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I don’t know when President Obasanjo called up Attah and instructed (yes, that’s the word!)

him to end the drama of wanting to be president, since the curtain had been drawn

Umar Musa Yar’Adua

 

 

Will President YarAdua Be Kind?

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

 

About forty days after Mr. Umar Musa Yar’Adua was sworn in as Nigeria’s president and the nation was saturated with loud calls on ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo to leave alone the new man he single-handedly imposed on Nigerians to implement his own ideas and programmes to “move the nation forward”, I published a piece in my newspaper column and on several internet news sites entitled, In Nigeria, Yar’Adua Reigns, Obasanjo Rules, asking those trying to shout our heads off whether they were sure “Yar’Adua himself [was] even desirous and eager to be rid of the overbearing influence of Obasanjo?”

I said:

Is he really ready to take charge? Are we sure that the ‘Servant-leader’ is not even too grateful that Obasanjo’s meddlesome and looming shadow are providing perfect alibi for what is gradually appearing as his stark visionlessness? I would certainly want to know those great ideas of Yar’Adua’s which Obasanjo’s meddlesomeness is preventing him from unfolding! The truth, as we know it, is that Yar’Adua never wanted to be president, and so, he never sat down to draw up anything that vaguely looks like a blueprint for the country’s redemption. When he was conscripted by Obasanjo and imposed on both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigerians at a time elections were merely a couple of weeks away, he was too preoccupied with the thought of winning elections to have any time to concentrate and think about how he would rule Nigeria … it soothes Yar’Adua, [therefore], to still have Obasanjo in charge, while he enjoys the perks of office without the responsibilities that go with them. And at the end of the day, when another four years of devastating failure must have been successfully enacted, Yar’Adua can conveniently come up with the theory that he was not allowed to implement his ‘superior ideas’.

The essay, judging by the reactions it generated, won me many friends who thought that my judgment of the ‘Servant leader’, though too early in the day, could hardly be faulted.

But there were a few who maintained that it was unfair to state like I did that the president (who was barely a month in office) presented the perfect picture of “a pitiably confused leader groping his way through an impenetrably dark alleyway.”  

Well, I have since been vindicated because the crippling directionlessness and benumbing passivity which President Umar Musa Yar’Adua presides over in Abuja today have clearly validated the ‘heresy’ I dared to utter about forty days into his regime, so much so that it has since become a permanent feature in virtually every public commentary or formal and informal discussions on the present regime. Unlike the time I first expressed it, the view has now become all too common and very obvious to elicit any more surprises. In fact, I doubt if it still has the capacity to make the president feel embarrassed.

Okay, I have been proved right, but where has that left us? Nigeria is presently weighed down by so many big problems, but here we are, stuck with a president who can neither be hurried nor bothered that the nation he is supposed to be ruling is dying every day.

Yes, we have a ruler who cannot be made to allow even the slightest hint of urgency in his moves and seems not to have the barest idea of what it means to be perturbed that he had flopped on virtually every promise he had made to the nation. In fact, it does not appear he can even be brought to lose any sleep that he has failed even before he started, and that most Nigerians have since lost every confidence in him. Many are no longer able to feel there is a government in Abuja! What is plastered everywhere are utter hopelessness and despair.

Here is a president who evidently came into office without any ideas, focus, any coherent action plans or even an average understanding of what he was coming to office to accomplish. And so, each time his attention is called to the mounting problems begging for his urgent intervention, he appears startled and looks as if he feels he is being unduly bothered. It looks very much like what he would prefer is to merely sleep through the problems with the blissful hope that he would wake one day to  see all of them solved.

Maybe we should not even blame Yar’Adua, because, come to think about it: what exactly did he promise Nigerians   during his so called campaigns in which he was an imposed, “unwilling” candidate?

Okay, I remember that he kept saying something about “Energy Challenge” which he intended to tackle headlong. But since he came into power, the energy situation has worsened beyond what anyone had imagined was possible in a richly endowed and high-earning country ruled by a human being. The Obasanjo junta had allegedly squandered about $16 billion to plunge Nigeria deeper into thicker darkness, and the toxic revelation had caused Nigerians untold mental torture. But to demonstrate his utter disdain for the feelings of Nigerians on this heartless pillaging of the nation’s resources, and his unambiguous opinion on the astounding revelations at the power probe panel, President Yar’Adua recently appointed three governors (Liyel Imoke, Segun Agagu and Danjuma Goje) who had served as Ministers of Power in that darkest period of Nigeria’s history to serve in the so-called Presidential Implementation Committee on Power.

What this should mean is that in the thinking of the   president, these men deserved to be applauded by all of us for colluding with Obasanjo to ensure the nation remained in impenetrable darkness. What Yar’Adua has dropped is a bold hint on what he would do with the power probe report once it gets to his table.  What an unlucky nation!

If till now there is hardly any evidence that Yar’Adua has been able to achieve an appreciable grasp of the enormous task facing him as Nigeria’s president, then it would be most foolish to hope that he would still not be groping for direction even after two years from now. In fairness to the man, it could well be said that since he had raised no hopes from the beginning till now, no one can justifiably accuse him of dashing any.

But how long can a continuously decaying nation defer its reclamation by endlessly waiting for a president who is yet to start charting a very clear direction?

If Yar’Adua would be kind, that is, to himself and Nigeria, he should put a halt to all these blind pursuits and dumb guesswork, hand in his papers, retire to Katsina in peace, and save the nation further trauma of having to perennially wait for a man who may never be able to either comprehend or respond to the challenges of such a high and strategic office.

Although hangers-on and parasites feeding fat on the grounded system may hold a different view, certainly, the line of action I am recommending to Yar’Adua would attract a kinder verdict from history to him than going on confusedly like a child handed a terribly complicated, strange toy to decode, and traumatizing the whole nation in the process.

Indeed, quitting now would be more redemptive of Yar’Adua’s person than being remembered later as the groping undertaker of a richly endowed but seriously ill nation?    

Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye writes a column for Independent www.independentngonline.com every Wednesday.   scruples2006@yahoo.com 

Important links:  www.ugochukwu.blog.com  /  www.ugochukwu.wordpress.com

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

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#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)  / Gil Scott-Heron & His Music  Gil Scott Heron Blue Collar  Remember Gil Scott- Heron

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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posted 15 June 2008 

 

 

 

Home    Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye Table

Related files: Yar' Adua May Happen Again In Nigeria  Yar Adua Reigns, Obasanjo Rules  Now, Will President Yar'Adua Be Kind

After The Obasanjo Primaries  Nigerian Elections 2007    Dinner From A Lagos Dustbin   Oil Wars in the Niger Delta