Nigeria: Military may seize opportunity to strike and split country

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Nigeria has been warned of the possibilities available to the military, to take advantage of the power vacuum in the country, as the senate fail to uphold the country’s constitution and allow vice president, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, to function as president.

Pressure has stemmed from many political factions in the country on the National Assembly.

This warning has come from the members of the South South Peoples Assembly (SSPA), who are frustrated by the prolonged absence of Nigeria’s President Mr. Umaru Yar’Adua.

“The SSPA vehemently condemns the overtures being made by certain elements for military intervention in our fledgling democratic dispensation as this is most likely to provoke dire consequences and possible disintegration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the SSPA statement read.

SSPA urged the National Assembly confirm Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as the acting president, within the next three days, in a letter signed by Nigerian elites including Ambassador Obi Odu, Senator M.T. Mbu (Jr), the Chairman of DAAR Communications, owners of the Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and 18 other political gurus.

The group warned that any attempt to drag the military into power would lead to breakup of the country.

“The National Assembly should, in the supreme interest of national stability, pass without further equivocation, not later than Thursday, 11 February 2010, a resolution to confirm Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as acting president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement continued.

There has also been pressure from the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE). This political faction has reportedly appealed to the National Assembly to save the country from collapsing, by empowering Vice president Goodluck Jonathan as the president, pending the recovery of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

According to local reports, YCE noted that a situation where the entire country was held to ransom because the president took ill was unacceptable.

“These political jobbers who are shielding the ailing president from doing the right thing have failed to realize that they are playing with the life of 140 million people,” the YCE statement read.

However, reports on Monday suggested that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had made a U-turn on their earlier stance and bowed to public opinion, urging the Senate to empower Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan as acting president.

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