By Muyiwa Adeyemi:

FRESH facts emerged yesterday on how the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has been sharply divided over the powers of the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, with 12 them who referred to themselves as Ôwise menÕ wrote a strongly worded memo to the Acting President to maintain the status quo.

The Ôwise menÕ also cautioned the Acting President to avoid any attempt to refer to the current administration as ÔJonathan administration,Õ insisting that it remains ÔYarÕAdua administrationÕ till 2011.

This formed part of the contents of the memo the 12 Ôwise menÕ were said to have submitted to the Acting President on Wednesday before the beginning of the Council meeting.

They also advised the Acting President against dissolving the cabinet and reasoned that since the ailing President Umaru YarÕAdua is in the country, the Acting President does not have the power to either dissolve the cabinet or tamper with the office of the Service Chiefs.

According to them, Òany attempt to move against the existing structure will fail”. They advised him not to see himself Òrunning a new presidency”.

The memo also warned of the grave dangers ahead if the Acting President should make moves to become a substantive president. Such moves, they reasoned Òwill fail”, and heat up the polity.

The ministers were said to have earlier met at the office of the Defence Minister, Gen Godwin Abbe (rtd) to fine tune their position. They also frowned at the composition of the Presidential Advisory Council headed by Gen T. Y Dajuma without consulting them and the Presidential Monitoring Committee on Federal Projects which they see as a threat to deal with the ministers who are not allied with the ambition of the Acting President.

They were also said to have met some governors who reasoned along with them for what a source called Òtheir political survival strategy.”

The source said the search light on the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources where projects worth N30 billion are being investigated was part of their major fears.

ÒIt was not surprising that the position of the governorsÕ when they met with the Acting President on Wednesday was not entirely different from some of the contents of the memo which the ministers had earlier submitted to the Acting President,” the source said.

The 12 Ôwise menÕ include, Senator Adamu Aliero, Dr Ibrahim Lame, Demola Seriki, Rilwan Lukman, Shetimma Mustapha, Shamsideen Usman and Chief Ufot Ekaette.

Others are Gen Godwin Abbe (rtd), Sam Egwu, Dr S. Abba Ruma, Prof Babatunde Osotimehin and Taminu Kurfi.

But other members of the cabinet were said to have faulted with the memo and reasoned that it was an attempt to remove all executive powers from the Acting President and make him a lame duck executive officer.

ÒThe Acting President should not be made a lame duck; he has the powers to exercise all the executive functions including dissolution of the cabinet and do whatever he feels will move the country forward,” they said.

Some of the cabinet members who spoke to defend full executive powers for the Acting President include the Secretary to the Federal Government, Yayale Ahmed, Ojo Maduekwe, Godsday Orubebe, Remi Babalola and Dora Akunyili.

A source close to the presidency said: ÒThe resolution given by the 12 Ôwise menÕ is an affront to the Acting President. Nigerians should be curious as to what gives them the courage to do this against constituted authority. Should the sanctity and respect of the constitution bow to self-serving interests that have not achieved any tangibles for the ordinary man on the street?”

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3 Thoughts on “Maintain Status Quo, Twelve Ministers Write Jonathan

  1. Oriye jonah on March 8, 2010 at 6:51 am said:

    Those so called 12 wise men are only fooling themselves,this 12 wise men are not wise but foolish because they are forgotting that they are just appointees to see the affairs of their various ministries. Today,they are trying to equate themselves with the Acing President of Nigeria by giving him instructions or sending him memo of not making any attempt to change any cabinet. If i may ask,are those 12 wise men occupying an elective position that is making them to exercise such authority,please Nigerians should really look into the activities of those so called 12 Owise MenO.

  2. Alagbe Gbemileke on March 7, 2010 at 10:27 am said:

    I was away when I read this story, I said to myself it most not be true and that when I am back, I will know the real truth, I am back and I discovered that the so called 12 Ministers are raping our collective integrity and honour. For the first time I cried for this country. I am crying because things have gone so bad that I begin to wonder if we are really a dark continent as Hegel opined; I pondered on the possible way farward for this nation of ours. The Acting President is being intimidated and he will be a complete fool if come next Council Meeting these 12 Ministers are not fired. If he continue in this sloggish manner, I see a coup in this country soon. God save Nigeria! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria! Long live those who uphold the sanctity of our Nation!

    Alagbe Gbemileke

  3. Eugene Enabebholo on March 7, 2010 at 12:51 am said:

    Tese people have really gone too far! What? I dont thing the guardian newspaper got it write this time! But on a second thought guardian newspapers have not been known to peddle rumours! If what i read is anything to go by, it means we have just discovered the true threats to our democracy. Are the 12 wise men” saying that they are bigger than the Acting President or are they trying to make us understand that we have been acting out a comedy all this while! If it is true that there was really such a memo, and the Acting president still retains them, it means Jonathan has something to hide i.e skeletons in his cupboard which this 12 wise men are using against him! What an affront! I believe this is a dream, someone please wake me up!

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