Well Yar’Adua is back, and still he has not been seen or heard from in public. We are not even sure that the acting President Goodluck Jonathan has set eyes on him.
There has been a big hoopla about the fact that soldiers were deployed in Abuja to form an escort party for Yar’Adua upon his return. The press has claimed that these soldiers were deployed by the Chief of Army Staff Lt-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau without the consent of acting President Jonathan. Some went so far to call it a contained coup against Jonathan.
As usual it is a case of Nigerian reporters not doing their research properly. The Brigade of Guards (the soldiers responsible for the President’s security) have had their own chain of command. The BOG virtually acts as an autonomous army unit directly answerable to the President. They do not take day to day operational orders from Dambazau when being deployed in Abuja. Their deployment outside Abuja would be a different matter.
Dora Akunyili Wades In
*Also make sure you watch the video above to see Dora’s comments.*
Amongst the intrigue though, I would like to draw readers’ attention to an interview with Dora Akunyili (Minister of Information) where she made some very frank comments accusing a “cabal” close to Yar’Adua of virtually holding him, and the nation hostage and putting the country in political turmoil with their selfishness.
“I personally feel worried about how people around the President are handling his health issues. It is not a crime for anybody to be sick, but they have so shrouded his sickness in secrecy that it is beginning to generate issues that should not be there and I believe they are doing what they are doing so that they will continue to actually be in the control….It is for the best interest of the country and even for the better interest of the presidency, if our president comes out to address us. If he is in a position to do so, but if he is not in a position to do so, people around our President should be honest enough to come out and tell us the true situation of the President’s health”
Akunyili’s comments are very telling. She is the Minister of Information yet she is completely in the dark as to the President’s condition. She claims that ministers were not even told of Yar’Adua’s departure abroad for treatment, of his return, nor do they know his current condition.
The interview with Dora at the link below is very instructive as it gives a running hour by hour commentary of what has been going on behind the scenes, and how ministers were apprehensive of their own safety and fearful of a military coup:
“We did not have information that our President was even traveling to Saudi Arabia until we saw it in the news, and when he was in the Saudi Arabia, we hardly got information….We never had a comprehensive channel of getting information that we are sure of and most of the information, sometimes, they don’t add up and it got very disturbing. When they don’t add up, you feel very awkward reporting such information. I believed the information, even though I kept wondering how things can be done better, until when I found that stories told by some of the presidential aide were not adding up, especially stories that are changed when they are told from one person to another.”