An ultimatum has been given to the ailing Nigerian President Umaru Yar' Adua. Resign by the end of January 2010 or be removed by the National Assembly.
But according to the story, which was attributed to News Agencies, and carried by Kenya's Sunday Nation online edition, the group issuing the threat is comprised of 100 legal practitioners.
The group says it will rally its professional colleagues and the Nigerian voters to 'take their destiny into their hands by any legitimate means possible.'
Now there is something that is not adding up here. The headline of the story says, 'Lawyers give Yar'Adua quit ultimatum.' But the first line says if the President fails to comply, he would be removed by the National Assembly of Nigeria.
So, can the group of lawyers give the ultimatum and the honours of effecting their threatened action fall onto members of the National Assembly? Where's the connection?
Contradictory ultimatum or multi-level quit threat?
The story further reports on the quit notice thus:
'....if by the expiration of its ultimatum of January 31, President Yar’Adua has not come back to actively assume and perform his functions as the president, and he neither resigns nor is removed by the National Assembly in the application of sections 144 and 146 of the 1999 Constitution to enable the vice president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan be sworn-in, it should not be held responsible for whatever may result from such legitimate action(s).'
Here, it is rightly implied that the group of lawyers is aware that it cannot force Nigeria's National Assembly to act on its quit notice to the country's leader.
Moreover, it's no longer just about Yar' Adua resigning by 31st January. All will be well for him if he manages to shrug off his sickness and resume his duties.
Now how about that. A news story with internal contradictions.