Friday, 16 May 2008

Nigerian President's Ill Health Unsettles Northern Political Elites

Northern Nigeria(Arewa) political elites have recently been seriously unsettled by the ill health of the President, Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua. We reliably gathered that the President's German doctors advised him recently, to resign and come for a lengthy comprehensive medical treatment or risk total fatal kidney failure.

The worry of the North is necesitated by the constitutional provision that, in the event of death, resignation, physical and/or mental incapacitation of the President, the Vice President will assume the position. The position is rotated between the predominantly moslem north and the largely christian south, albeit informally. The Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is a christian from southern Nigeria.

The southern slot was occupied by the immediate past President, Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. The north is to occupy the position from 2007 to 2015.

The President was recently taken to a German hospital in an unconscious state, where he underwent treatment for a kidney related ailment. He has since returned and have resumed duty.

Presidency sources however, informed us that the President now "does only skeletal duties" and attends to official matters "less than four hours on every working day". We have it on good authority that the secreatary to the federal government, Mr. Babagana Kingibe is now the de-facto President.

There is a serious move, according to a source close to the immediate past President, by members of his faction in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), to support the Vice President, "to assume his proper position". We have not been able so far to independently confirm if the immediate past President is personally involved in this move.

This move, we were further informed, greatly unsettled the northern political elites, who saw it as an attempt to wrest power from them.

We can now reveal that there are presently, noctunal meetings in the northern cities of Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto, to find a way out of this problem.