"Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia is positive not a negative. Now, with that being said if that doesn’t work out I'll be the worst enemy he's ever had – the worst he's ever had." - President Donald John Trump.



ICHEOKU says they did it, deservedly and rightly earned; the boys from Paris. ICHEOKU says congratulations.



ICHEOKU says he is coming with a clear-eyed view of what the United States of America constitution provides and will not legislate from the bench. ICHEOKU says definitely the right pick, so CONFIRM him now and right away and without any delay or much ado. Congratulation.


Lisa Page: “Trump is not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Peter Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

ICHEOKU says if this is not corruption of the worst type, what else so qualifies? So sad the length these guys went to truncate the will of the American people; yet they will turn around and accuse other countries of corruption and you wonder is it only when money exchanges hands that there is corruption. Pitifully SAD.


“The only obstruction President Trump committed was in obstructing Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton from the White House.” - Jesse Watters, Watters World.


“The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.” - President Donald John Trump.

ICHEOKU says exactly why he is now fondly nicknamed the Promise Keeper and he keeps his promises, one promise at a time.


America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says what does the Deep State have on AG Jeff Sessions that has purchased his quiet and inaction over the excesses of the Russian Collusion witch hunt? Something definitely does not look right and apparently seems awry that the Attorney General appears so constricted to do anything to bring the never ending "investigation" to a conclusion. How much longer will the American people wait to have the matter concluded and what will it take. As a member of Team MAGA, from the basket of deplorables, who defended him when the president was threatening to fire him, ICHEOKU is not particularly satisfied with the "playing it safe" attitude which Jeff has adopted thus far and urge him to find any possible way to make the investigators finish their job immediately and without any further delay.


ICHEOKU says he has all it takes to turn Nigeria around and Make Nigeria Great Again. He is highly cerebral; he is well traveled and is highly exposed internationally; he is a doer with a can-do spirit and attitude which translates to impossible is nothing as it does not exists in his dictionary; he is fully accomplished person who turned around the nearly moribund behemoth UBA and created thousands of jobs both in Nigeria and overseas; and above all, he is youthful and has age on his side and you ask yourself, what else is anyone looking for in a leader for Nigeria that is on bended knees and begging for leadership other than a man with his proven record. If he can do this in the private sector, he can also mission accomplish such in the public sector and resuscitate a Nigeria that is in distress. CHEOKU is emphatic that Tony Elumelu is a highly qualified, fit and proper person to lead Nigeria out of its present woods of near comatose and under performing achievements. Lets go to work Nigerians and make his candidature both viable and achievable. We can do this fellas; so lets urge Tony to run, run Tony run and together lets Make Nigeria Great Again. If Trump can do it, so can Tony.


"If the Syria regime uses this poisonous gas again on its people, it will be bombed again. The United States of America is locked and loaded. When our president draws a redline, our president enforces the redline." - Nikki Haley, United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations.



ICHEOKU says Russia's Vladimir Putin has one good opportunity to finally move back into the comity of civilized nations and stop his despotic mentality which always sees him flocking amidst his fellow dictators. But if he choses to remain in the cold and remain in Kremlin where he has been holed in since 1999, too bad. His too long stay in power is only damaging Russia but not helping it; and gradually turning Russia into a third world country where only one man dictates what goes on in the country. Putin, change your ways; let true democracy reign in Russia. Salute



ICHEOKU says you cannot get a more American American and he is a hardcore America First nationalist as they come. President Donald John Trump's pick to succeeded fired National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is the real deal. He is a hard-nosed American First protagonist, who does not shy away from projecting America's power through strength and who is not afraid to have America go it alone if need be. ICHEOKU says hopefully the president has found the very person who will help him achieve and implement his policy objectives in John Bolton. But as far as MAGA and AF agendas are concerned, Ambassador John Bolton is one heck of a good pick and a right fit for the job. He will help President Donald John Trump with doing his job for the American people. ICHEOKU says congratulations to the Mustachioed One. Let the governance of MAGA now really begin.



ICHEOKU says they pretend to be guardians of free speech but wants to tele-guide other peoples thinking by limiting what they can freely say; especially if you are a conservative and holds opinions which are favorable of President Donald John Trump and critical of Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, they will not succeed but can only force people to opt out of the live wasting exercise of gluing one's eyeballs to the platform. An exercise which does not add anything of value to users, nor pays them anything for helping them bring more eyeballs to the portal. Instead of being grateful that people are helping them bilk advertisers of billions of dollars with their riveted eyeballs, they now want to micromanage everyone's thought as if they are doing one a favor by letting them waste their time using Facebook. ICHEOKU says will not be cowered nor intimidated; they can block ICHEOKU all the heck they want but ICHEOKU will not bow to Facebook's attempt to control ICHEOKU's thoughts and would rather permanently part ways with the Mark Zuckerberg globalist weapon of mass control than kowtow to a group thinking. To hell with this attempt to exact undue control and turn everyone into a herd mind.


"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is also no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." - Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States of America.

ICHEOKU says this determination, for every intent and purpose, now lays to rest the "Collusion with the Russians" hogwash; as nobody can be guilty of an offense which requires awareness to ground when he or she is not aware of it. Collusion is a conspiracy and requires a proactive participation coupled with a guilty knowledge to bring about the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, when will the Special Counsel address the nation and tell Americans that there is no there, there, in the Russian Collusion investigation and save America further bleeding both in resources, time and unity. Enough of the sore loser antics of the Democratic Party which does not know how to take a loss and learn to work to fix what went wrong, instead of continuously pointing a finger at a mirage that is the Russian Collusion, in its bid to find something to blame for its ineptitude that led to the epochal loss of November 8th, 2016.


"POTUS WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING." - Lisa Page to boyfriend Peter Strzok, two FBI officials.

ICHEOKU says the POTUS then was President Barack Hussein Obama, who had previously denied and lied to the American people that he does not dabble into any FBI's investigative matter. Really?



"Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says congratulations to President Donald John Trump for successfully steering America's ship of States for a full year. What the naysayers said will not happen is a reality which they are finding extremely difficult to live with. But their preferences notwithstanding, Make America Great Again is on course and nobody will torpedo it. Once again, congratulations to the leader of Team MAGA on the anniversary of his being sworn in as the 45th POTUS.


ICHEOKU says following an examination of so many nominated individuals, we have determined that this year 2017's man of the year is President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. He came into office shooting on both hips and as the year draws to an end, his both guns are still firing and smoking. For standing up to the world and starring down American detractors and being the cheerleader and champion in chief of America, the leader of Team Make America Great Again has earned ICHEOKU's man of the year award 2017. Congratulations to President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.


"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."



ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman she is, who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.



ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.

ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.



ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.



"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.


"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.



ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.


ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.

"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ


"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


What a very unique and extraordinary brand of "democracy" being practiced in Nigeria, when a sitting vice president is not allowed or cannot seat-in for a president, who is on his annual vacation-leave? What then is the job of the vice president bereft of such opportune time or circumstance when duty calls? Icheoku has written in the past questioning the zoning-arrangement of a "democratic" Nigeria wherein a particular zone believes it is their turn to rule Nigeria? What happens for instance, when the incumbent zonal-president dies or is incapacitated, while still in office and a succession problems ensues between his zone of origin and the incumbent vice president? The zone which produced the late president then insisting to serve out and complete their own term in office while a despondent vice president insists on following the letters of the constitution regarding succession? Such a mishap will be analogous to anarchy let loose and the conundrum is better imagined than witnessed.

The recent drama playing itself out in Nigeria over the annual vacation of President Umaru Yar'Adua as to who shall stir the ship of the state in his absence, is a snippet of the catastrophic consequence an Umaru Yar'Adau's sudden demise can bring upon Nigeria. The North, particularly the Katsina-axis will fight to the last to spring another president on Nigeria while the Niger Delta South-South will fight to enthrone their son, Vice President Jonathan Goodluck into the presidency. Does anyone have any idea of the debacle such a fight to finish will cause in Nigeria? Icheoku disclaims an idea what!

The current tussle over who will "succeed" or act for a vacationing President Umaru Yar'Adua is merely a test-run of things to come, should the long-awaited, much anticipated and expected demise of Umaru Yar'Adua happen while he is still in office. Icheoku says, admitted that Nigeria has since become such a laughing stock of the world but the current debate on who is the rightful successor of a vacationing president does not burnish the notoriety any bit. It is either some people are economical with the truth as to Jonathan Goodluck's present right to Aso-Rock or Nigeria is practising a special brand of Northern Oligarchy approved "democracy"? To solve this problem Nigeria may have to re-tool its democracy to remove the office of the vice presidency entirely, in order to completely avoid such a glitch/smirch in the future. Nigerians can change their constitution and abolish the office of the vice president, making the office of the president supreme with just a lieutenant president; who automatically steps in should the president become incapacitated.
May be Nigeria can adopt a similar practice as obtains in the 50 States of the United States of America which only have the office of a governor with a separate office for a lieutenant governor, who does not necessarily deputize him; but automatically succeeds him in event of a vacancy in office. And both of them do not necessarily have to belong to the same political party! Nigeria, why not solve this succession problem pronto? Problem identify, problem solved!


Anonymous said...

Yar’Adua’s vacation, threat to democracy —AC
By Olayinka Oyebode and Chukwudi Akasike
Published: Monday, 2 Feb 2009

The Action Congress, on Sunday, said the failure by President Umaru Yar‘Adua to adhere to the constitutional provision over his vacation had created a void that could threaten the country‘s democracy.
The AC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the unfortunate power game in the Presidency, resulting from the vacation saga, had created an atmosphere of instability.
It added that the development was an impression of a government whose actions were out of purpose.
The party also said that it was difficult for Nigerians to determine who was really in charge of the country at the moment, a development which the party described as ‘dangerous‘.
The AC said, ”The President is on vacation. The Senate President said the Vice-President is not recognised as acting President because Yar‘Adua did not adhere to the constitutional provision to send a written declaration to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives before going on vacation.
”Also, the President‘s men said he remains in charge, even though he is on vacation - a contradiction of the statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, that the VP would carry out the President‘s duties while he is away.
”To further confuse issues, some apologists - who are more interested in keeping their honey ducts flowing than in the survival of Nigeria‘s democracy - have jumped into the fray, playing on semantics to push their dubious and self-serving stand that the President is in charge every minute of his four-year tenure, even if he becomes incapacitated for whatever reason.‘‘
The party wondered why an issue of the President‘s vacation, which could have been treated as a routine matter, would generate so much fuss, at a time the country should concentrate its energy on seeking ways of alleviating the sufferings brought on Nigerians by the global economic meltdown and the absence of good governance.
The AC said the SGF was competent enough to make pronouncements on behalf of the government, but wondered what message the Yar‘Adua administration was sending to the world when the SGF was wilfully contradicted on the issue of the President‘s vacation.
It said, ”If the statement by the SGF is anything to go by, which we believe it should be, then all the actions of President Yar‘Adua while he remains on vacation are null and void and of no effect whatsoever.
”But so will be the actions of the VP as his acting presidency is not recognised, due to the failure to follow the Constitution. That creates a void that does not augur well for a country like ours.‘‘
The party reiterated its earlier call on President Yar‘Adua to take immediate steps to lower the heat that had been generated in the polity by complying with the letter and spirit of the Constitution that he swore to protect and uphold.
”Such action will not be a sign of weakness on the part of the President, but an indication of good leadership, a leader who puts the interest of his country above his own, or that of anybody at all.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the Cross River State Governor, Mr. Patrick Ugbe, has said that the state was not aware of the details of Yar’Adua’s visit to the Obudu Cattle Ranch.
He said, “We don’t have details of when the President will arrive. We know that Obudu Cattle Ranch is one of the places he is expected to spend his vacation but I am not aware of the time the President will visit the state.”

Anonymous said...

Contrary to tales by moonlight that he was taking a vacation and would spend it visiting the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross Rivers State, as well as his home state of Katsina and Dodan Barracks in Lagos, Umaru Yar'adua is reportedly still in the trenches in the Aso Rock Villa.His aides say he is waiting for Jonathan to return from Ethiopia, where he is attending a meeting of the African Union. At that time, they say he may then leave for Obudu on Wednesday, and return on Sunday. But in an obvious bare-faced deception, Thisday newspaper claimed in a front-page report last week that Yar'adua had left Obudu for the burial of Governor Bello Ali of Yobe state. Our checks reveal, however, that this is patently untrue, and that Yar’Adua has not been to the Obudu cattle ranch in his life.In Aso Rock, where he is paradoxically holding his so-called leadership in wait for his subordinate, authoritative sources told Saharareporters he has embarked on a series of orthodox and unorthodox treatments for his medical ailments. SaharaReporters, and subsequently other news outlets, had reported he was going to be taking significant time out to obtain medical treatment abroad, but that suddenly became a “vacation” in Nigeria last week.Our reporters said that by last night, the first day of February, Cross River State officials were not in anyway in the mood or prepared to receive Yar'Adua into the state. The state governor, Liyel Imoke, was in Lagos yesterday, but he later returned to Calabar on an early after noon flight, with no indication on the ground for a reception for Yar'adua at Obudu Ranch as earlier announced by his aides.Saharareporters had reported that Yar'adua was billed for a prolonged medical trip abroad with particular preference for a kidney transplant center in the US, but various media reports and reports of plots by politically-ambitious persons, especially from the Northern block, forced him to abort those plans. Instead, his aides said he would embark on a "vacation" in Nigeria. Yar'adua's last minute cancellation of his travels abroad also affected a program at the Voice of America (VOA) headquarters in Washington, DC on January 29th that organizers had announced that the "First Lady," Turai Yar'adua, would participate in. She sent in a last minute replacement.Other controversies dogging Yar'adua's “vacation” include his refusal to inform the Nigerian Senate about his travel plans as required by section 145 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Yar'adua also reversed his purported handover to his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan, and sent him off to Addis Ababa to represent Nigeria at the annual African Union meeting.Saharareporters learnt that Yar'adua is now hostage to "primordial beliefs" in Islamic marabouts now quartered within the premises of the Aso rock Villa, who have advised him to shun orthodox medical intervention and rely more on spiritual treatments. A Saudi-based Nigerian woman known as "Umah" is administering daily doses of spiritual cure, according to Aso Rock sources. Our reports last week had led the First lady to remove her from the living quarters, she is now located at the "House 7" residence where incidentally some state–of-the art medical equipment are reportedly located. It is not known if Yar'Adua will step out of Abuja before the end of his controversial vacation on Friday, according to the calendar provided by his spokespersons. Sources in the Aso Rock Villa told Saharareporters that a foreign trip for Yar'adua is still very high on the cards as his health has reportedly deteriorated in the last few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Politics of Yar’Adua’s Vacation

Written by Kazeem Akintunde
Monday, 02 February 2009
The decision of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to go on a two-week vacation is generating dust in and outside the National Assembly
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President Umaru Yar’Adua on January 26, began a two-week leave. The issue generated a lot of dust which is yet to settle.
Yayale Ahmed, secretary to the government of the federation, had, in a statement, said that Goodluck Jonathan, the vice-president, would take charge of the affairs of government for the duration of the President’s leave.
But the National Assembly refused to recognise Jonathan as the acting president. The legislators based their decision on the fact that the president never informed them in writing of his desire to proceed on leave in accordance with the provision of section 145 of the 1999 constitution to pave the way for the recognition of Jonathan as the acting president.
Section 145 of the constitution states that “whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as acting president.”
Some members of the National Assembly had raised the issue of the president going on leave without informing either David Mark, senate president, or Dimeji Bankole, the speaker of the House of Representatives, as stipulated by the constitution.
In the senate, George Sekibbo, a People's Democratic Party, PDP, senator from Rivers State had kick-started the debate on the floor of the senate when he asked the senate president whether President Yar’Adua wrote the legislature of his decision to proceed on leave. “Mr. Senate President, my dear colleagues, I don’t know whether the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has transmitted any message to the Senate president concerning his desire to go on leave. I want to know if it had been done and the Senate is not yet aware. I raise this observation because if we are talking about the Rule of Law, we must abide by the constitution. Last year, there were lots of speculations about the whereabouts of the president. Some people said he was here, others said he was there. He suddenly re-appeared and started working. This Senate has a duty to defend the interest of the country and we know that the president is the symbol of authority of the country. So, the Senate must take interest in the whereabouts of the president.”
Sola Akinyede, a PDP senator from Ekiti State, who is also a lawyer, said it was not mandatory for the President to transmit such a message before he goes on leave. He, however, explained that “whenever such is done, the vice-president will become the acting president.”
Teslim Folarin, senate majority leader, said if the President did not write to the Senate on the matter, it is still within the law as it is not mandatory for such a communication to be transmitted. “It simply means that the man has not gone on leave.”
Mark insisted he was not aware of the two weeks leave which President Yar’Adua embarked upon, stressing that until the President formally communicates the Senate on the matter, the declaration that Vice-President Jonathan is the acting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not acceptable to the upper legislative chamber.
In the House of Representatives, Ita Enang, chairman, committee on Rules and Business, said members would become aware of any letter on Yar’Adua’s vacation “only after it might have been read on the floor” by Dimeji Bankole, the speaker. There was no sign that the president wrote the lower chamber as Bankole, who presided, did not read any letter from the president on the floor of the House.
Another source also informed Newswatch that the president actually informed Mark verbally of his decision to proceed on a two-week break. He was said to have been advised not to write the National Assembly “so that hawks within the system would not hijack the situation.”
Segun Adeniyi, special adviser on communications to the president, actually confirmed to journalists in Abuja that Yar’Adua did not hand over to Jonathan, but that he directed him to be in charge of government during his absence. “I think the background to it was what happened in council during the last Executive Council meeting. There was a debate at the Federal Executive Council concerning some of the principal ministers who, when they travel out, nothing happens in their ministries because the minister of state cannot act. “And the President said as far as he was concerned, if there were issues in his absence, the vice-president should deal with them. “So, if Mr. President is on vacation, it goes without saying that the vice-president will take charge. That is just the normal thing, not handover per se. The President is still in charge, there is no big deal about it.”
What is not in doubt, however, is the fact that the President would not travel out of the country during the two-week break. Adeniyi said Yar’Adua would spend part of the leave at the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State, Dodan Barracks in Lagos State and his home town of Katsina State.
Bamidele Aturu, a lawyer, while reacting to the politics of Yar’Adua’s vacation said the president should have formally handed over to the vice-president if he was going on leave. “The constitution is clear. If the president is going on leave and he has told the senate president and the speaker, then he would have to hand over the reins of government to the vice-president – the constitution is very clear on that.”
The controversy on the president’s vacation had actually started with earlier reports that he was going abroad for two months to attend to his health.
This later changed. Adeniyi said Yar’Adua was only going for two weeks and would spend the whole of the period in Nigeria and that the vacation was not on health grounds.
Since Yar’Adua became president in May 2007, this is the first time it was officially announced that Jonathan would do his job in his absence. On each previous occasions, there was conflict of roles between the vice-president and other key members of government and it was not clear who was actually in charge.
But even the announcement by Ahmed does not appear to have completely erased doubts that Jonathan is actually in charge. One of those nursing such feelings is Yinka Odumakin, national publicity secretary of Afenifere Renewal Group. He said what is happening in Abuja clearly showed that Jonathan is an outsider in this government. “Yar’Adua is still the man in charge. Jonathan should not be deceived. The power and authority is still with Yar’Adua whether he is in Obudu or Katsina or Dodan Barracks. And if that is not the case, it means Turai Yar’Adua is effectively in charge,” Odumakin said.
He insisted that what is happening is a manifestation of the crisis of confidence between Yar’Adua and his deputy. “The president does whatever he likes irrespective of what the constitution states and Jonathan, to me, is more or less an outsider in this government,” Odumakin said.
Balarabe Musa, former governor of old Kaduna State also said Yar’Adua had shown that he does not have the capacity to lead Nigeria in the 21st century but put the blame squarely on former President Olusegun Obasanjo who imposed him on the nation. “The president is a good man but I think it is wicked to put this kind of man in a position to run this very complex country,” Musa said.
Yar’Adua had in September last year travelled out of the country for the Muslim’s lesser hajj only to prolong his stay in Saudi Arabia to seek medical attention

Anonymous said...

Presidential Villa and Jonathan as ‘President’
By Agency Reporter
Published: Thursday, 5 Feb 2009
For almost two weeks, Vice-President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has been in the saddle in the Presidential Villa as President Umaru Yar’Adua observed his annual vacation. Yar’Adua did not transmit his vacation to the National Assembly; consequently, his action triggered a rash debate on the import of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution.

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Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

Some members of the National Assembly have argued that the President ought to have intimated the lawmakers of his vacation, but his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Dr. Abba Aji thought differently. According to him, if the president goes to the moon, he will still function as the country’s number one citizen from there.

Jonathan may not have functioned as an ‘Acting President’ but as an overseer of the Presidency; even at that, he proved that he was indeed in charge of the government when he presided over the Federal Executive Council meeting on January 28. The meeting holds every Wednesday. The January 28 FEC was one of the shortest in a very long while, lasting just about an hour. The reason for this was that only one memo was submitted to the Council for consideration.

However, its outcome was a major one as he directed the ministers to submit their budget implementation plans; he also stopped the award of fresh contracts by September every year. The two directives were clearly in line with Yar’Adua’s dissatisfaction with the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government over none implementation of the 2008 budget. A source in the Ministry of Finance put the figure of unspent funds recovered so far at N400bn. Yet, many roads in the country are death-traps, just as many contractors remain unpaid.

Besides, the directive on budget implementation plan may be a clear yard stick to measure the ministers who share the president’s vision. Repeatedly, Yar’Adua had said that the ministers must perform if they wish to retain their positions in his government, which is currently faced with great challenges, as it moves to address the impact of the global economic recession in the country.

With the budget implementation plan submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation last Friday, it would now be much easier to put the ministers on their toes.

Given the president’s vacation schedule, the February 5, FEC meeting will be Jonathan’s last opportunity to preside as the former is expected to resume duty next Monday. His first FEC meeting with the ministers may have been electrifying, this mien could hardly be said to have pervaded the arena where the National Economic Council meeting held on Tuesday. The mood was somber. Reason: the Vice-President officially announced the death of former Yobe State Governor, Senator Mamman Ali, on Tuesday.

The NEC comprises the 36 state governors and some ministers. Shortly after the national anthem was rendered, the Vice-President nominated the Central Bank Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi, to take the Christian and Muslim opening prayers respectively.

Jonathan thereafter formally announced Ali’s death to the shock of the NEC members, most of whom were his colleagues in the Governors Forum. The Vice-President then directed the Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, to move a motion either for the adjournment or continuation of the meeting. Aliyu moved a motion for adjournment, which was duly seconded by Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje.

At this point, Rivers State Governor, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, brought an order of notice to the NEC that there was an urgent matter to be discussed and that the meeting should be reconvened shortly after the burial of the late governor. The NEC therefore agreed that the meeting should now hold on February 12, 2008.

Indeed, the Villa was a quiet place during the two weeks of the President’s vacation which is a relief when one considers the near absence of the usually unending traffic of aides, government officials, ministers, governors, diplomats and other dignitaries that visit the Office of the President. Yar’Adua is not the sole beneficiary of the vacation. His aides did too, because of their hectic schedules.

Certainly, these are not a very fabulous times for any minister that is dyed in the wool of the business as usual tradition.