As This Government Continues To Drift…

by Peter Claver Oparah

Nothing demonstrates the crisis that currently afflict the Yar’Adua government than the way it resorted to overkill in handling the resignation crises that might have spewed out from its inner coves. That the regime descended with its full weight on Channels Television and banned it because it culled the resignation rumor from the official mouthpiece of the Yar’Adua government itself, the News Agency of Nigeria, shows that the regime is being run ragged by the many problems that assail it. First of these crises is the legitimacy overhang that has dogged it after it steeped up to appropriate the rotten fruits of Obasanjo’s criminal mutilation of the country’s electoral process to install his stooge who would be trusted to ensure his many sins remain buried under the carpet. Because Yar’Adua never won any election, it is sorely scared of its own shadows and in this state; it has formed a fetish of seeing treason in every move aimed at questioning its scruples.

Again, because the Nigerian people never elected it, it has wandered into the paranoiac state where it sees enemies in even innocuous issues that could be laughed away. It is haunted by its own shadows, frightened by its own infirmities and thinks that it would secure its base by scaring all of us to live it with it, no matter its manifest shortcomings. Its illegitimacy has manacled it and made it ineffectual that it has betrayed the most confused, unclear and scrambled attitude to governance. It revels in the mantra of rule of law but had been often found jittery when occasions demand a demonstration of such lofty intent. Failing to convince Nigerians of its great intent and bugged down with inactivity, it had resorted to ambushing Nigerians and enacting into a blasphemous decree any discussion of its failings and the failings of its members. It makes treasonable any suggestion that it gives way for a better election process and deigns the discussion of the incapacitation of its principal as a cap0ital offence.

The second major crisis facing the Yar’Adua presidency is that a sick and infirm man that finds it hard coping with the stringent demands of governing Nigeria heads it. Governance that had suffered tremendous blisters in the past nine years mainly under the negative activism of Obasanjo, had been whittled down to suit Yar’Adua’s weak state. While Nigerians quite sympathize with Yar’Adua on his health condition, they need a strong and positive-driven president to drive it to the satisfaction and glory of all Nigerians including Yar’Adua himself. Nigerians who have been neighing for change and progress from the damned Obasanjo years are now stranded with a man that sleeps through duty. Policy confusion and somersaults have become an integral part of the flailing Yar’Adua presidency and this was aptly demonstrated when he went for a health pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia recently and the country was fed with a mish-mash of horrible concoctions and puerile gibberish by the men that manage his image. The nation watched in awe and shock as the king’s horses and dogs struggled among themselves to invent fables to ostensibly cover the facts of the president’s ill health and take advantage of a nation, pummeled into a state of stupor by marauding governments and their agents.

The third major crisis bedeviling Yar’Adua’s presidency is that it has assembled its men and women and had not been able to form a government. Sure, party speculators, ravaging ramparts and space fillers have appropriated portfolios and high offices and the facade of a government has been formed but the workings of government resemble an organized chaos. Men run riot with their intuition and control is weak and lax. In this state, discipline is slack and the aficionados of the PDP and the contriving nabobs that people the party mart all manners of selfish contrivances to flower their narrow interests. Plots, schemes, intrigues and conspiracies thrive and because there is a dearth of a strong figure to reign in the mullahs that rove at the presidency, his government, at best, resembles a thriving tempest! Because the PDP, as a party, exists as a loose confederate of desperate power mongers, with eyes trained on the control of the nation’s treasury, nothing is spared to prey on every other party man or Nigerian to achieve the machiavellian ethos of the party members. Yar’Adua, feeling ingratiated to the soiled and decrepit system that brought him to power, subscribes to this carnivorous tenet and his attempt to play along has made him incapable of controlling the politics and events around him.

Finding itself consumed by the intricate web of inconsistencies that birthed it, the Yar’Adua government thinks that the best solution to its problems lies in making a sin of any suggestion of re-thinking the mode of its emergence or its fitness to govern. It has come out with an elaborate master plan of burying its own failings under a thick maze of instilled blackmail and fear such that we would see him as God’s gift to Nigeria and any contrary view would be taken as amounting to questioning God. That accounts for the reason why it descended so heavily on a hapless news organization that merely reported what the official government news agency parroted. It merely zeroed on some staff of its own mouthpiece from where what turned out to be a hoax about the purported resignation of Yar’Adua emanated and clamped down fully on the news station that reported it to its audience. It rolled out its propaganda machine and tried to make such a heavy show of the false news item that was allegedly smuggled into its own news agency by ubiquitous hackers who many Nigerians swear are not far from the fifth columnists within Yar’Adua’s own party and government that thrive in such dog-eat-dog syndrome. It went to the mountaintops to chorus and yell about the resignation hoax as if suggestions of Yar’Adua’s resignation when it is becoming clearer that he cannot simply govern this country is a taboo. That way, it wanted to mitigate the stupid and witless manner it handled the issue of Yar’Adua’s recent health crisis and the tar such careless handling invested on the government. Again, it wanted to censor Nigerians against further suggesting that a president on sick bed should give way for the country to discover its soul, stolen by the ineptitude of the PDP governments in place since 1999.

But I don’t think that the hoax in itself is indeed a big issue and I fail to see the grave security implication being painted around the issue. A rebuttal from the presidency would have sufficed to rest the matter and the heightened melo-drama of the present is unnecessary. Going about to close a television station and breathing hot airs around has turned out to be a hare-brained option that had burned its own fingers. If it was intended to cow Nigerians into silence over the present floundering ship of state occasioned by Yar’Adua’s incapacitation, it had failed. If it was aimed at creating a fabled figure of Yar’Adua and to frighten Nigerians to cease demanding that things be properly done or that Yar’Adua ship out because he is not healthy, it was a misfire. If it was created so as to ensure that Nigerians stop believing the reality of the fragility of this rudderless government and the apparent lack of direction or focus ravaging it, it wont work. For as long as he sits pretty and watches the Nigerian state drift under his sick bed, Yar’Adua will have to contend with speculations of his resignation or related options open to Nigerians to move forward. He can do practically nothing about it and this constitutes a bigger operational space for insecurity than the works of hackers that may well be certainly operating from the inner coves of his presidency and his party. He should know that in a crisis situation, renegades and scoundrels who abound in great number in Yar’Adua’s government and party make heavy gains and so long as they exist, they would be working to undermine him. However, suggesting or speculating that he should quit because he is sick does not pose a greater threat than the manner of his emergence and the aimless drift of his government presently.

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