Yar’Adua as a Potential Liability

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

In a recent piece I asked: “what are Yar’Adua’s ideology, core values and intentions for the people and for Nigeria?” I still wonder. Where is he taking the country? Does anyone know?” Apparently, no one knows. And those who think they know are not that sure anymore. And so the cat-and-mouse game begins. With the way things are unraveling, it now appears President Yar’Adua private persona is at odds with his public persona.

There is something about Mr. Yar’Adua and the company he keeps. There is something about him that makes me wonder, makes me suspicious. Has Nigeria just exchanged an apple for an orange? Both are fruits, and fruits have a way of going bad. There is something about the president’s style, nature, and mien that make me uncomfortable.

I repeat: there is something about the company he keeps that makes me wonder. It is difficult for me to think of him and not be reminded of events and personalities that dotted Middle East and Latin American politics of yesteryears. It was a time and a place where more than a few personalities disguised themselves as saints.

But more than being uncomfortable, I am suspicious of him. The vibe I get is of a man capable of asphyxiating his opponents, his critics, and the nation’s institutions. And the nation’s purse and wealth? Oh well, let’s wait and see. And will there be criminal concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few?

This president may not be as greedy, unrefined, careless, licentious and as brutal as his predecessors, still, no one should be surprised if he equaled or surpasses them all. This president’s recent actions and pronouncements, and the company he keep spell disaster.

Indeed, he may surprise a lot of people by the manner of man he turns out to be. The end result may not be pretty or positively encouraging. My fear and suspicion is that this president may not be on the side of the people four or eight years from now. He may do an OBJ.

For starters, it’s been more than a hundred days since he assumed power — save for a good yarn here and there — nothing points to a profound intellect, stellar vision, or to strength of character. There are no indication of purposefulness, accountability and transparency; nothing points to his dreams or to a great heart.

In the end therefore, those who look to him for leadership, growth and development will be disappointed. Simply put: Yar’Adua does not appear to be the kind of man capable of taking the nation to the Promised Land. He however seems capable of self-interest and self-preservation. He is capable of safeguarding the interest of a few people and a few power blocks.

Though this president is new on the job, certain things and certain traits have manifested themselves: he vacillates, he comes across as irresolute, and he surrounds himself mostly with crime-merchants, or with those with untold intentions towards our country.

Consider his recent company in New York. Consider the caliber of men and women who have been advising him. Nduka Obaigbena? Woah! Imagine James Ibori in the company of the president. See who he appointed as the nation’s Attorney General.

Consider also Mallam Nuhu Ribadu a.k.a Mr. Loudspeaker. What are his crime-fighting achievements? He is all talk and no genuine actions.

I am concerned, I am afraid for this president; I am concerned and afraid about the things we don’t know about him. I am concerned and afraid for President Yar’Adua.

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