This rubbish has to end. What rubbish you might ask? The bastardization of our dear country by our leaders and their cronies who are guilty of gross misuse of their powers and office is the rubbish that has to end. Uncle Umaru as I like to address him is someone I have not had the honour of meeting so it’s a shame that my conclusion that he is a smart man influenced by negative characters is based on hearsay. Wole Soyinka, a great pride to our land, who also serves as an inspiration of mine, said in that infamous CNN interview “I’ve met Yar’Adua. He’s not a stupid man, he’s an intelligent man”. In short that Yar’Adua is believed to be a wise man. My question is how can such a wise man be surrounded by such pathetic fellows as Michael Aondoakaa and Ojo Maduekwe? Next and Guardian newspapers are my news bibles concerning issues like Nigeria so pardon the possible bias. Aunty Turai (Uncle Umaru’s wife and our first lady) has been portrayed by the media as being the person in control of the state of affairs in the country. How true this is I am not sure but I suspect it’s closer to the truth than falsehood.
It is no secret that Goodluck Jonathan was appointed Acting President a few weeks back. His rise to power is well documented so that is a story that I do not need to dwell upon today. One of his first moves as Acting President was pushing the much derided Aondoakaa from the Justice ministry to that of Special Duties. He also banned congratulatory advertising and gratuitous messages to the Villa under the umbrella of solidarity. He also turned his focus to the issue of Amnesty in the Niger Delta. I was actually planning on writing an article praising Goodluck for making in such a short time what I saw as the most progressive decision of this administration(Aondoakaa’s demotion) and wishing him good luck (he already has it, doesn’t he? Lol) but unfortunately that write up never saw the light of the day. However, happenstance in the past week has diverted the attention from Goodluck thus indirectly preventing him from carrying out his duties as effectively as possible. In polite words, a happening within the last few days has rendered this week a wasted one in terms of governance. That happening (If you didn’t know) is the return of the man described by Next as the ‘phantom president’ from Saudi Arabia. As if Aunty Turai and her lot were annoyed at the seeming show of progress, Yar’ Adua was smuggled back into the country on February 24. It is also rumoured that Yar’ Adua was asked to leave the country by the Saudis so as to prevent an impending diplomatic row. The following day under the headline “Turai takes charge” Next reported “Since returning her critically ill husband to the country in the dead of the night yesterday, Turai Yar'Adua has in the last twenty-four hours effectively seized control of the apparatus of government, shoving aside Goodluck Jonathan and unilaterally causing a reversal of the decision by the National Assembly to name him Acting President. She has a combination of factors working to her advantage: on the one hand, her husband is back in the country and expected to resume Presidential functions; on the other, the state of his health renders him incapable of exercising any presidential authority, automatically creating a vacuum for a proxy.” Sadly, since Uncle Umaru’s alleged return the nation has been thrust back into the Dark ages. My referral to his return as ‘alleged’ stems from the fact that Uncle Umaru has failed to make a public appearance and has not been seen by any credible source. Media reports suggest he is being kept in an ambulance that is designed to serve as a temporary refuge while an Intensive Care Unit is installed at the State House that would subsequently house him. The fact that Uncle Umaru has not been seen by Goodluck or any of the numerous aides in Aso Rock is cause for serious headache. How can a president be so treated as a private citizen and shielded from his lieutenants and the public? What type of rubbish is this? No one can even ascertain the President’s condition. This year, we turn 50 as a politically independent country and it is most evident that instead of moving forward, we are progressively in regression. Until the 2000s, we could hold elections which might not have been totally free and fair but were relatively reflective of public opinion. It is rare to find countries whose leaders disappear into thin air and fail to inform their people. We are a country in regression. We have failed steadily at sporting events that we dominated in the past. Even the few we have succeeded in have been flawed by fielding over aged athletes. Consider this: My numerous attempts at studying my father’s Thisweek magazine collection made me aware of the fact that during his tenure as our leader Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida spent sometime away from the country to attend to some health issues. In Babangida’s case, Nigerians were informed right from the beginning till he was discharged. His itinerary was even made public. This oversaw a point of intense prayer activity amongst religious institutions. Why couldn’t the same be done in this scenario? The only answer is that our gradual regression has taken the better of us and helped us lower our standards.
From my knowledge of Social Studies I know that in the past corrupt and inefficient leaders were an exception. Unfortunately now they are the rule. Hearing Femi Kuti say that he refuses to praise Governor Fashola for his progressive activities as Lagos state Governor because it is his obligation as Governor to implement such policies and not a favour to Lagosians is also evidence that in today’s times good governance is a rarity which explains why Fashola is commended so glowingly. Take a look at our past leaders from Nnamdi Azikiwe to Uncle Umaru and that is proof that the concept of moving forward is foreign to Nigerian politics. If my knowledge of History serves me well there has never been a time where we have been this lost. When you consider that the idea of a ‘phantom President’ is cause for laughter even among third world nations the only rational conclusion is that we are in deep mess.
It has always been my belief that people who hold positions of power are the most able people at stimulating change. Barrack Obama was able to become the first black American Leader because he spoke nothing but the truth and it resonated with the people. Dora Akunyili attempted to remind us why we hold her so dear when she rattled the likes of Aondoakaa by telling her colleagues in the Federal Executive Council that the lying on the condition of the president be brought to a halt. Credible names in government like our dear Aunty Dora need to repay the goodwill from us by fighting for the truth and making it a point of duty to give us nothing but the truth. Our journalists need to go the extra mile and get that scoop that we have been long awaiting. From my movie watching experiences I know of things called bugs or hidden cameras which can be put into effect in this quest for the truth. The photographers need to climb trees and ensure that they get the pictures that would ensure that Nigerians know the truth. Our regression ends now.
P.S Aunty Turai, I am sure you know that a coup took place in Niger Republic recently and the leader was deposed. You are not coup proof so please make the right decision and back off as some people are tired of the rubbish history is making out of you.