Well , I expect the Acting president to carry on with the functions of the office of the president as the president has been doing before he went on medical vacation .I expect most of the projects that the president has laid out shortly before he took ill , the acting president will be able to continue with those projects .He should also understand that all the cabinet under the president (should remain in the) interest of peace and order , and development of this country.
As Senators and members of the House of Representatives continue to reflect on the state of the nation, particularly as it concerns the health status and return of President Umaru Musa yar’Adua to the country after 93 days medical sojourn in Saudi Arabia. Vice chairman, Senate committee on Science and Technology, Senator -Caleb Zagi (Kaduna State) is one of the distinguished Senators who have bared their mind on the issue. In this interview with The Tide Abuja Bureau Chief, Justus Awaji, Senator Zagi advised the Acting president and the Executive Council of the Federation to work together in harmony and mutual respect so as to move the nation forward from its present imbroglio – occasioned by Yar’Adua’s health status.
Nigerians are still worried that they’ve not seen their president since his arrival in the country after 93days medical sojourn in Saudi Arabia. What’s your advice?
Well , I want to firmly advice Nigerians to be a little bit patient .They’ve been patient all this while – extension of that patience is also required . we all believe the president is on medical vacation and I’ m sure as soon as he gets well, he’ll resume his duties as President /Commander –In –Chief of the Armed forces of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
How about the actions of those who constitute his ‘kitchen cabinet’ who are largely believed to be shielding people from seeing him?
Well, I do not work with the Executive or the cabinet . Whether or not the president has ‘kitchen cabinet’ I don’t know and I don’t understand what is meant by ‘kitchen cabinet’. I know the president has cabinet members and all of them are suppose to function jointly, in the execution of projects as designed in the budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So it’s a joint work by every member of the cabinet, whether or not there’s kitchen cabinet, I’ m not in a position to say whether the president has such or not because from our dealings with the president , I haven’t heard anything like that –the reference being made to “kitchen cabinet” or cabinet of any name whatsoever but I will say that since it is agreed that the Vice president should continue to act as president . I will also advice the cabinet members just as they ‘re loyal to the president, they should also extend that same loyalty to the vice president in his capacity as the Acting president so that we can move the country forward.
Should the nation expect another intervention by the Senate since Mr. President is still being kept away from the public on health ground and it’s not yet certain when he’ll appear in public?
The senate position is very clear on this, that the president is on medical vacation; that when he resumes he’ll transmit a letter to the senate and meanwhile the Vice president will continue to perform the functions of the president in his capacity as the Acting president .
For now, that is the position of the senate, if there’s any other position to be taken .I m sure the senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze will come and speak clearly on such position of the senate
What are your expectations from the Acting president, in the overall interest of the nation?
Well , I expect the Acting president to carry on with the functions of the office of the president as the president has been doing before he went on medical vacation .I expect most of the projects that the president has laid out shortly before he took ill , the acting president will be able to continue with those projects .He should also understand that all the cabinet under the president (should remain in the) interest of peace and order , and development of this country, he also has to create harmonious relationship with the cabinet members – and work , in order to maintain peace and order for the development of this country. I’m also extending the same advice to the members of the cabinet that the Vice president is now the Acting president therefore it is expected that they’ll accord him the respect and Loyalty that is expected of the person in that capacity .They should see that all of them work jointly for the peace and development, and good government of this country.
This is what I expect from the Acting president and members of the cabinet.