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IS TURAI YAR'ADUA NIGERIA'S DE FACTO PRESIDENT?


By Chika Onyeani, Feb. 26, 20010

Before I answer this question, it should categorically be stated that at no time did the people of Nigeria elect Mrs. Turai Yar'Adua, the wife of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua as President of Nigeria. In fact, she was nowhere near when the campaign to ratify the selection of her husband and Goodluck Jonathan by former President Olusegun Obasanjo was taking place. But in the last three months, since her husband's medical condition worsened, Turai Yar'Adua has been behaving as the de facto President of the country. One of the most astonishing facts alluding to her perceived stature as de facto President is what happened during Yar'Adua's return to Nigeria in the very early hours of Wednesday morning, February 24th.

Mr. Yar'Adua arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja a little over midnight. He was met with a full military contingent as well as the police. In other words, the military and police brass knew in advance that Yar'Adua would be returning to Nigeria at that time. Yar'Adua had flown back in an ambulance plane, and he was met by an ambulance, with the military and the police cordoning off the area he had landed at a very dark part of the airport. Astonishingly, the man the Nigerian National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives), had anointed two weeks earlier as Acting President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, was nowhere around that airport. What this means is that an individual or group of individuals had colluded with the military and the police to thwart a clear directive of the peoples' representatives, and the military and police had committed egregious disobedience by taking directives from an individual or group of individuals who had no right in issuing orders to them. This is a total act of indiscipline and insubordination.

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