Mar 7 2010
By Yusuf Alli:
• “We may witness a wind of policy reversals in the next few months if the President returns to office”
Signals that ailing President Umaru Yar’ Adua is fast recovering might alter the delicate balance of power in the Presidency and change the game plan in the political camp of the President as well as that of the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan. Indications that Yar’ Adua is much better now has put a meeting between the two men on the agenda. “Once the Acting President has access to the President, the plot to invoke Section n144 or 145 will die naturally,” a source said.
“We may witness a wind of policy reversals in the next few months if the President returns to office.The option left to Jonathan now is to conduct the business of government within the existing plans put in place by Yar’Adua.”
According to the source, “If the Acting President initiates new policies, they might not last because there may be no continuity. Recent events have not made the Presidency to be as united as it should be. So, on the part of Jonathan’s team, it has decided to be cautious and execute projects that are far-reaching and realisable within a short time.”
“With the governors’ decision during the week that the President must not be disgraced out of office, Yar’Adua has survived the worst moment to oust him from power.”
However, some observers believe that news of Yar’ Adua’s recovery might be a ruse to slow down the Acting President and also to frustrate calls for the invocation of Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution.
Meanwhile, there were indications last night that the President would meet with the Acting President either on Sunday or Monday following doctors’ advice.
It was gathered that the family approved of the meeting after doctors confirmed that Yar’Adua’s voice has become more audible.
A reliable source said: “The family and top aides are happy that the President has regained his voice. He talks better now and you can converse with him.
“The family has nothing against the Acting President at all but it felt the President should recuperate enough to exchange views with his deputy and other leaders.
“The improvement in the President’s health, especially his speech, accounted for why the family is disposed to his audience with the Acting President.
“I know that before Monday, the two leaders will mutually discuss issues bordering on the state of the nation.”
Before this development, following a declaration by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the North will retain the Presidency in 2011, the search for a successor to ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua was already underway. Investigation by The Nation revealed that some Northern leaders and governors had been meeting on possibilities for 2011. It was gathered that it was during one of their meetings in Abuja that the ‘search team’ decided to play a fast one on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan by prevailing on the PDP leadership to make a declaration that power will remain in the North for the next four years.
A source said: “These Northern power brokers, mostly in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) control the machinery of the party.
“So, they quickly pulled strings during the week to show that they are not ready to concede the North’s second term ticket to any geopolitical zone.
“With that, they set the tone for the search for a successor to the President whom they will like to have a well-deserved rest.”
The source added: “They had not zeroed in on any candidate yet. “I believe that in the next few months, especially by June, they will be building consensus on three candidates in preparation for primaries. “The truth is that time is no longer on any political party’s side. By August or September, the political landscape will be agog again.”
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