Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Melodrama in Nigeria

It would be melodrama if it weren't so serious. The Nigerian Bar Association is one of the most powerful civil society groups, and it has called for the president's resignation or return to Aso Rock, the president's home and office in Abuja.

Ed Webb, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Studies at Dickinson College pointed out this article describing the latest developments.

I saw the Nigerian Foreign Minister interviewed on BBC News last night and he all but admitted that he had not talked to President Yar'Adua in six weeks. He could only suggest that he expected to talk to him soon.

Prove you are alive: clamour for missing Nigerian leader to show his face
Opposition politicians are demanding visual proof that the NIgerian President is still alive and fit to govern, six weeks after he left the country for medical treatment.

President Yar’ Adua left Nigeria on November 23 complaining of chest pains and has not been seen in public since. He is thought to be receiving treatment for a heart condition at a clinic in Saudi Arabia, but his absence has created a dangerous power vacuum at the top of Africa’s most populous nation and one of the continent’s biggest oil producers...

The vacuum at the top of a centralised bureaucracy, in which much power is vested in the presidency, is already having a serious impact...

“It is a civil-political right to know where our President is and what is the state of his health,” Emmanuel Onwubiko of the Human Rights Writers Association told The Times. Mr Onwubiko called for the National Assembly to convene a search party to find the President and to provide verifiable evidence of his good health.

On Tuesday a federal court in Abuja,the capital, will begin hearing three separate lawsuits aimed at forcing Mr Yar’ Adua to cede power. One calls for his deputy to be appointed leader, another for his sacking and a third for all Cabinet decisions taken in his absence to be annulled...

Complicating matters is the unwritten agreement underpinning Nigerian politics whereby northerners and southerners alternate every two terms. Mr Yar’ Adua, a northerner, replaced Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military ruler and southener. But his deputy, Mr Jonathan, is another southerner, meaning were he to step in, northerners would feel cheated...

What You Need to Know

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At 5:48 PM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Nigeria President Yar'Adua budget signature 'forged'

"Allies of Nigeria's ailing president forged his signature on the country's supplementary budget last month, opposition politicians have alleged.

"They have written to the police asking them to investigate the forgery claims...

"The group's lawyer, opposition official Femi Falana, said in the letter that the CNPP had tried to verify claims by the government that the budget had been taken to Saudi Arabia for the president to sign on his sick bed..."

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

From AllAfrica.com

I want to know why he talked to BBC but not to Nigerian reporters.

Yar'Adua Says He Will Return to Duty

President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria has told the BBC in London that his health is improving after treatment in Saudi Arabia and that "as soon as my doctors discharge me, I will return to Nigeria to resume my duties."
The BBC said that Yar'Adua had spoken to the corporation in a telephone interview organized by the president's office...

Quote: "At the moment I am undergoing treatment and I'm getting better from the treatment I'm getting. I hope that, uh, very soon there will be tremendous progress, which will allow me to get back home. I wish at this stage to thank all Nigerians for their prayers for my good health and for their prayers for the nation. [apparent break in recording]
"As soon as my doctors discharge me, I will return to Nigeria to resume my duties. I would also like to use this opportunity to wish our team, the Super Eagles, success in our Nations Cup... matches in Angola."

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

Protest in Nigeria Over Absent Leader

"Hundreds of angry Nigerians marched down this capital’s broad avenues on Tuesday to protest the long absence of their president, who has been away for nearly two months getting medical treatment in Saudi Arabia...

"The march hardly filled this city’s streets, and many of those interviewed appeared to be solidly middle-class or above, suggesting that Mr. Yar’Adua’s presence, or absence, meant little to the impoverished citizens who constitute the overwhelming majority in this nation..."

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

From The Daily Trust
The Yar'Adua Health Crisis - Seven-Man House Team to Visit Jeddah

"Hours after the ailing President Umaru Yar'adua was heard on the airwaves of the British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC] granting a brief but halting interview, the House of Representatives yesterday resolved to constitute a 7-man delegation to visit him in Saudi Arabia in order "to convey the members' goodwill message and discuss other issues of national importance."..."


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