Monday, 10 March 2014
The Resurrection Of “Nurse Piri” Of Aso Rock By Akin Omo Akin
History has a way of reminding us of the past, even if we are not really keen about the issues brought before us.
I read not too long ago a piece written by Kunle Sowunmi, where he presented a view during the heydays of former First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, at the Nigerian seat of power in Aso Rock. In his analogy, Nurse piri was carefully chosen to illustrate a point.
Nurse Piri was one of the television comedy shows by International Jesters led by Jacob, Papa Lolo and Aderupoko in the eighties on NTA in Abeokuta and most of the Yoruba speaking cities in the Western states of Nigeria. In the play titled “Nurse Piri,” Jacob and his fellow jesters decided to sell sleeping tablets to the unsuspecting public as vitamins and when the victims slept off, they would come in the night to rob them of their belongings, until one customer pretended to use the “vitamins” and was wide awake when the “thieves” came and they were dealt with. The most fascinating aspect of the program was the song adopted as commercials before the sale of the “vitamins” around the efficacy and perfectionism of “Nurse Piri” which was the brand name for the vitamins. The death of Jacob almost a decade ago probably led to the demise of the group of International Jesters, which he led.
One of the errors and regrets of leaders, secular or spiritual, is to have a successor who cannot carry on with their vision, and expand their philosophy. Such leaders are common in Nigeria and indeed on the African continent.
The emergence of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and his wife Turai, on the political scene of Nigeria was actually short but dramatic.
Perhaps if not for incapacitation and death of her husband, the true colour and identity of Hajia Turai as an iron lady at the Villa may for long be hidden from view.
The recent headline, Turai defeats Patience Jonathan provoked my thought and caught my fancy.
My fear is that if time has made us to forget about Queen Jezebel and Cleopatra, it is too soon to forget Queen Turai of Aso Rock in a jiffy. With the magnitude of the evil she has done this nation, it would be naïve to begin to celebrate her now.
Turai, it was reported became the commander and leader of the inner kitchen cabinet in her husband’s administration not for the interest of Nigerian women or the public, but for a strategic position to quench her thirst for riches and wealth. She was Nigeria`s unelected co-president, or in fact, the de facto president while the late Yar`Adua is the de jure president. While Yar`Adua was the symbol of power, Turai held and wielded the levers of power as she pleased.
Nigerians must have quickly forgotten how she held sway especially when her husband became incapacitated. Former FCT Minister, Nasir El-Rufai, recently acknowledged that if Alhaji Yar’adua had survived the sickness, Turai was to be tipped for presidency to conclude the second tenure of her husband. What a nation of cash and carry and roforofo politics.
The ill health of the late President exposed the moral weakness of the supposedly innocent looking former first lady. Some of those closest enough suggest she is the legendary still water that runs deep. It is little wonder that she suddenly became an unsolicited solicitor advocating for the immediate release and AMNESTY for the dreaded Islamic terrorist, Boko Haram. Not known to many that this was a dramatic come back scheme to polish her forever dented image during the controversial application of doctrine of necessity in our political landscape.
The climax was the purported forged signature of late President Musa Yar ‘Adua on the “Supplementary budget bill” sent to Saudi Arabia. Can it be said of Turai in this instance that, not that she didn’t love her husband but her love for the people and national interest led her to defecate on the temple of justice by leading a group of young cabals to commit an economic mutiny.
If all the tendencies displayed during her husband crises was love driven, she would have gladly donated not only one of her kidneys but her life for the husband she professed to have loved.
I am afraid that the much speculated WAYEF land may have been gotten in the name of AFLPM, but dramatically changed overnight. If not, how many of such efforts were made when she was Governor’s wife for eight years. Or is there no needy person in Katsina whose interest she can acquire a space for skilled acquisition and training? And of course the almajiri is a project any sincere and decent woman in such a position would demonstrate a motherly concern for by taking them off the streets.
The question is, when is “public interest” truly the interest of the public? Is it truly the common well-being or general welfare of the people? Honestly there is no consensus on what exactly constitutes the public interest, or whether the concept itself is a coherent one. When people are looting the nation’s treasury, they allege it is in the interest of the public; when people are fighting for their selfish interest they hide under the name of public interest. Time will tell, but surely I shall tell the wicked it is not well with them.
I beg to conclude this piece with the interim statement of Prof. Wole Soyinka on Yar'Adua's passing.
“What passes for the Nigerian nation is nothing more than a tragic arena, and Yar‘Adua is only the latest tragic figure. The vampires, including those within his own family, turned him into a mere inert resource for their diabolical schemes. They have a reckoning with their conscience, assuming they know what the word means. One can only hope that, while mouthing sanctimonious platitudes such as ”Power belongs to God,” they have now learnt that the politics of Do-or-Die cannot guarantee who does and who dies. They must stop playing God. I pray for the repose of the soul of their latest, much abused innocent victim”.
Not only power that belongs to God, the earth and its fullness belong also to him, even the heaven of heavens are his forever.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters