Off Shore Presidency
Got this from Patitos Post and I will like to share it with you.
By Pat Utomi
The president’s call to the BBC radio today raises more questions than it answers. There are too many pressing issues in Nigeria this new year. From the Abdul Mutallab incidence to the controversy over the signing of the supplementary budget and then the controversial swearing in of the new CJN by the outgoing one as well as the recent unrest in Bauchi which claimed not a few lives and in the midst of all these our president placed a call to the BBC and did not touch on any of these issues or other pressing issues. The only thing he touched on besides his health is football! This is troubling!
Here is a president whose sole achievement in office is the amnesty in the Niger Delta and yet that very achievement is unraveling what with the recent attacks on Chevron’s pipelines and the kidnap of some Britons and a Colombian and yet there is hardly a pip squeak from Mr. President nor the government he heads and yet the Federal Executive Council tells us that his absence has not affected government. With the amnesty unraveling what will history remember Umaru Yar’adua for?
The question begging an answer is what are the president’s priorities? Here he had a chance to calm the anxieties of a troubled nation and he did not. What are we then to believe? Is it that the president is not aware of the attempted terrorist attack by Farouk? Nigeria has been blacklisted by the U.S, the Nigerian senate has issued an ultimatum to the U.S and the government purportedly headed by Umaru Yar’adua has not made any concrete efforts to show the outside world that Nigeria realises that there were some systemic lapses and that we would take steps to resolve these lapses. I mean what is going on? If the president did not comment on the issue of the attempted terrorist attack, the only conclusion that can be drawn are that he is not aware of the incidence or if he is aware then he does not care. As I have already written elsewhere, nothing the government of Nigeria is doing right now can be as effective in getting the U.S to have a rethink on the issue of Nigeria’s travel blacklisting than for our president to tell the outside world that we accept some responsibility for the incidence being that the young man is a Nigerian and that he passed through our airports and that we have identified lapses which we have taken steps to plug those loop holes and make sure that such an incidence will not happen. Such a statement coming from Nigeria’s president will be more effective than any ultimatum because in the final analysis an ultimatum issued without any consequence is an empty threat.
So what are we to do with the President’s call? Are we to receive assurances from this call? Even Yar’adua himself confessed that he ‘hopes that there will be tremendous progress’. In short Nigeria is relying on chance and hope? A nation of 150 million people are holding their breath. But why? And to further add insult to injury the Federal Government yesterday told us in court that we are not entitled to the president’s medical records even though which we are collectively paying his medical bills. This is not some stone age empire living under a despot that we dare not question. Nigeria is a democracy or supposedly so, why cant we be told the truth about our own leader? Why cant we be addressed by our president on television? Why this secrecy?
It is Nigerians who have been praying for Yar’adua, paying his bills and paying the price of his absence. The least he can do is to address us on NTA, AIT or FRCN and speak to us on those issues that are critical to us . I still can not fathom why a man who styles himself as a ’servant leader’ will be so hell bent on sticking to power rather than temporarily handing over to his vice so that his nation can function properly. That is the true action of a servant leader. What a pity!
Finally, let me state on a lighter note that we had hoped that the off shore/on shore dichotomy had perished with the Obasanjo administration with the pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the matter, however we have now been undeceived because right now we have an off shore president and we desperately need judicial intervention once again!
Once again, God bless Nigeria,