Sunday, May 9, 2010

Umaru Musa Yar'adua, An Epilogue of Sorts.

That the man Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has died, is not news. Anyone who is a student of history, did I just use that cliche, would know that if you fail to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you, you would end up repeating them.

I am sure none of us prayed for Yar'Adua's illness  to progress the way it did, we did not expect him to die, but he did.I can say without fear of contradiction, that none of us wished him dead, I was in a church service where we prayed for him to recover. What lessons can we learn from all that happened. 

We are used to our leaders going for medical check up abroad, the State pays for it. It is the obligation of the State.What I would like us to consider is the role played by Hajia Turai Yar'Adua, in what then degenerated into a tragicomedy that gave a new meaning to absurdity.

Answering the following questions would hep us locate the event properly. Does a sitting president belong to his immediate family, or to Nigeria ? Is his wife supposed to determine who should see him, or not, in sickness or in health ? When he died, was an autopsy conducted on his body to determine the cause of death ?

Is an elected president the property of his family, or does he belong to the nation. In my 'myopic' eye, I believe that he belongs to the nation, until he resigns, ends his tenure,or impeached from office. Even after these, the Nation still has certain irrefutable obligatory responsibilities to him. What we witnessed with  'Yar'Aduagate' was a show in shame, as unbelievable as unbelievable can be. If he were an imperial monarch, then the rules of engagement would be different.

His wife kept the whole nation in the dark, there were no daily,weekly, or periodic reports on the state of our President's health. Nowhere in the world, except in a Banana Republic could this have happened.Even President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, a longtime, sit- tight, undemocratic ruler, after his surgery was shown on television recuperating.

Second item on the show in shame was that she did not allow access to the President. One would assume that the President's doctor would be the one to make this call, some governors went, a delegation of the National Assembly were rebuffed, and when it was convenient for them, I believe they digitally morphed a statement from the ailing president to the effect that he was getting better. When did we become so enamored  with the BBC that we would choose to speak to them instead of our beloved Nigerian Television Authority. It is because they had something to hide.

To compound the infamy, they smuggled him in like some contraband in the dead of the night, it was like watching Jack Bauer on 24 hours.They reduced the Nigerian Army to some type of private 'maigadi'(security man) They called out troops without the consent of the acting Commander in Chief, Goodluck Jonathan.They knew the endgame was at hand.

We thought things would change when he was brought home, but the shame continued. The man who was elected with Umaru Musa Yar'Adu, the then 'Acting' President, was not allowed to see him until his death. If anyone had a right to see him, it was Goodluck Jonathan. 

Their intention had been to keep Yar'Adua in seclusion, and begin to rule in his name, like some oracle. It is said in law that you cannot approbate, and reprobate, at the same time. Meaning you cannot accept, and reject at the same time: but this the did continuously.
They spent Nigeria's money to keep Nigeria's President, Yar'Adua, in Saudi Arabia, they were ensconced in the presidential villa at our cost, and they did not deem it fit to brief us, they claimed it was a private affair:I refuse to agree, the President swore to uphold, and defend, the Constitution of Nigeria, this means that he is a servant of the Constitution, not his family, not even of himself, and definitely not his wife's.

And then he died. And we, as we must, because we are human,we mourned him. My immediate feeling was for us to leave his corpse for his wife alone.Since we were not worthy to see him when he was ill, who were we, mere unworthy mortals now, to now participate in his obsequies. But, to their shame, we did. We did, because we had truly suffered a loss; we did, because we had always maintained the moral high ground.
We did not cry tears of joy, we were truly truly sad. We felt his loss deeply; we felt it because he had truly, genuinely,deep down, belonged to us! He was Our President.  

And finally, they buried him. Was there an autopsy?  Did we have a right to know what Our President had died of ? Nope! The disdain continued. 
It is like someone informing you that your crops were not doing well, and because of that he cleared the whole farm, and set fire to it all. You were not even allowed to see for yourself, to verify. What if he had actually harvested, and sold everything?

I have asked these questions for the sake of posterity. Our generation has failed this particular exam; my wish,and prayer, is that our children, in their own time ,would not.

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