Like most Nigerians, I continue to wish Yar'Adua a quick and speedy recovery and am happy to learn that his surgery (assuming there was one) was successful and that he is recovering in Saudi Arabia. However, like every Nigerian, I have to confront the unanswered issues that his 'condition' and apparent surgery raise. It is unconscionable for the President of Nigeria to schedule significant and life threatening surgery without informing the people he serves. While all good meaning people will understand that he must take care of his health especially as he apparently suffered from chronic kidney disease, is it not fair that Nigerians know that their president is seriously unwell and could undergo surgery?
Rather than keep the nation abreast of the President's situation, officials have consistently ignored the obvious news reports of surgery in the local media and instead insisted that the President is perfectly well and participating in the lesser Hajj. This, despite the fact that the President's trip to Brazil was canceled or "readjusted" as the Foreign Minister, Ojo Maduekwe, now claims. Yar'Adua, like Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, is not a private individual, as such every move he makes, or doesn't make, must be privy to the populace. After all, it is the people that will endure the consequences of any decisions made by their President - for better or for worse.
Nigerians are beginning to suffer the consequences of Yar'Adua's decision to not be upfront with the people. The PDP (Yar'Adua's party) sowed seeds of confusion by alleging coup attempts, Yar'Adua validated (intentionally or otherwise) those allegations with a military shakeup, and then traveled to Saudi Arabia for surgery, leaving the nation anxious and confused. This environment has, as expected, led to political opportunists like former Presidential hopeful, Major General Buhari (rtd.) jockeying to step into the supposed political vacuum. Buhari has publicly called for the Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, to assume the Presidential seat and run the country in the absence of Yar'Adua.
Who would gain from such a proposition? No offense to Goodluck Jonathan, but, he is surrounded by a corruption scandal which might have died down because of his new position as the nation's Number 2. Nevertheless, the fact that $13.5 million was seized from his wife, Patience Jonathan, and was the subject of a now stalled EFCC investigation extinguishes his credibility to become President of a country which is struggling to battle excessive corruption and its overwhelming effects on every aspect of Nigerian existence. Regardless of how Yar'Adua cam to power, at least he has no corruption scandal hanging over his head and even managed to reveal his assets when he came to office. Therefore, is it Johnathan that Yar'Adua, who committed himself to selflessly serving the people, intends to have run the country in his absence?
And as for Buhari, he has disqualified himself from any discussion on the future of Nigeria and its politics, in my humble opinion. Buhari, who lost to Yar'Adua and even contested the results of the 2007 Presidential elections, insulted the very people he sought to 'serve' when he attempted to rewrite the history of Nigeria's most notorious former military dictator, the late General Sani Abacha. Buhari exalted Abacha in death and challenged any allegations of his looting by blatantly stating,
"...ten years after Abacha, those [looting] allegations remain unproven because of lack of facts."This, despite the unquestionable fact that Abacha, his family, friends and cohorts looted the nation's Central Bank to the tune of $505.5 million!!! If Buhari is to have his way, it would not surprise me that he would angle himself into a position of power and influence over a Johnathan-led government and/or destabilize a Johnathan-led government. My conspiracy-loving mind cannot help but be suspicious given what is publicly known of the various parties involved.
THE CONSTANT MILITARY FACTOR
Many Nigerians now believe that military coups are unfashionable and a thing of the past in Nigeria. I, on the other hand, have learned to expect the unexpected. Consequently, I feel that Yar'Adua's recent firing of Nigeria's Chief of Defense Staff, the head of the Army and Navy was a strategic move to prevent the possibility of a coup by eliminating the most powerful figures that could confront the current power structure. However, the continued absence of Yar'Adua from Nigeria and the fact that the public has not seen or heard him over the last week, begs the question of whether this can create an opening for some military element to take over the country? I absolutely detest the thought of a military regime ever controlling Nigeria again and hope that Yar'Adua will recover quickly enough to reclaim his role as President because no matter what anyone thinks about last year's Presidential elections, Yar'Adua is a better alternative to a military regime.
At the end of the day, Yar'Adua needs to get well very quickly and return to Nigeria so that it is obvious who is in charge of ensuring that the ship sails relatively smoothly. Every ship needs its captain. Similarly, Nigeria needs its President, for better or for worse. Particularly, to limit the untoward consequences of his absence that are beginning to appear and will undoubtedly worsen if things continue with no positive change.
- Yar'Adua And The Continuing Heath Issue
- Suppression In A Democratic Regime
- Wanted Dead Or Alive
- Rest In Peace
- "We Need Fresh Blood Haba!!!! Bones Are Weak!!!"
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