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Today in History: How 'Doctrine of Necessity' Made Goodluck Jonathan The Acting President in Nigeria

Optimallove
By Optimallove | self meida writer
Published 21 days ago - 0 views

How time flies! Today 9th February marks 10 years the former President Goodluck Jonathan was made the acting Nigerian president by NASS when his boss, Musa Yar'adua was seriously ill. Naturally, according to the constitution, VP is to preside the affairs of the country if his boss is unavailable for one reason or the other especially sickness. And also, he must have communicated to the National Assembly in a written form!

But the twist in a power struggle brought on by the president Yar'adua's 11-week stay in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment does not end the uncertainty that has engulfed sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest energy producer.

Moreover, in Yar'adua/GEJ case, alledgedly, norther political cabals came into play preventing GEJ to preside while putting the whole country in the wilderness and emptiness! Some reports say Turai Yar'adua, first lady had taken hold of the power in Aso Rock preventing prominent Nigerians to see her bed-ridden husband! This was dragged for few months before the National Assembly adopted a motion in what is generally called 'Doctrine of Necessity'

In simple words, in 2010, the National Assembly passed a resolution making Dr. Goodluck Jonathan the acting president. The controversial 'doctrine of necessity' was invoked. Nigeria is the third country after Pakistan (1954) and Grenada (1985) to adopt the Doctrine of Necessity'!

Now, what is the doctrine of necessity? It is rarely used political concept or utilitarian idea and is used to define and validate extra-constitutional issues that fall outside the purview of the constitution but are necessary to preserve political stability.

Reason Why Doctrine of Necessity Was Used for Jonathan

Doctrine of Necessity' is usually adopted by the legislature to save the country from being collapse economically and securitywise. In that regards, the constitution has to be dumped and the rule of law has to be slanted. However, the doctrine is not a legal theory but a concession to human weakness. It is also a political arrangement that has garnered some form of legal validation and global support.

Recall that Musa Yar'adua and Goodluck Jonathan had, in a controversial and the most rigged elections in Nigeria become the president and VP in 2007 under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP respectively! 2 years down the administration, Yar'adua could not physically fit to man affairs of the country. Though his sickness was unprecedented!

While he was the Katsina State Governor, Yar'adua was reported to have been going in and coming out of the hospital in Saudi Arabia. Knowing fully well that he was not fit, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had insisted and imposed him on the party in pair with the then Bayelsa State Governor, Goodluck Jonathan!

Till today, Musa Yar'adua has been described as one of the best President Nigeria has ever had. His administration paved way for the Niger Delta's Amnesty Programs, NDDC among others!

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