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And now, President Turai!

By ochereome Nnanna
GODWIN Daboh Adzuana is one man most serious Nigerians have learnt to ignore, no matter how hard he tries to draw attention to himself. After a brief stint as an “anti-corruption” crusader in the late 1970s in which he tangled with the founding father of Middle Belt politics, Dr. Joseph Tarka in the “you Tarka me, I Daboh you” episode, Adzuana turned into a political irritant.

Since Senator Arthur Nzeribe invented mercenary politics in Nigeria following the 1992 presidential primaries of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) in which he and others lost to the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua, Adzuana became one of those who caught the bug.

President Umaru Yar'adua closely following the First Lady, Hajiya Turai Yar'adua on their arrival from a medical trip abroad at the Presidential Wing, Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
President Umaru Yar'adua closely following the First Lady, Hajiya Turai Yar'adua on their arrival from a medical trip abroad at the Presidential Wing, Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida

Under almost every president who has ruled the affairs of this country, Daboh has jumped into the fray early in the political season to either campaign for the sitting president’s self-succession or tenure elongation, rather than burn his enormous energy and deploy his busy-body talents in seeking elected political office.

He seems to have come into the game a bit behind some people; new faces who want President Yar’ Adua to run for a second term in office as if the President needs persuading. And when Adzuana finally made his move, he came out with a surprise.

In an interview he granted to the Sun on Monday, August 24, 2009, he owned up to the generally shared view that President Yar’ Adua has failed the leadership test and should not even bother to contest the 2011 presidential election. That was a departure from his past record of asking for more tenures for presidents irrespective of their performance.

Hear him: “I tend to support what some people are saying that Mrs Yar Adua will be a more effective president than her husband. Of course, I will support her if she is fielded…Nigerians will support his wife because the woman has shown clearly that she has what it takes to lead mankind and there is nothing wrong with a husband handing over to a wife who is very effective”.

The same Godwin Adzuana who argues in one breath that the presidency was zoned to the North and not Katsina, in another breath advocates for the transfer of power from husband to wife, perhaps because the presidency was zoned to the Yar’ Aduas!

The only valid point Daboh made was that Yar’Adua is a failed president. Asking for power to be taken from him and handed over to his wife while the man is still alive is the greatest putdown any man can get.

If First Lady Turai becomes President, Umaru will turn into Nigeria’s First Gentleman! Twenty seven months after taking over as President, the nation has been driving in reverse gear.

He seems incapable of asserting control over his own cabinet where ministers are doing exactly as they like and none of them is noted for any spark of achievement in their respective areas. Even those who came with track records of achievement, like Mrs. Dora Akunyili, have sunk into complete ordinariness so closely associated with Yar’Adua-ism.

Perhaps the most disturbing attribute of the Yar’Adua presidency is this increasing tendency to close-circuit nepotism, in which any person from either branch of the Yar’Adua/Turai family in Katsina looking for a job repairs to Aso Villa and gets it. The outcries against this even from Northerners are completely ignored.

The sad thing, though, is that Nigerians will sit by and allow Umaru Yar’Adua win another term in office. Only death will stand between him and a second term. Our political destiny is not in our hands.

The same way we sat by and watched former president Obasanjo pick and throw him down our throat is the way we are going to watch Umaru stretchered back to power in 2011.


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