Nigeria is a complex country with faultlines that run throughout its length and breadth. The faultlines that comprise the various interest groups and issues within the nation's body politic are equally complex, and according to some, indecipherable. In many cases, however, some of the faultlines are hidden under layers of other distracting and more obvious issues, but, nonetheless, they exist and it takes a well-trained eye to identify them. The recent death of Gani Fawehinmi has revealed previously unnoticed faultlines and suggests that others are about to become more pronounced.
In the 2 years that Yar'Adua has been president, much has been said about his health and his ability to steer the national ship as a capable President. Regardless of what anyone might have thought, Ribadu's ability to enter and exit the country flies in the face of Yar'Adua's capacity as Head of State and calls in question the government's ability to protect and guard its borders. This, unfortunately, further weakens the President in the public eye.
Additionally, Ribadu's brilliant and brave act of paying homage to Gani further illustrates that there are individuals or a consortium of individuals with the power to exert control despite the wishes of Yar'Adua and his cohorts. This is a direct challenge to the authority of the President and the power wielded by those in cahoots with the various channels of power in Nigeria. And, did any foreign governments playe a role in ensuring Ribadu's safe passage to and from Nigeria? These facts, in turn, begs the question of whether these individuals, groups or foreign governments exercised this power for the greater good of the people or simply for their own personal interests. Because it is unclear who has the power to facilitate Ribadu's waltzing act, one can only hope that the faultline presented by these individuals is one that will benefit Nigeria in the long run. However, any weakening of the office of the Presidency, despite who the holder of that office is, might not put Nigerians at an advantage. Considering Yar'Adua's previous response when he felt threatened (right before his trip to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj when he shuffled the military establishment, had bloggers Asiwe and Elendu arrested and allowed his political party to callously allege treasonous offenses against opposition party), all Nigerians must be careful what they wish for and hope that this act by Ribadu (and those who enabled it), while brilliant in its machinations and calculations not backfire to the detriment of the people.
Nevertheless, it is on Yar'Adua as President to keep the various faultlines that create Nigeria in check, and any blame for the weakening of his ability to do so, rests entirely on his shoulders. That being said, draconian measures by this President will not endear him to the people, nor will the perception that he is weak and incapable of leading, help his cause. This President has a hard job to do, and all well-meaning Nigerians (including this writer) wish him the best. But, for the benefit of Nigeria, this President must produce positive results and manage the various faultlines without creating more. Nigeria definitely does not need any more faultlines, as it has more than enough.
May Gani rest in perfect peace.
Related Articles of Interest:
- Nigeria, Be Careful What You Wish For
- Ribadu's Removal
- Ribadu Demoted; Likely To Be Arrested
- Sabotage: Aondoakaa vs. Ribadu Et. Al.
- Political Soap Operas: Nigerian Style