The Last Days of Umaru Yar Adua

Adeola A.

One fateful day in Nov 2009 Yar Adua was flown to Saudi Arabia in emergency mode. What could have been a national sympathy was turned into a national tragedy when the wife and associates of Umaru Yar Adua (UMYA) decided to toy and play politics with the entire situation.

From that fateful day in Nov until his final demise on March 6 2010, UMYA was not seen in public. The only report that he was heard on BBC early this year was not verified.

Turai lied to Nigerians about the status of UMYA’s health. Knowing that the man was helpless and probably unconscious she constantly fed lies into the national and international news media.

Without knowing the truth and being unable to trust Turai, Nigerians made up their own news and speculations. Yar Adua was rumoured and reported dead time and time again in Nigeria and on the web. In one American comedy show Yar Adua was reported to be secretly dead. There are some Nigerians who think that Yar Adua died since Nov 2009. Since no one saw him alive since then or heard him in public that hypothesis remains valid to those who proposed it.

Towards the end of the sickling games played by Turai and her accomplices who by now should be on trial for deceiving Nigerians and performing all kinds of unconstitutional acts, some unreliable religious rulers in Nigeria were paid to tell lies about the status of Yar Adua’s health. And lied they did!

At one point, documents were forged by the then useless and worthless Attorney General of Nigeria, Mr. Aondoakaa and other greedy nuisance in public offices, claiming that the documents were signed by Yar Adua-the man who was motionless and unconscious. Mr. Aondoakaa at the height of his own craziness told the world that UMYA can rule from anywhere-sick bed, toilet and what have you. He was close to telling sane people that Nigeria could have a dead man as a president.

What is more important? The health of one man or the lives of 150m others? It beats me when greed and politics make people so silly and senseless.

Anyway, for 6 months, we were left to speculate as no official or open information were made available by Turai to explain the nature of UMYA health and status. In the past when UMYA had the opportunity to be open and explicit, he chose his words carefully or he hid them. In the beginning actually he lied. He never played any game of squash. It was impossible.

Rumours had it that the German doctors wanted him to resign from office so that they can help him to treat his conditions and that he could get rest from public life after the treatment. It was mentioned that he neglected the advice and went to seek help from Brazil and eventually Saudi Arabia. It must be that he was stubborn or that he had bad advisers around him. Between public office and being able to manage a worrying health condition, what could have been more important?

We are humans, when we die; it is like taking a cup of water from a bucket of water. The impact of our exit is unnoticed. A little ripples and it’s over. Life goes on. Beyond our immediate family, life will remain normal for the rest of the world. What do we live for? Some people don’t even have families, yet they appreciate life with the warmth and company of the people around them.

Since Turai had a mission that the rest of us will never really understand or comprehend she kept 150m people in the dark by ensuring that almost no news filtered out of Saudi Arabia and the hospitals where UMYA laid, invariably unaware of his environment.

When Nigerians were protesting “enough is enough” I was quick to point out that they were wrong to direct their messages to UMYA. The man at that time was totally unaware of what is going on in Nigeria. At that time, he had become a hostage for turai, Aondoakaa and all the other stupid kitchen cabinet of UMYA. Even one Mr. Segun Adeniyi was talking from the 2 sides of his mouth.

For 6 months (Nov 2009-May 2010), evil was on the rise and the main actor was not even aware. In my quiet time, I was full of rage and I felt so sorry for the man. He made several mistakes and there was no point of return.

He came into office illegally. He sustained the illegality with the upside down wisdom of Aondoakaa and the stolen wealth of Ibori continued to work wonders. He had an unnecessary 7 points agenda and barely fulfilled one. He promised an emergency in the power sector. Nothing happened because he did nothing in that direction. The lists are endless of what he didn’t do. Nigeria needs a strong man in strong health in strong institutions because of the nature of our peculiarities and problems. Even if we don’t need strong men, we need strong institutions. With UMYA it was triple jeopardy.

Unfortunately in the end game he became a victim, like the rest of us. Truth is constant. In public life we must not be afraid. We must say the truth. It is bitter and it will cost some of us a lot but sacrifices must be made otherwise there will be no victories. History is full of real stories of how a few good men helped to shape the course of human history. When they were absent and no one did anything, we know what happened.

At that point of no return, UMYA could have died a decent man in his village. But his wife didn’t allow that to happen. She smuggled a whole president into Nigeria in the early hours of the morning another fateful day in February 2010. If ghost stories are real, Turai will be in real soup by now. She turned her sick husband to an exhibition to the chosen few, at a huge cost.

Why didn’t she take UMYA to Katsina? She brought him back to Aso rock for reasons best known to her. Is it about money? Is it about political power? Who can tell her motives? Were these her decisions or the suggestions of those who she cannot disclose? Whatever the case, she made a mess of an already sour situation.

And to imagine the Nigeria scenario-“siddon look” approach. People laid back and watch from a distance as usual. Even Jonathan did not see UMYA since Nov 2010.

And the man died! When he died will be a subject of debate. I have read and listen to many comments and theories. It didn’t have to be this way.

UMYA fell sick because his condition worsened in Nov 2009. Why and how that suddenly became a final journey into his secret exit from earth are questions that Turai will explain if she likes to.

If she doesn’t, we will never know. We will pin our guesses on her greed for power and money. We will continue to think that she didn’t brace up early for life after Aso Rock. Human memory are really short and shattered! Who is talking about Mariam Babangida today? Where is Marian Abacha? People come and people go, good or bad.

What lessons are we going to learn about this story of a woman who became obsessed with power and money (my guesses until she opens up)? I have an answer. Mr and Mrs Jonathan should start planning for life after the presidency. It is the law of existence that political power or statuses are transient-they come and go. I don’t know how many things last forever.

People should not cry for what doesn’t belong to them. When you go borrowing, be prepared to pay back. Don’t kill to avoid paying back as that will only increase your sorrow. Work hard to live beyond the days of your debts. If you can, don’t borrow at all.

Life is a lesson. It remains a stage with all kinds of possible actors.

We must constantly remind ourselves that we brought nothing into this world and we will leave with nothing. With such thoughts, we will learn to live our lives with contentment knowing that greed, selfishness, corruption and insatiable desires will only multiply our unhappiness and sorrows.

We all make mistakes but not learning from our mistakes and those of others is a great disservice to posterity.

Nigeria and Nigerians must learn from the last days of UMYA. If we didn’t learn anything at all, our glory days will never return to us. Never!

PDP-Making a fool of us

Adeola A.

In PDP-21st century Nigeria, they have a zoning system for presidency and presidential candidates.

It is the most stupid thing you can imagine and it is a reflection of brainless thoughts.

If the PDP principle works out, what it means that Nigeria should never be conducting presidential elections. This is how it works.

From 1999-2007 Obasanjo a southerner was the president of Nigeria. From 2007-2015 Mr. Yar Adua (may his soul rest in peace) should be the president of Nigeria. From 2015-2023 an Igboman or someone from the East or South East should be the president. So it means conducting elections (assuming that Nigeria becomes a one-party state) will be senseless and stupid altogether.

If you think about these things and if it works out this way, it shows nothing but extremely low intelligence or the absence of it in the Nigerian political scene. It is one of those things I classify as classical insanity/ madness of Nigerian politics.

According to this evil manifesto of the PDP- the unfortunate party of Mr. Jonathan-Mr Jonathan is living on a borrowed presidency. They mean that he must vacate the seat in 2011 so that a man from the north of Nigeria can finish the terms of Mr. Yar Adua. No greater senselessness!

I don’t pity Goodluck and his new predicament. He came and rose to power through the PDP. He knows what’s in for him and I’m sure his biggest dilemma now is how to change the status quo. That is his headache.

For Nigerians, our headache is how to prevent such a useless and senseless way of thinking to become a permanent way of life for us.

Rotational presidency is rubbish. It is very undemocratic and anti-progressive. Unfortunately it was this excuse that was used to perpetrate the criminal-mode elections that brought Jonathan and Yar Adua to power in 2007. Yar Adua is gone, to rest. This leaves us with Jonathan as the president we never voted for.

I will always wish Mr. Jonathan all the Goodluck in his name. But even luck does run out. Nigerians are talking about electoral reforms. But the PDP which unfortunately happens to posses many strongholds is now the biggest problem we have. Invariably Mr. Jonathan will appoint a northerner as the Vice president. This is PDP’s legacy and the way of Nigerian politicians-doing things that will benefit only the political class who have held Nigeria/Nigerians hostage for 50 years.

In an ideal world Mr. Jonathan will appoint a selfless person and a person who is intelligent to tackle the problems of Nigeria. He should be looking for an active man who will work together with him to see how they can move Nigeria forward, at least one step since 1960.

But that is far from what we have on ground. Merits can go to hell! In Nigeria, some people, usually called the cabal are now arranging how to present a VP to Mr. Jonathan the same way that Jonathan himself was presented to Yar Adua by the Obasanjo-led junta. The same cycle of idiocy is rehearsed and repeated. Welcome to Nigeria!

The ultimate task is to wipe out that useless policy of rotational presidency because if we continue to live by that mechanism, we only confirm that political posts are a means to loot, steal and plunder the wealth of Nigeria.

All political parties should allow free flowing democracy that is devoid of zoning. At every opportunity every candidate irrespective of their origin in Nigeria should be allowed to contest freely for offices and positions as long as they are qualified and not found wanting in a criminal court of law.

Are there people with brains in the PDP? Let them speak up now against this evil against man and nature. It is devilish to zone offices, much so the office of the presidency.

The other options that I mentioned in a post long time ago is the strengthening of the opposition party. Rather that proliferate like the babies of rats, the opposition parties should propose a coalition with viable manifesto and wrestle power from the PDP.

This is where fairplay and the influence of Mr. Goodluck will be tested in the forth coming elections either as a candidate for the PDP if the wicked party abandons its zoning system and allow reason to prevail OR as an observer now tired of pushing his luck too far.

In Nigeria, anything can happen. What looks so certain is that we will get a VP, who like Mr. Goodluck, will not be appointed or elected on merits. Of all the names that have popped up, I fancy no one. I don’t fancy Nigerian politicians when at the time you expect much from them; they give you little or nothing.

Our future is always in our hands. The realities of our lives still stare at us. In the midst of plenty, millions are starving. The basic things of life continue to elude millions. Unemployment remains rife. Education is at an all time low, basic health care is still luxurious , social infrastructure in general are damned and the overall quality of our lives despite the combined wealth from oil and natural resources remains despicable and pitiable.

Nigeria is not a poor country. There is enough in this country for everyone if we tackle greed, nepotism, corruption, ineptitude, sycophancy and selfishness in both public and private places.

Our lives and our future will continue to be in our hands and the outcomes will always depend on what we do or neglect.