Dear Hajiya Turai Yar’adua,
This letter became imperative following the melodrama that ensued in the wake of your husband’s celebrated illness. No doubt, Nigeria as a nation has known little peace since the unfortunate amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914. Our tortuous existence has not been helped in any way by our fractious experiment with democracy. Our so-called democratic experiments to date lack all tenable ideals. Your husband remains a beneficiary of these shambolic democratic tenets which Nigeria currently subscribes to wholeheartedly. The pain of your husband’s imposition on Nigerians by that buffoon who despised democratic norms (Turai, I am convinced we all know whom I am referring to), has been further worsened by his inability to even make a pretence at delivering dividends of good governance to Nigerians. His obvious incapacitation was not helped by his chronic ill-health, no doubt.
What easily comes to mind was why you, of all people, should have allowed him to accept such a high position with its strenuous demands. As a loving wife, your duty should have been to protect him from situations that may adversely affect his health. However, your actions and behaviour to date has created the impression that your primary concern is far removed from the physical well being of your spouse. Turai, you are also obviously a beneficiary of the monstrosities thrown up by the imperfections of the moribund Nigerian state. The only unique difference in your case, compared to other so-called First Ladies, is your unbridled lust for power which has blinded you to the impossibilities of the path you have chosen and the terrible impact of your choice on fellow Nigerians. Not on these, your unguided behaviour and over-blown ego are criminal in nature, to say the least, and extremely unpatriotic. You refused to accept fate and look at reality in the face. That your actions could act like a catalyst in the final disintegration of the superficially blended Nigerian state seem to be beyond your purview.
Turai, your behaviour might have historical parallels but none seems to have come to my attention. A case where a wife would judiciously infringe on the dignity and rights of her husband to non-turbulent recovery, or if nature so desires, a peaceful end. The unconstitutionality of your overblown ego could only be sustained by none other than a country like Nigeria as presently constituted. The illogicality of your “office”, if ever there was one, remains baffling. As imperfect and fragile as our present constitution is, there is no reference to the “Office of the First Lady.” This is an aberration that has been sustained and nurtured for so long in our shambolic polity and has now assumed a monstrous dimension under you. Again, the many absurdities inherent in the contraption we presently called a country has been ably exploited by you to sustaining your surreptitious backdoor approach to power, albeit of a strangulating nature. Our corrupt and ineffective national assembly could only sit and watch while you systematically build your empire, what is now commonly referred to as the cabal or kitchen cabinet. You became the arrowhead of this destructive, selfish, myopic and irresponsible group that actually ruled Nigeria since your husband was unceremoniously imposed on the country by the Egba buffoon.
Your foray into the extremely murky waters of Nigerian politics and your subsequent hold on power has in a way elevated you into historical perspective. As stated earlier, there is yet to be a historical alley for your type of matriarchy. Eva Peron who died as one of the most powerful women in the world at the age of 33 years in 1952 easily came to mind. Eva was so powerful in Argentina of that time that she was given the official title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation” by the Argentine Congress. It has been documented that she became powerful essentially for her support on rights of labour unions. She was also said to have successfully ran various ministries, including that of Health and Labour and became very popular through her actions with the common people of Argentina. She founded the charitable Eva Peron Foundation and the country’s first large-scale female political party, the Female Peronist Party. She effectively became the power behind the throne and today evokes different responses in many people, non-Argentineans inclusive.
In many respects, you share the attributes of Eva Peron in your unbridled lust for power and your unpatriotic refusal to let go, even when the hand writing is so obvious on the wall. However, unlike Eva Peron, you have made such a pejorative use of power characterised by voracious lust and insensitivity. Your matriarchy has nothing for posterity to remember other than nepotism, arrogance and corruption. Eva Peron might mean so many things to so many Argentineans today, but her place in history is secured by her record of commitment to the poor people. However, you have succeeded in failing to cause much discordance amongst Nigerians. You symbolises those attributes of our nation that we have constantly strived to eliminate, the garbage stuff. You represent the weaknesses inherent in our claim to nationhood. And by your crafty and indulgent use of power, portray the feebleness of the Nigerian state. It is a pity that for as long as our country refuses to address the serious task of building a viable nation, for so long would creeps like you surface to remind us of our ephemeral nature. You had an able predecessor in the person of the late one with the dark goggles. Sani Abacha represented another dark period in our chequered history.
Eva Braun became historically the “unhappiest woman in Germany” because she refused to exhibit any dominant trait but rather spent her whole life waiting for Adolf Hitler. She lacked assertiveness and left nothing for Germans to remember her for, except perhaps her unbridled love for the Fuhrer, even in the midst of the worldwide catastrophes caused by him. In her foolishness, she failed to perceive the evil in Hitler. Turai, while you have so far failed to demonstrate any iota of love for Umaru by your undignified handling of his precarious condition, you have also credibly demonstrated your profound foolishness in failing to see that the Yar’adua era is technically over. This sad characteristic you share with Eva Braun.
Let us now analyse the situation. Your husband unceremoniously departed the shores of Nigeria and for over 3 months remained incommunicado to virtually all Nigerians. He also deliberately failed to even inform the foolish goons at the national assembly of his unavailability to steer the ship of state. Contrary to what many thought, I want to put it to you that Yar’adua could not have informed the national assembly because he was not in a fit state to do so. I want to put it to you, Turai, that your husband was probably unconscious by the time he got to Saudi Arabia for the treatment of the so-called Pericarditis. If this were to be the case, then he lacked the capacity to contact the national assembly right from the onset. You took over right from this stage and have manipulated 150 million Nigerians treacherously up to this moment. To worsen the matter, you rushed in a half dead body as a counter measure attempt at truncating the feeble response of the moribund national assembly to move the nation forward. The refusal of the Nigerian National Assembly to impeach a grievously sick President remains baffling.
Your position might have elicited some degree of sympathy if the prognosis for your Umaru’s illness had been good. Despite all the attempts you and the rest of the cabal have made so far to befuddle the populace (and ably transmitted by Segun Adeniyi), it is now common knowledge that Umaru is not just suffering from isolated medical problems but rather a sy
ndrome of ailments known as Churg-Strauss Syndrome. The prognosis for this progressive, disabling and often fatal illness is extremely poor. One is not in any doubt that this you fully understood, hence the obvious odium your actions have elicited in patriotic countrymen and women.
Turai, no matter the number of marabouts and soothsayers employed, this is the end stage as far as Umaru’s contribution to Nigerian politics is concerned. He is permanently incapacitated and what remains is to struggle to add quality to his remaining time on earth. Your efforts at maintaining the status quo, albeit illegally, would definitely bear no fruit. You must wake up to the sad realisation of the end of your un-progressive tenure in Nigeria. Your current distraction is just like a hot air that would soon frizzle away. This I am very sure of. I see no reason why Nigerians should panic in this regard. Your husband presidency was a lie right from inception. And a saying of the elders’ states that a house built on saliva would be melted by the dew. Your husband’s tenure and your unwanted matriarchy are precisely at this stage now.
While the dirge is being sung now for the end of the Yar’adua era, it is important for Nigerians to reflect on the circumstances that brought about this prolonged national trauma. It is also important for us to reflect on the factors that sustained it. The role of the money-guzzling, ineffective and rambling edifice called National Assembly also deserves thorough attention. The military imposed crap called Nigerian Constitution deserves a serious attention. Above all, our basis for continued existence calls for a vey urgent review as has been championed by so many for so long. We cannot continue to force together different ethnic and national groupings without a clear understanding and agreement as regards the modus operandi of such a union. It is not acceptable for a group, whether ethnic or cabal, to hold the nation in so much contempt as has been demonstrated by the Yar’adua and Abacha regimes, and practically almost all other regimes that have held power in this troubled nation.
The role of foreign countries in our national affair also deserves scrutiny. Ostensibly, the influence of the United States and Britain has gone a long way in re-shaping the present logjam in our political history; however, such intrusions need to have a limit. America and Britain could not surreptitiously determine who should rule Nigeria as they are presently attempting to do. The uncalled for recourse to a disgraced ex-military ruler, one noted for institutionalising corruption in our country and mafia-like criminal acts while on the seat of power, is hereby condemned in its entirety. Ibrahim Babangida could not be and would never be what Nigeria needed at this stage. Why should we keep on recycling our leadership? In any case, what gave the US and Britain the right to determine who should rule us? While appreciating the concerns of the international community as regards the strategic importance of our country, the best that can be done for us is to encourage sincerity and honesty in resolving our chronic instability. With the right support internationally, we as a people can chart the right path for ourselves – sincere union based on mutual respect and trust or the Czechoslovakian option, peaceful disintegration. The choice of Babangida is only a way of postponing the inevitable.
Hajiya Turai, you will have to pardon me for using this medium to communicate this very sensitive issue. It is not out of disrespect for your exalted position (which is gradually coming to an end anyway). I do not have in my possession the mailbag address of Aso Rock. Again, there is the fear that the overzealous bureaucracy would not allow this sort of communication to get to you, hence this very open option. Umaru would probably have been the recipient of this missive if he had not been extremely incapacitated. Thus while wishing you and your family the fortitude and grace to cope with these changes in your fortunes, may I suggest that you digest this message thoroughly and accord it the serious attention it deserves. I hope that this letter would bring home to you the view being expressed by majority of Nigerians, that of the illogicality of the attempts to sustain the comatose regime of Umaru Yar’adua and the absurdities of such attempts. May I also use this medium to wish Umaru Yar’adua a quick recovery from this intractable illness.
I do hope that your intransigence would not call for similar communication in future.
Olusegun Fakoya (Dr).