The Federal Executive Council (FEC) met today with Goodluck Jonathan presiding amidst growing calls for Yar'Adua to resign from office on account of his failing health. The FEC briefed the media after the meeting, hitting back at critics and opposition politicians by declaring that it had no plan to take action against ailing Yar'Adua. Under the Nigerian constitution, the FEC, which consists mainly of appointees of the president, is empowered to send a request to Senate to appoint a medical committee to ascertain the fitness of the president in case he is ill and incapable of performing his constitutional duties.
Since a group of 55 notable Nigerians signed a document calling yesterday calling on Yar'Adua to resign, members of the FEC and security agencies have been harassing some of the signatories to the petition, even as the list grew exponentially 24 hours after it was released. Online, Nigerians are enthusiastically adding their names to the list wherever it can be found. A facebook page opened yesterday has also received enthusiastic signatories Click here>>>: Yar'adua Resign Now!.
Meanwhile, Yar'Adua remains holed up in a Saudi hospital in Jeddah where he is receiving critical care nine days after he was evacuated from Nigeria, and five days after the presidency said he would be returning home. Saharareporters sources said none of his aides and friends has any access to him and thus could not ascertain his condition.
The desperate efforts by members of his kitchen cabinet to fly him to Nigeria today never materialized because his condition had not improved enough to warrant such a trip. Most of them do not even know exactly where he really is.
A team of hangers-on made of political jobbers, politicians, governors, businessmen, power-traders and friends has gradually began to return to Nigeria after they could not meet with him in person.
Saharareporters has also learned that separate requests by former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo to visit him were rebuffed by his handlers. An angry political analyst told Saharareporters: “If Obasanjo is really a Christian, he should be visiting ordinary Nigerians, who are the victims of the mess he deliberately created, instead of trying to insult them further by using stolen public funds to visit Yar’Adua in a foreign hospital.”
With reference to what lies ahead, and the current political impasse in Nigeria, a reliable insider in Jeddah told Saharareporters that the only option being explored is for Yar'Adua to return to Nigeria for a short while in order for the political atmosphere to calm down, after which he would leave again for prolonged care.
We have also learned that a bunch of new equipment has been shipped to Nigeria in preparation for local care for Yar'Adua. A Lebanese-American medical doctor based in Boston, USA has been hired to fly to Nigeria in a very lucrative deal.
While Nigeria waits, with nobody particularly in charge, it is even less clear if when Yar’Adua would be able to leave Saudi Arabia. The FEC spokesperson, Dora Akunyili and the Secretary to the Federal Government, Ahmed Yayale who addressed the media today did not specify when Yar'adua would return.
“That is because they do not know anything,” said a commentator. “But it is critical for all of them to pretend to be in the loop. These Ministers do not know more than you and me. All they have to do is appear to be loyal. It is a cushy job, and they do not even need to pretend to be working anymore. Do you see anyone doing any work?”