Daily Trust (Abuja)

21 September 2008

Nigeria: Yar'Adua's Rule of Law Shouldn't Be Taken for Granted - YJSM

President Umar Musa Yar'adua's adherence to the rule of law should not be taken for granted and used against his personality and government, the Yar'adua/Jonathan Support Movement (YJSM) warned yesterday.

In an interview with Sunday Trust, an official of the movement, Prince Adedoyin Ajibola expressed dismay over the way some individuals exploit the simplicity of President Yar'adua to castigate him.

According to him, the rule of law as adhered to by Yar'adua was the first of its kind in the history of Nigerian leadership which should be seen as an effort by the president to ensure that every Nigerian gets justice. He added that, that alone should fetch the president the sympathy of Nigerians so that they could help him (Yar'adua) serve them (Nigerians) well.

He accused the opposition of trying to use cheap blackmail on the personality of Yar'adua by asking him to resign. He said the opposition went too far by calling for installation of Interim National Government (ING).

He said opposition lacked concrete reason(s) asking Yar'adua to resign because it was Nigerian populace that voted him and not any opposition group.

"Opposition is taking the humility of Mr President for weakness and that is why we in the YJSM want to say that he needs to use the rule of law in some areas to make them know that the rule of law doesn't mean lawlessness," he said.

He added, "This rule of law of President Yar'adua is a clear cut from the previous regime. It is encompassing; it affects the power sector, the judiciary-all sectors, ensuring that things are done properly. We remember the court verdict in the case of Andy Uba as governor; the president ordered that the verdict be obeyed. And this rule of law is what we need in this country even for democracy to thrive."

On David Mark vs Abubakar Maishanu's case in which some Nigerians alleged miscarriage of justice, he said, "People need to be sincere because the court did not say that David Mark lost and then Yar'adua used his power to say no to the verdict. On the contrary, the court said he won and you cannot expect Mr Yar'adua to say no to that."

He said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s allegation that there were some forces working against Yar'adua and his government was correct.

Ajibola said, "Look at the kind of rumour that President Yar'adua wants to resign and a national medium would just go ahead without any confirmation from reliable sources to air it. Of course, you know it is wrong. But due to Mr. President's humility, the station was only suspended."

On the late passage of 2008 budget, Ajibola argued that the lateness was as a result of the fact that Yar'adua did not want to rush into doing things.

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