About 72 hours after President Umaru Yar‘Adua returned to the country after a 93-day absence due to medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, and with Nigerians yet to see him, a realignment of forces is going on in the Presidency.
Apparently worried that Yar‘Adua‘s health condition still remains critical, some members of his kitchen cabinet led by a former governor in the South-South region have started reconciliatory overtures to the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, it was learnt in Abuja on Friday.
But, Jonathan who is said to be suspicious of their intentions reportedly rebuffed their moves.
Yar‘Adua was flown back to Nigeria on Wednesday morning and was driven to the Presidential Villa in an ambulance.
Sources had said that Jonathan was not informed of the movement of the President to the country and the substantial deployment of troops in Abuja, neither has seen Yar‘Adua since then.
Saturday Punch investigation showed that some top members of the cabal have succumbed to enormous local and international pressure.
This development has reportedly forced them to seek a special parley with Jonathan for a deal that would make them still relevant in the scheme of things, pending the full recovery of Yar‘Adua.
It was learnt that some supporters of the powerful ex-governor had repeatedly approached Jonathan to seek a compromise out of the present political impasse.
The former governor believed to be a member of the President Yar‘Adua‘s kitchen cabinet, was before now irrevocably committed to preventing Jonathan from having access to full Presidential powers.
He and two other serving governors were said to have made vast contributions to the project to stop Jonathan from assuming full powers of the Presidency at all cost.
However, Jonathan was said to have repeatedly blocked the people who had been wanting to bring him to negotiate with some of these men who had earlier stood against his being made Acting President.
The Acting President was quoted as having told his aides that discussion and negotiations with the people were unnecessary as he did not have personal issues with any of the people who had opposed him.
According to an Aso Rock source, Jonathan also said that the issue of combining individual matters with critical issues of governance was inimical to societal development.
It was learnt that the Acting President declared that he had no control of the law and that anybody who had an issue to settle with the law should focus on it.
”Jonathan is adamant. He has not created avenue for them to negotiate their ways out of problem. These people have been trying desperately to connect with Jonathan but he has turned them down.
”He said that he had no personal problem with any of the affected individuals. He insisted that governance is not an individual affair,” the source said.
Our correspondent further gathered that the new dimension to the confusion in the Presidency crisis had put a crack in the fold of members of the cabal blamed for the constitutional crisis.
It was gathered reliably that the cabal was divided between moderates who are more inclined to a peaceful resolution of the power tussle and those who have sworn to deter the Acting President.
The source said that young career officers working with credible and sensitive governmental agencies with position and age on their side were now very concerned about their roles in the current saga.
According to the source, some of these men in strategic positions are not prepared to sacrifice their careers because of the current crisis.
”There are moves by some of the members of the kitchen cabinet to toe the path of moderation. I believe that they are becoming conscious of public opinion. These people are torn apart by a desire to protect their personal interest and the group interest.
”Some of the young men in sensitive positions are very careful now, obviously, because they don‘t want to destroy what they refer to as great careers in their respective agencies,” the source added.
It was, however, gathered that several Nigerians in high places including those that had had the rare privilege of presiding over highly sensitive and strategic offices have been calling Jonathan repeatedly to ensure that the constitution was respected in the interest of Nigerians. This class of Nigerians were also said to have urged the Acting President ”to remain steadfast in the defence of Nigerians.”
It was also learnt that key players in international politics who have followed the political situation in the country have consistently urged him to act within the provisions of the law.
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