Date Published: 05/14/10
Adieu Yar’adua, Enters Jonathan By Essien Ndueso
When I stare Nigeria in the face and ask Nigeria what is wrong with you? I am confronted with a no response situation. Nigeria is terribly ill and as my friend Manasseh once wrote in his book Tears of a Nation, the country is in need of urgent deliverance. But again the big question is by whom?
So much of the preambles, the story is simple yet big. The country woke up in the wee hours of Thursday May 7, 2010 to the news of the demise of their President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. It was the very second time an elected or better put a democratically elected leader will die on seat, the first being Alhaji Tafawa Belewa (January 1966). At other times we had Military rulers elected by their fellow battalion members, who died on seat and they were Murtala Mohammed (February 1976) and Sani Abacha (May 1998). In the last two incidents, Abacha died a month to the 1998 World Cup, while Yar’Adua died a month to the 2010 football mundial.
While I still sympathized with my dear President on his unfortunate demise, the mystery surrounding his exit made so many to feel indifferent. Refer to my Letter to Mr. President which was widely published I several tabloids. I did advise the late servant leader to reject the temptation of clinging on to power or being forced to hang on to power. But unfortunately, the so-called cabals refused to allow the man access to my letter or even allow my letter to the late President, and I’m told till date he has not seen such a letter or numerous others written by other well meaning Nigerians. That is a story for another day; for today I wish to join millions of Nigerians in mourning the late statesman and to pray that both Allah and God will grant his soul repose, Amen.
I recall listening to glowing tributes by Nigerians and other world leaders on Late Umaru, recounting his outstanding strides in enforcing the rule of law, electoral reforms and amnesty. They branded him the most humble and sincere leader the country ever had and sang songs of how his vision for the country will greatly be missed (Trust Nigerians to always appreciate their leaders only when they are no more).But the question I ask is who among our leaders is prepared to sustain the legacies and moral values that Umaru stood for? Nobody is talking about that. Rather everyone is now concern on who should be the new Vice President, or where the new VP should come from and where he should not come from etc.
If I am not mistaken, some people have started addressing press conferences, giving directives on where and why the position of VP should go to their communities, yet they forget that the country was still under a seven day mourning period over Late President Yar’Adua. These people forget that even if the dead of Umaru means nothing to them, they should have at least held on to courtesy by honouring him during his period of mourning.
In other world countries, everyone would have been so shocked to start talking about Yar’adua’s successor, but in Nigeria, “life goes on” and “nothing dei happen” take the center stage.
Someone once said that in the Western countries, when a man walks on and meets a brick wall, he either turns back home in disappointment or commits suicide out of frustration; but in Nigeria, a man who meets a brick wall will quickly bring out a ladder, and continue to move on.
The country was sick and because of the super seven heavy loads which the former President attempted to carry, he fell and today is no more. The right thinking members of the public should be more concerned with how to assist the new President to carry the load of the sick country. At least he has started well ( not necessarily because he appointed my uncle as minister) we can all see that the long queues have disappeared from fuel stations, and PMS now goes for N65,task force or no task force. If the same magic wand is extended to the power sector, and the Niger Delta then we can start singing songs about the famous El Dorado.
If as Acting President he could perform the above listed acts, then the time has come for him to come out of his cloak and lead this country to the dream land of its founding fathers, I hope someone is there to remind him that the period of mourning has ended.
To Hon Commissioner For Information
Akwa Ibom State