Nigeria: Umaru Yar’adua is “Dead”

President Umaru Yar’Adua is “DEAD”! imageIn my mind, President Umaru Yar’Adua is “DEAD”! Unless proven otherwise Nigerians can assume their president is dead! Read my lips! D- E – A – D.

Local and international media are coming round to the realisation that something serious has happened to the Nigeria President, The president is missing. The executive chair is empty, the in-tray overflowing, a vacuum exists and 150 million people are crying out for leadership and they waiting for the first person to break the sad news.

The UK Guardian, writing on the crisis enveloping Nigeria, amidst rumours swirling around the health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, not seen in public for 47 days is reporting that Umaru Yar’adua is missing.

NEXT headlined that Nigeria has effectively entered a post-Yar’Adua administration era, the Newspaper adds: “according to impeccable sources, contrary to the much reported news of President Umaru Yar’adua’s improved health, he is, in reality, seriously brain-damaged and unable to recognise anyone including his wife, Turai”.

With a president missing for almost fifty days now, this whole affair has turned ridiculous, even internationally ridiculous one human rights group has suggested that Yar’adua be declared a missing person and a search party sent out to find him.

Rachel Maddow of the MSNBC tongue-in-cheek questioned recently whether he is “secretly dead.”  Watch:    http://www.msnbc. 26315908/ #34776280     (Republished here)

It is time for Nigerians to realise that they have lost their president!

According to NEXT, investigations reveal that people in government, including the president’s principal private secretary, ministers, and governors, have not been allowed to see the president since he was rushed out of the country for medical attention in Saudi Arabia 48 days ago.

On the other hand, Mrs. Yar’Adua and a specially selected team, made up of two security and two civilian aides, and some government officials, have orchestrated a series of disinformation to the Nigerian people in an effort to shroud the true state of the president’s health.

They are doing this “to buy time to manipulate the selection of a successor to Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan. The cabal apparently wants a friendly Vice President who will protect Mr. Yar’adua’s interests.

Interestingly, since Umaru Yar’Adua boarded a jet to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. Since then, No one has reported having seen him or spoken to him in the first person.

 All we hear is the Information Minister SAID that Jonathan Goodluck SAID, the Nigerian ambassador to Saudi Arabia SAID the president spoke to someone and two others for Four (4) Minutes.

Dem say Dem say; Dora say, Goodluck say, ambassador say!

How sick is the president? What is the progress report? Can he communicate?  What is he saying or thinking? No one knows, no one can tell you. All you hear are these strange stories!

More than six weeks ago, Yar’Adua left the country to be treated for a heart condition, reportedly in Saudi Arabia. The 58-year-old devout Muslim took off without informing the legislature and did not transfer power to his deputy.

Africa’s most populous country has become a rudderless ship despite a series of urgent issues, including the arrest of the Nigerian al-Qaida suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, charged with attempting to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day.

Consequently, President Barack Obama is there speaking for America and blacklisted Nigeria as a Country to watch; “a country of interest” in the fight against terrorism; there is no one of equal stature to speak for Nigeria, because the President is “dead” but the hawks around him insist his deputy cannot take over; in the words of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, “even for one second”.

Yar’adua’s absence has created a headless state and a sea of awkward constitutional questions. His absence has left the ship sinking in a sea of illegalities. Yar’adua’s allies are covering for his absence by forging his signature on the country’s supplementary budget.

We demand proof that the president is still alive. I suggest that he record a dated video statement or take part in a live TV or radio phone-in.

According to NEXT, It is strange that in an administration that is noteworthy for its political jostling and aggrandisement, not one person has had the courage or presence of mind to seize control of the situation. Everyone is sitting around twiddling thumbs and thoroughly confused about exactly what to do next. Small cabals and cliques are being formed and all we hear are of clandestine meetings in the middle of the night.

Goodluck Jonathan, the acting President, has been prominent only by his reticence, awkwardness, and an acute awareness that he appears to be the wrong man at the wrong time for the job. The Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, has been at his ignorant best in his public declarations of the constitutional protocol that ought to be observed in the President’s absence. His bizarre proclamation that “the president can rule from anywhere” is likely haunt him forever.

Nigerian politicians should be aware of what happened in Guinea, where the president died and a resulting vacuum as presently obtained in Nigeria made the military to take over government. 

According to reports, Nigerian governors have realised that if they continue to insist that there is no need for an acting president and some people capitalize on this and truncate democracy all of them would lose out.

To pre-empt this, it was gathered, the governors want Jonathan to be made the acting president, pending the return of Yar’Adua. According to the source, the governors reasoned that this has become necessary so that nobody would say that there is a vacuum in the Presidency.

Last week reported of murmurings, restlessness and clandestine meetings in the military. Ibrahim Babangida, at a time when he ought to be mourning his wife, reportedly spent the festive period consulting with various military factions to stave off a possible coup.

Nigerians must really be a gullible lot. We are being asked to believe that Yar’adua has sufficient wherewithal to sign a document but not the strength to make a phone call or a video recording to tell a 150 million that he’s doing ok.

The signature is quite rightly being investigated for possible forgery. It is time for Nigerians to realise that we have entered into Post-Yar’adua era.

Goodluck Jonathan, the vice-president, who has been heading cabinet meetings, should immediately assume executive powers. Acting as president when executive powers have not officially been transferred to him makes the decisions made by the government in the absence of Yar’adua illegal.

Nigeria, a country of more than 200 ethnic groups that emerged from military rule only a decade ago, can ill afford a power vacuum. Two outbreaks of violence involving Islamic radicals in the past six months have been ruthlessly crushed by security forces, leaving hundreds dead.

An uneasy truce is holding in the oil-producing Niger Delta but last month armed men who attacked a pipeline blamed the president’s absence for delaying the peace process. Nigeria is locked in a diplomatic row with the US following new security restrictions on the country’s air passengers as a result of the terror plot.

The UK Guardian quoting Antony Goldman, head of PM Consulting, a London-based risk analysis firm specialising in west Africa, said: “The efforts made by the president’s people to say everything is fine are counterproductive. They haven’t even been able to produce a picture of him. A picture would speak a million words.”

According to Sehu Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress in Nigeria, said: “”The absence of Mr President is spreading both anxiety and apprehension and creating an atmosphere for underground power struggle and machination that could at any moment be aggravated. The vice-president is a lame duck: weak, indecisive and now surrounded by vultures from the ruling party urging him to assert himself, but their loyalty can change back to Yar’Adua if he recovers and returns to the saddle.”

No doubt, the people in power acquiesce to the status quo because a cabal of ministers and top government officials are benefiting from the absence of Yar’Adua as his policy of due process, prudence and fiscal responsibility is without a pilot. The extent of looting and carting away of properties including gold inside Aso Rock, according to reports is unprecedented.

It is time to say: enough is enough!