Friday, January 22, 2010

The missing commander-in-chief.

Some of us are saying that "it took them long enough," while some are asking what next for Nigeria after the Nigerian Cabinet was ordered by the federal court to decide within 14 days if President Umaru Yar'Adua is fit to rule the country.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the situation, the Nigerian President, who suffers from kidney disease is reportedly being treated for heart disease in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. He left the country on November 23, 2009.
When I first became aware of the fact that the President had left to get medical treatment from Saudi Arabia, I thought it was a joke. I have never heard of anyone going to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, even residents and citizens of Saudi Arabia travels abroad for medical treatment, the king comes to the U.S. for medical checkups so what on earth made the people around Yar'Adua thinks that Saudi Arabia was the best place for him to receive treatment, I would have guessed that he was going on his last Hajj since he is a Muslim but medical treatment, only in Nigeria.
Before leaving the country, Mr. Yar'Adua did not sign an executive order that would have handed power albeit temporarily to his Vice President, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. There have been various reports and rumors since he's left, some says he's dead and his wife is orchestrating a big cover up. Some say he's in a coma, while others especially Nigerian politicians are insisting that he's as healthy as you and I, and they would have us believe that he's just resting in a presidential suite somewhere taking a break from governing.
 it is all well and good for him to take a break, who doesn't need one from time to time, and I can well `imagine trying to govern a country like Nigeria, but for two months without anyone catching a glimpse of him. I guess stranger things have happened, but a complete absence has not improved the country he left behind.
With the way Nigeria is and being conscious of the history and racial tensions, it is not a surprise that no one is quite sure of what to do, and the fact that all our political leaders are corrupt embezzlers who have good reasons not to trust each other and anyone is also a factor.
Nothing rarely surprises me about Nigeria anymore but even I am surprised by how long this has gone on for and the complacency of all involved. If he is alive and well like Dora Akinluyi, his spokesperson will have us believe, then why not put him on a web cam if he is too ill to stand in front of a full camera, I don't think they've heard the saying "seeing is believing." They want 150 million people to take their word for it, that's a whole lot of faith in people who haven't done anything to earn it. Someone told me that he doesn't have to proof anything to anyone but I say to the poor deluded people thinking the same, that he does, a president cannot just disappear, even in Nigeria. He has a moral obligation to the office he has sworn to uphold, and to the people of the country.
Perhaps the best case for the remover of the President is the disastrous and inadequate response to the attempted terror attack by a Nigerian national aboard a flight headed for Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009. It wasn't until days after the incident and not until when the United States put Nigeria on the terror watch list alongside countries like Pakistan and Yemen that you couldn't get Ms. Akinluyi off the news protesting the innocence of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Recently a group of militants from the Niger Delta, killed a Nigerian guard and kidnapped a couple of foreign workers. Incidents like this attack shouldn't be happening because the militants were given amnesty by the President, but when the guy who could call them out is no where to be found, what do you expect.
This past week, chaos reigned in Jos, when the city's Christian and Muslim gangs decided to stage their own version of religious war, the military is now in charge of the city. Nothing about this latest religious battle is new to anyone familiar with Nigeria but the absence of a leader and recent events makes these events seem all the more sinister. 
What next for Nigeria indeed?
Yetunde Adu.

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