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How Long Will Jonathan Act?

The sudden U-turn by first the Governor's Forum, who before now had opposed the official hand over of power to Jonathan as acting president, the complete metamorphoses of the National Assembly including the northern members and the panic within Yaradua's close family members within the last few days, means there must be further deterioration of yaradua's health status.

The conclusion i can draw from all these is that it had become obvious that Yaradua is not coming back soon, and people with privy information are positioning themselves to take advantage. Bukola Saraki (who is very close t the yaradua family) is the engine room of the whole thing, he must be positioning himself for a bigger political job in the next dispensation.

I think the Game plan is to limit the power of Jonathan by resisting his becoming president by making him acting president perpetually until the next general election. This is to avoid him having the full powers to take over the party machinery so that he will have little say in who becomes the next president. Also as acting president, i doubt he will be allowed to change the cabinet, if he attempts to he would be resisted by the party and the FEC.

My greatest fear is that even if Yaradua dies before the next elections, i am sure that these people can decide to hide the information from Nigerians and "hibernate" the body until after the elections. It is a shame that they have been able to hide his true state of health up till now.

So how long can Jonathan be acting president? Can he act until May 2011? How long will it take before Yaradua can be declared incapacitated by having a team of medical doctors examine him? we wait and see.

Another related issue is if a Northerner takes over power as is being schemed, how long with the person hold power? 4 years or 8 years. Would any body be able to stop the incumbent in 2015 from coming back? What would then happen to the 8 year power rotation formula we are told is supreme to the constitution.

Answered badly needed.

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I strongly disagree with you about your definition of Democracy except you want to give us a different definition. Rotation is a panacea for anarchy in the long run. There are over 350 ethnic groups in the country and about 10 major ethnic groups. So how will your rotate it between the ethnic groups? are we going to stick to just the 3 major ones and disenfranchise all other groups?

It is painful that in the people are still using ethnic sentiment to assume power. If power must be rotated between ethnic groups, what about religious groups as the Christians had been highly marginalized in the power arrangement. What about Gender, should not power rotate between the sexes too as the feminine population out number the male.

The motivation for all these rotation nonsense is to give one ethnic group undue advantage in the sharing of the National cake within the power elite. The day oil runs out and we have to work for each dollar we spend, you will see rotational presidency disappear.

why should rotation stop with the presidency? What about rotational governor, senator, honourable, chairman and chancellor. Should it not also be practiced in the civil service? DGs, permanents secretaries, directors and so on, after all, what is good for the goose, is also good for the gander.

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i beg to disagree. nigeria is not america. our democracy. . . . if u call this democracy . . is fragile. infact our existence as a nation, is fragile. we have fragments of the nation that would love to go away and form their own nation. we are in an age whereby people dont identify the president as their president but as dem-dem and if the president is fro one's ethnic group any attack on the president is an ethnic attack.

rotational presidentcy will give every unit in the country a sense of belonging and in our fragile nation that is very very vital. if igbos know that anyhow anyhow someday e go reach their turn, the agenda of massob would die slowly. same for niger-delta,mid-belt,yoruba etc yorubas first thought of seceession when abiola was denied.

dont tell me that we need the best to get to president bc u and i know that it doesnt happen and has never happened in nigeria and by the way who determines who is best candidate. it is a subjective assessment. i strongly believe that there is a capable hand for the president in every state in this country. if someone like bush can be president of the US there are people more intelligent than Bush or Clinton in every state in this country.

lets rotate it for peace at least for 100yrs when we will have a generation of nigerians who are better integrated and educated and democratised

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The idea of rotation is a Northern idea sold to the south as a condition before they allow a southerner to become a President of Nigeria after the death of MKO Abiola and seen that the South West may decide to seceed, the North played a smart politics and offer a PDP candidate from the south in person of OBJ rotational President so that power will come back to the North.

Let me tell you something that the arrangement in my own opinion is one off, and come 2015, the North will change the rules, if that fails, they will bring back the military.

Yar a'dua health saga is a test run of their intention.

Does it matter what part of the country the President of nigeria comes from ? answer - NO

What matters is performance, has the North got what it takes ? answer - NO

As a result, they will continue to scheme to get rid of Goodluck.

Rotational Presidency is not part of the Nigerian constitution neither is a written agreement of the PDP, its members or the electorate.

Northern Nigeria are just trying to keep hold of the only thing they used to control the country- PRESIDENCY.

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How cld the rotation be good for our politics.

This is not the time of the kingship stuff, when the king dies and the son take over.

This is democracy, where people is being led by who they chose, or who the supposedly chose, so where would rotational leadership fit in in all these?

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rotation is good for our politics in nigeria. it helps to keep the peace. i think jonathan should rule till next election and he should not contest. there should be another northerner with a southern president to fill up their own rotation. otherwise, without this rotation thing, things would go really badly in our polity

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^^^ Yes, but power blocs happen to place a premium on it and the agreements said to have been reached in 1999 on it. We just have to get used to that fact which makes it qualify for analysis.

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Rotation is not provided for in the constitution .

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I really like the brilliant analysis about Bukola and the game plan - had not thought of all that yet.

If Yar Adua dies it is possible that they hide the body as part of the game, but that is quite unlikely because (1) they are Moslems (2) it would extremely difficult - you just don't succeed with that sort of thing, even in Nigeria!

If Yar Adua dies, Jonathan becomes substantive President, but as long as he remains a vegetable, the "acting" situation will subsist - till 2011, which is just around the corner. I do not think Jonathan's powers will be limited by his acting capacity. Remember Ehud Olmert when he took over after Sharon became vegetative? Of course, Nigeria is different, but once some is pronounced C-in-C, you usually can't stop him. Only Ernest Shonekan in my memory managed to achieve the dubious distinction of being in office without being in power, but the reasons for that are quite obvious. Usually, there are no limited presidents, unless the occupant of the office decides to limit himself. There have been talks of "caging" going on all these weeks by the Northern power brokers to ensure that when JJ takes over he is not powerful, but I doubt that that sort of plan, if there was any, succeeds. On Jonathan's ability to take over the machineries of power, which is another way of saying the PDP power base, that is going to depend on his personal political astuteness.

As for all that rotation business, only time will tell.

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