If you think the actions of Nigerian-born terror-bombing suspect Abdul Umar Mutallab raises questions about the competence of the Nigerian government in Abuja to deal with issues of terrorism and global security, you are probably right.
But what about the alarming fact that there is political conundrum in Nigeria where that West African nation’s president has been out of office for 50 days now?
No one has been sworn in as acting president even though the constitution empowers the vice president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to act in the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
President Yar’Adua is presently in Saudi Arabia attending to a serious aliment that Nigerian newspapers are already reporting has left the president brain dead.
There is a silent war inside the Nigerian government regarding who would succeed Yar’Adua, who may not come back to rule. The government has yet to issue a statement on the actual condition of the president.
Too bad in a nation that has been all too familiar with political strife and inconsistent democratic governance over the last decades. The history of so-called governance in Nigeria is a history of ruthless corruption with their Western collaborators at the expense of hard-pressed Nigerian tax payers in a nation that is the 11th largest oil producer in the world and fifth supplier to the U.S.
It is unimaginable that despite the billions that Nigeria profits in oil revenues, most parts of that nation don’t have electricity. For too long, the people of Nigeria have watched government officials siphon public dollars to Swiss Bank in the billions.
One would expect that given the recent heightened negative publicity that Nigeria received as a result of the Mutallab saga, plus being added to the list of terror prone countries, the government would quickly move to address the president’s absence by installing the vice president.
One would think that the government would in fact want to show to the world that its house is in order despite Yar’Adua’s long absence. But that is not the case. Nigeria is presently the only country in the world where the president is reported to be in a comatose state and the vice president cannot take charge.
The millions of people who have long been abused by corrupt leaders — most of them coming from the top brass of the Nigerian military — are waiting to watch another political dance take place. Hopefully there won’t be another military coup.
One Nigerian in Detroit said the reason for the silence and hesitance to name an interim replacement is that the different factions in the Nigerian government are trying to work out a deal. They are trying to see who would benefit the most from the president’s absence.