

President YarAdua and his supporters must realize however, that, so much transpired while his absence from presidential duties persisted. And millions of Nigerians, at home and abroad, and millions of people around the world, were aghast, some prayed, some were worried sick and some others, feared chaos, anarchy, war and disintegration, as a result of the power vacuum created by his absence, induced of course, by his ill health.

President YarAdua, his family and friends, must realize that, Nigerians and well wishers of Nigeria, did and said things, and fretted openly and often, because they worried for Nigeria during Mr. YarAdua prolonged absence. These persons, only wanted to avoid the power vacuum and void foisted upon Nigeria and which persisted for too long. A situation which came about due to actions and inactions of President YarAdua and his elongated absence from presidential duties, and particularly so, in view of President YarAdua willful neglect to comply with section 145 of the Constitution of Nigeria.

It is now hoped that there would be no vendetta and vindictiveness and or actions directed at ostracizing those worried privately and even publicly, those who sought the best to be done in the protection and preservation of Nigeria’s national interests.

President Umaru Musa YarAdua is back home, healthier and fit, physically and mentally. President Umaru Musa YarAdua, the substantive president of Nigeria, is back to presidential duties. It is time to show good leadership, encrusted in magnanimity. Mr. President now has all the cards and the aces as well. Nigeria will be worse or better, the preferably better, and the next move is by President Umaru Musa YarAdua of Nigeria.

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