Vice President Jonathan Ebelechuku Goodluck was duly elected and sworn in as Nigeria's vice president and so, does not need any additional election, swearing in or a specific authorisation or permission to step in and do the job for which he became a vice president. The single most important reason for the creation of the office of the vice president in the first place, is to ensure continuity and never to in any event otherwise leave the office of the president vacant. That reason has now arisen and the vice president should have, immediately upon the president's medical escape to Saudi Arabia, proactively assumed the role of the president. That way, all these adumbration on the need for 'a specific letter from a president, who probably is no longer cognitive enough to even articulate his thoughts on a piece of paper, transfering his duties, before the vice president could act; would have since become mute. So in a somewhat ironical context, Vice President Jonathan Goodluck contributed to the current political impasse in the land.
Vice President Goodluck is culpable in allowing the situation to degenerate into the near hysteria it has become today, without initially nipping it on the board by asserting himself on day one of President Umaru Yar'Adua's absence and clearly spelling out who is in charge. The problem presently militating against Nigeria with the extended absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua and the refusal or inability of the vice president to assert himself and govern, is that former despotic Nigerian President Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo cursed Nigeria with the gift of both a sick president and a vice president who is both docile and timid! A vice president who would sheepishly wait on the fence, indecisive as to what his next steps should be and too ignorant to appreciate the fact, that destiny has already entrusted him with a golden opportunity to become Nigeria's president even without ever working for it? What they call 'on a platter of gold?' Were it Abubakar Atiku that was so handsomely bestowed, he would have since been sworn in as Nigeria's president whether or not anybody likes it? Were it Peter Odili, the same result as Atiku's would have been recorded and same is true with people like Orji Uzor-Kalu, Bola Tinubu, James Ibori, Alamseigha, Abubakar Rimi etc? But in Abuja is a vice president who is too constrained by his make-up and apparent apathy, to take on such big issue as Nigeria's presidency; and would rather remain behind the scene, playing the second fiddle in his role as the vice president?
But what does any Nigerian expect from an academia who Olusegun Obasanjo poached from his teaching job at the University and speedily processed through the Nigeria political mill, in a rather too fast and too easy manner, leaving him unseasoned and not fully prepared for the deathly big-boys game called Nigerian politics? From his university lecturer job he was made a deputy governor and then a governor before his present promotion to a vice president; and all within such his short period in politics, less than a decade, which is somewhat a feat in Nigerian political terrain. Vice President Jonathan Goodluck is possibly being hounded by his high intellectual and cultured personality, a lone ranger amidst the band of brigands which are Nigerian politicians; and seems now trapped between a rock and a hard place. Put in another way, he may be too good to play the dirty game of politics, atypical of the treacherous Nigerian political terrain. Suspended between the moral dilema of fear of being accused of being too ambitious and not loyal to a sick president and the current outrage of being accused of being too weak to act in the stead of an indisposed president?
Icheoku says all these litigation to effect a Vice President Jonathan Goodluck's 'elevation' to the position of an 'acting president' is rather presumptuous since he automatically stands so elevated to act for a 'missing' or medically-indisposed President Umaru Yar'Adua. So legally, politicially, customary and otherwise technically speaking, the matter of his 'promotion' is mute; because it comes naturally and automatically with the office of the vice president with respect to an unavailable president. Therefore there is no question needing a judicial interpretation or intervention in the matter of Vice President Jonathan Goodluck acting for indisposed President Umaru Yar'Adua. What if the president had died or is in a medical comatose and cannot even write a letter of transfer of duties, will Nigerians then have to wait for his ebentual turn-around, no matter how long it takes, before the vice president can then act on his behalf? The whole situation appears to have been orchestrated by a cabal bent on creating unreasonable tension in the land and perhaps force the hands of the military to intervene to save the day and peradventure appoint them into very luscious offices, where they can continue the merry-go-round of bilking and milking a Nigeria in limbo?
If however, as some people have suggested, Vice President Jonathan Goodluck is afraid of assassination and is being hindered by that thought in refusing to fully assume the acting role of a president, Icheoku says, he probably is not the fit and proper person to lead the country and as its commander in chief? A person who is not ready to die for a cause as important as leading a nation might as well not be given the opportunity to occupy that office. This apparent reluctance by Jonathan Goodluck to fully assert himself is rather a creation of his unpreparedness for the big league office of Nigeria's presidency. Whether or not Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution specifically insist that the vice president has to be formally authorised by the president to act for him. in his absence. should not be the only controlling factor here; but the good of a Nigeria tethering so dangerously on a cliff? What if the authorising president is too incapacitated to so authorise or obstinately, out of sheer selfishness, refuses to let Nigeria's wheel continue to churn in his absence? Does it mean that he would be allowed to hold the country hostage to his sickness and for how ever long it takes him to recover or give up the ghost? It does not make sense and fails to explain the inarticulate failure of Jonathan Goodluck to do what is expected of his office in this time, to step in and act for an unavailable President Umaru Yar'Adua. In any other event, there should have been other provisions made, just like when the incoming chief justice had to be sworn in by the retiring chief judge instead of the constitutionally provided president, who is medically unavailable? So why must an ordinary letter play such a big role here with regard to the vice president discharging his duties as an acting president? If only Jonathan Goodluck had made a bold move and thwarted all these stupidity and apparent conspiracy to suppress his rise to meet with his destiny. Maybe, his being somewhat more audacious and assertive was all that was needed for him to fully graduate to Nigeria's president, now that destiny calls?
Icheoku agrees also intoto with the former Oyo State governor, Lam Adesina that "in other civilized countries, whenever the President or a governor is unavailable, his deputy steps in automatically; and that former President Olusegun Obasanjo should be held responsible for the seeming constitutional crisis in the country?' According to the former governor, Obasanjo knew that Yar'Adua was sickly and yet deliberately imposed him on Nigeria as president, to lead a country which even a much strong and healthy man like Obasanjo himself could not successfully lead?' In his final submission, "former President Obasanjo programmed the crisis. Obasanjo wanted a deadlock, which he thought will happen before the (2007) election, but God said no to shame him. But today we are back to the same thing that Obasanjo wanted. This is the reason the North didn’t want Jonathan to be there because they felt that this was what Obasanjo programmed. Obasanjo all the while wanted a South-South President to succeed him, but when the Northerners closed in on him, he suddenly changed gear and settled for a sickly Yar’Adua.” Icheoku says, former Governor Lam Adesina of Oyo State spoke the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and so let Nigerians and Vice President Jonathan Goodluck specifically, hear him and act accordingly.
One other source claimed that the vice president is a company-man, who understands how the power game is structured and how it is played? Icheoku says, majority of Nigerians are not convinced with this assertion as they are yet to see any evidence to that effect. Further, it would seem even unconstitutional for anyone to move the court to commit an unconstitutional act - to make a declaration which it is not legally authorised to make; that Jonathan Goodluck is now the acting president? Why would a court make an order which has no basis in fact and/or in law to make, since Jonathan Goodluck is already a vice president, a stone-throw away to the president and should, as required, step in suo moto to act on behalf of an incapacitated president. There is really no issue here for the court to determine or adjudicate; or any desired result to achieve, by moving the court to declare Jonathan an acting president since by virtue of his office, he became the acting president the day President Umaru Yar'Adua became hospitalized and no longer available to act as Nigeria's president? The court does not make presidents, with due respect to the saga of Gore v. Bush 2000 in the united States of America, where its Supreme Court's intervention resulted in a Bush presidency? That was simply an exception and abberation; so all Vice President Jonathan Goodluck need to do, is to wake up, firm up and courageously exercise the duties of the office of the president, on behalf of his out of commission President Umaru Yar'Adua. This will put to rest all the heat so far generated and consuming the polity known as Nigeria and hopefully will sustain Nigeria, pending next election of 2011.