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Yar’Adua/ Jonathan impasse: Hand of Esau, voice of Jacob

By Gab Ejuwa
SHEHU Musa Yar’Adua’s personality, even from his days as the Governor of  Katsina State, coalesced as blithely tepid, if not altogether innately colourless.
Although sporting a happy-go-lucky self-effacement, the man who became President couldn’t have said “boo”to a goose. Neither could anyone have accused him of nursing the vaulting Macbethan ambition of becoming the first citizen of  a geopolitical labyrinth called Nigeria.  I could have betted that the greatest ambition this man   had was to be a professor of chemistry or a vice chancellor in one of the new universities springing up by the minute all over the land.

But then the Dr. Victor Frankenstein of our own clime and time, a certain chicken farmer from Otta, came -calling and that initial moderate ambition of Yar’Adua had to take a soaring flight to the high heavens for Frankenstein saw in him a puppet ripe for manipulation, a puppet to be put on a string and dexterously fiddled with to accomplish his third term agenda.

That was the beginning of both the formal and the informal indoctrination which the Otta Frankenstein injected into Yar’Adua. And Yar’Adua having been sworn in other forms of indoctrination, filtered in.

That is the background against which I would like to interpret and evaluate President Yar’Adua’s refusal to devolve power to the Vice President to act as the dejure President and other appurtenant issues.

To start with, it is crystal- clear by now that our so-called democracy is being operated independent of the enabling document: The Nigerian Constitution. In fact, Nigeria is being run like the personal estate of the PDP, whose quest for party cohesion and unity is to continue its vigorous pursuance at the expense of national security and sovereignty.

Therefore, to this party it is not important whether this nation explodes or implodes, provided the party’s parochial interests are well-enshrined, provided party members continue to swell the rank of continental millionaires through criminally – overpriced and dubious contracts, provided the PDP continues to enjoy its roller-coaster run even if the nation does not make any progress.

And this is monumentally tragic and shortsighted. In a situation where the constitution is so clear on who runs the nation when the president is indisposed, it is galling, nay, exasperating to hear that some people are talking about conditions.

Furthermore, and certainly more exasperatingly, Nigeria is being governed as Yar’Adua’s personal property! When this President took the oath of office some years ago, he promised to defend the Constitution and the sovereignty of the nation.

He has since reneged on his words, pandering to subterranean interests, not the national interest. Scampering abroad like a truant child out of school for whatever reason on taxpayers’ money without the courtesy and decency of informing us of his whereabouts, without doing the constitutional imperative of handing over to Goodluck Jonathan convict Yar’Adua of trampling on our laws. A lawless president is guilty of treasonable felony. That he is more often than not out of office – when he is supposed to be working diligently at his desk – is more treason, forget the sentimental reason.

At least, we didn’t beg him to be our president. When he took on the job, he knew  what he was getting into. That he accepted the job  implied that he had agreed to do all that the Constitution and indeed Nigerians require of  him.

That is why all those people mouthing the verbiage that Yar’Adua’s critics are not patriotic must first ascertain their own intelligence and patriotism. If they display allegiance, to just one person, what about 140 million others who are crying and suffering, then they need to double-check their patriotism. It is the critics that are actually patriotic, in fact, since the fortune and health of the entire nation is infinitely superior to that of just one man.

Now to the main issue. The refusal of Yar’Adua to allow the Vice President  act as President did not come as a surprise to me for the simple fact that the man remains loyal to his party’s shenanigans and sentiments. In the first place, to be the president had not been his own personal decision.

He was the creation of the Nigerian Dr. Frankenstein who is still a kingmaker in his own right. And there are other vested interests closer to the president. On whether he agrees or not to allow Jonathan, I think we are missing the point here.

We shouldn’t  look up to him for permission. The Constitution has already permitted us to put in the VP. This dalliance actually demonstrates the Black man’s pretentiousness and ambiguity: We claim to be obedient to laws and regulations and when it is time to demonstrate this obedience we put up all kinds of flimsy excuses. The White world claims that we cannot obey simple laws and  regulations and they seem to be vindicated at every turn.

Mr. Ejuwa, a journalist, writes from Lagos.


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