President Umaru Yar'Adua: Home Coming or Home Going?

by Tunde Ali

Politics is synonymous with poly-tricks. While the former is the art and science of government, the latter implies the methods or tactics involved in ensuring the former.

Nigeria, undoubtedly an emerging democratic entity, at the end of the present orchestrated scam and made believe crisis, would pass this democratic litmus test, move forward and place the interest of the nation above the parochial interest of the few cabals who are trying to capitalize on the illness of President Umaru Yar’Adua for their selfish political and financial goals.

The history of the world democratic nations including the United States of America (the richest democracy) and India (the oldest democracy) indicated that democratic progress come along with myriads of crisis that requires the negotiations of all stakeholders. Compromise, usually does not come with ease. It entails series of give and take in the areas of policy developments and modifications. Communications are made open and negotiations are transacted with fairness.

Sometimes an exclusive ego centered agenda results in political miscalculations. Where this happens, the supposed or targeted victim are catapulted in to an unexpected corridor of power advantage; and since politics is about power, control and influence, the beneficiary of political miscalculation take advantage of their opponent’s misadventures and retard their subsequent schemes.

In November 2009 when President Umar Yar’Adua left Nigeria for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in pursuit of medical treatment, in his usual style, he did not consider it worthwhile to inform the nation. Though his medical bill would be footed by the tax payers. His incommunicado almost plunder the nation into darkness. His action threw the nation into confusion and created four stakeholders; namely; the nation, the President’s cabinet (FEC), the President’s wife- (Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua) and the President’s mother. Each posited different suggestions and recommendations on behalf of the ailing President.

Each stakeholder’s suggestion reflected their interests. For instance, the president’s mother wanted her son to resign from office and focus mainly on his health and wellbeing. The president’s wife – Hajiya Turai took a different tool and insisted that she rather have her husband continues with the burden of government and rule the nation from his sick bed in far away Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The members of the Federal Executive Council, championed by the faceless Aoondoka (Attorney General of the Federation) argued that the President was still able to rule and can rule the nation from anywhere; despite the fact that he has not seen the president personally or heard from him directly. The nation, still in the dark; kept interceding in prayer on behalf of their sick president who has either disingenuously kept mute or was circumstantially silenced by his infirmity.

Aside from the president’s mother who was genuinely concerned with the health and wellbeing of her son, and the supportive nation that prays for the recuperation of her number one citizen, other stake holders ( Hajiya Turai & some members of the FEC) are canker worms who solely prey on the sickness and absence of the President to defalcate the nation’s treasury. Who knows how much the tax payers are billed for each day that the President was on sick bed with extra ordinary life supporting gadgets? How can one counter argue that the decision of Turai to keep her husband on life supporting machine was not borne out of a selfish intention to keep obtaining money and estacode from the national treasury? Who could rationalize the behavior of Hajiya Turai who prevented the government delegates to Saudi Arabia from seeing the president and make first hand impression about his mental and health status? What is Turai and the kitchen cabal hiding from the nation? why did Hajiya Turai suddenly began to contact different political players including those that have fell out with the administration of her husband, including Nasir El-Rufai- the former Minister for Federal Capital Territory through Emails and promised to help them if they support her agenda? and what is her agenda anyway?

Ninety-three days of the President’s absence from office without the due process almost created the state of pandemonium. The national interest was set aside to promote individual agenda. Hajiya Turai assumed the position of de-facto president and scheme other players who are either loyalists to her husband or beneficiaries of her husband’s absence into sustaining her grandiose delusional title; which was rumored as an attempt to transition her from the first lady to the Vice President of Nigeria. If there is any element of truism in this rumor, it shows the extent of greed and power conscious Hajiya Turai is and how far she could go to lodge herself into office at the detriment of her husband health and national interest. She need to be reminded that Nigerian is not India or Pakistan where the death or assassination of the President or Prime Minister automatically position the wife, the child or any close family member into succession. If Mrs. Turai Yar’Adua desires any political office, she needs to go to her local government area, register with a political party of her choice and contest an election like any other Nigerian.

Substantively, now that President Yar’Adua has been sneaked back into the country in a questionable manner, though presumably healthy. One would expect him to address the nation in a televised setting, after all , Mr. president reportedly spoke to the Nigerians through the BBC in Hausa language in far away Saudi Arabia while on sick bed; though Hausa is not the official language of the country neither is it the language of government business. The president could however be forgiven for using that medium of communication to address the nation, after all he was sick and possibly might be having problems with the left hemisphere in the Broca’s Area of his brain.

He would be expected to apologize for the manner in which he left the country some three months ago and explain the circumstances that warranted such impromptu departure, Explanation would be expected from the president on his Saudi’s incommunicado that plunged the entire nation almost into chaos. The nation would be looking to hear from the president if he is medically cleared and psychosocially prepared to resume office. It will not be too much if the president inform the nation when he is willing to send a letter of resumption of; or resignation as the Commander – in – Chief to the National Assembly, intimating the Assemblies of his readiness to continue to or resign from office, bearing in mind that the nation at the moment has an Acting President and the Commander-in-Chief. The President should sincerely thank the Acting President – Dr. Jonathan Good Luck for his sincerity and determination to keep the affairs of the state running during his medical trip. Unalloyed appreciation to all Nigerians who have been praying for his recovery would not be too much as well.

However, if the president’s return at the odd hour of the night and in secrecy is suggestive of a vegetative state as been reported by some dailies, that he came with rechargeable batteries attached to his body. The Acting President – Dr. Jonathan Good Luck should collaborate with the National Assembly, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Justice to verify and ascertain the medical condition of the president and his readiness to resume office. If his health status is unsatisfactory; that is, medically incapable; the Acting President should update the National Assembly, and address the nation about this development. The National Assembly thereafter should consider and confirm Dr. Jonathan Good Luck as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without further delay.

In a related development, the Acting President need to summon all his Service Chiefs with immediate effect, question their professional

integrity and re-examine their loyalty and commitment to the success of his administration and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. This becomes imperative especially when one considers the ways and manners in which President Yar’Adua was smuggled into the country without his knowledge, and the deployment of military troops, as well as the “temporary hijack” of the Nnamidi Azikwe International Airport Abuja in a coupe d’etat fashion. Whoever loyalty is found questionable should be booted out of the service. Anything short of this is counter intuitive and would definitely boomerang. Nigeria is above any individual or group interest, and the nation cannot continue to invest so much in a democratic institution that is made vulnerable to military coup as a result of insubordination, carelessness or inaction.

May the Lord bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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1 comment March 1, 2010 - 6:30 pm

This text is explicit.I Think it’s high time we stood on our grounds so as to make Nigeria a better place for all


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