The game appears to be up for ailing President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, who has been in Saudi Arabia undergoing medical treatment in the past three months.
It has been gathered that his fate in government would be decided in a matter of days as part of the resolve to end the crisis in the presidency and save democracy.
Saturday Sun gathered that ever since the National Assembly empowered Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to become acting president, pressure has mounted for Yar’Adua to be completely removed from office.
Sources said that pro-Jonathan elements have actually infiltrated the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for it to kick-start the process that would lead to the removal of Yar’Adua as president.
Competent sources said that the resolution of FEC on Wednesday to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia, to meet with Yar’Adua and ascertain his true health condition, is part of the plot to finally remove him from office.
It was gathered that before the FEC meeting, pro-Jonathan elements had wooed ministers, persuading them to lend their voices to a move to investigate the true state of Yar’Adua’s health. The groups were said to have promised ministers, who were wooed to support the plan of action, retention in the federal cabinet, after Jonathan would have assumed office as full president. The groups were said to have told the ministers that if Jonathan becomes president eventually he would want to work with those who contributed in one way or another to put him in office.
Why Jonathan didn’t dissolve cabinet
Saturday Sun gathered that associates of the acting president advised him to suspend his initial plan to dissolve the federal cabinet because it would be easier for him to become president working with the present exco.
It was gathered that owing to the fact that FEC had been divided, since Minister of Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili, raised a memorandum asking that the federal cabinet approved the transfer of power to Jonathan, the pro-Jonathan elements opted to woo over more ministers to the acting president’s side, so that it would be easy for FEC to invoke section 144 of the 1999 constitution and constitute a panel to probe the health condition of Yar’Adua.
To camouflage the real intention, Saturday Sun gathered, the pro-Jonathan group advised that minister who had agreed to work for the acting president should press for the constitution of a delegate to travel to Saudi Arabia, first, after which the health panel would be raised, as the ultimate goal.
The real plot to declare Yar’Adua unfit
Sources said that the pro-Jonathan groups are working on two options, which would give the same result. It was gathered that the group expects that the FEC team to Saudi Arabia would also be denied access to Yar’Adua, just as the delegation earlier sent by the House of Representatives. In the alternative, the group is also working on the theory that the delegation would see Yar’Adua and would not be comfortable with his condition.
It was gathered that the plot is that if the group is denied access to Yar’Adua, FEC would make it open and therefore vote for the constitution of a medical team to now look into the health of the president. Also, if the FEC team eventually meets Yar’Adua FEC would approve the constitution of the medical team to ascertain his fitness. The sources said that the goal is for FEC to arrive at the conclusion that Yar’Adua is unfit to continue in office and therefore should be declared incapacitated by the National Assembly. If this happens, Jonathan will then be sworn in as president.
Inroad into National Assembly
It was gathered that the Yar’Adua-must-go groups are not only concentrating their efforts at the FEC. Saturday Sun learnt that the groups have also made in-road into the National Assembly, so that the legislature would also join.
It was gathered that the incentive to the federal lawmakers is that Jonathan would nominate a member of the National Assembly as vice president, if he eventually assumed the office of president. The pro-Jonathan groups are said to cite what happened in Bayelsa State, where the speaker eventually became deputy governor when Chief DSP Alamaiyeseigha was removed, as governor by the state’s House of Assembly and Jonathan became governor.
Yar’Adua group fights back
Meanwhile, the cabal, which manipulated the presidency for the two months Yar’Adua has been out of the seat of power, has declared a total ‘war’ against the acting president. The cabal has vowed to reclaim Yar’Adua’s mandate, no matter what it takes.
An impeccable source told Saturday Sun that the group is mobilizing forces, pursuant to achieving its aim, which is principally to ensure that power remains in the North throughout the current tenure.
The source said: “The cabal is meeting and brainstorming for the simple purpose of frustrating and bringing Acting President Goodluck Jonathan down.
They are insisting that the North should be allowed to rule for eight uninterrupted years, just like the South did under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. They are saying that reclaiming their mandate, as they put it, is a task that must be done. So, they are holding meetings in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, mapping out strategies, mobilizing forces and generally working towards actualizing their set objectives.”
It was gathered that among the strategies already adopted is to initiate a flurry of court cases to demand that the resolution of the National Assembly declaring Jonathan as acting president is illegal, null and void and, ultimately, to return to status quo. Already, the cases have started coming up.
The source, a confidant of a key member of the Yar’Adua kitchen cabinet, also disclosed that the cabal would monitor the official dealings of Jonathan and would expose whatever thing they consider not right to the press to embarrass him. The ultimate goal, it was learnt, is to discredit the acting president, especially to create the impression that he has a huge appetite for public funds.
Saturday Sun also gathered that the idea of liquidating Jonathan or to give him the Sani Abacha treatment was considered, but quickly dismissed because of a perceived adverse reaction that may come from the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).
“They might have considered the idea of balancing things the way it happened when Sani Abacha and Abiola died. However, the idea was dumped for obvious reason; the fear of MEND is the beginning of wisdom. They were smart to know that if anything untoward happens to Jonathan, MEND will not take it lightly. MEND has proved what it is capable of doing; so nobody can take them for granted,” the source said.
It was gathered that the cabal also plans to make the country ungovernable by sponsoring religious and communal crises in the violence-prone areas in the country. The source cited the recent Jos crisis, as an orchestrated attempt to truncate the country’s democracy.
It was further gathered that the cabal has a strong hold on the National Assembly, which makes it difficult to contemplate the impeachment of Yar’Adua. To buttress this, the source said that it was the grip the cabal has on the National Assembly that delayed a decisive action until it was about 70 days Yar’Adua was flown out of the country.
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