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Yar’Adua’s Obituary

December 1, 2009

Just like you and I, Yar’Adua will die. Someday. I want to be the first to write his obituary. It is the greatest honor I can give to the man. Yar’Adua should be able to read it while resting comfortably in his hospital bed. Not many people will have such a privilege. So here you go, Mr. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua:

There lies a sick man stranded at the presidency. The damage he wrecked could only be accessed posthumously. Beneath his grave is the bile of our epilogue.
Mr. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the second president of Nigeria’s fourth republic, was tied to the presidential stake by the devil himself. (Yes, there is a devil. And his name is Olusegun Obasanjo).
Yar’Adua spared nobody of any pretension to leadership, so we should spare him no pretension to polite tribute.
Yar’Adua’s era had no poetry. His days had no imagination. If not for his sickness, he could as well have been an anonymous president. I can bet my last naira that no parent named their child Umaru or Musa or Yar’Adua as a consequence of his sojourn at the presidency.
Yar’Adua subverted whatever remained of the Nigerian spirit. He never had a cult. He never had a worshiper. He was an unfinished failure. He was a god that did not make it.
As the governor of Kastina state, Yar’Adua instituted the sharia law that sentenced Amina Lawal to death for adultery. She was to be stoned to death. Later an appeal court freed her. No appeal court could free Yar’Adua’s daughters from being auctioned to the highest bidder.
If Yar’Adua only stole the cup of invincibility from Nigeria, it would have been pardonable. But he dropped it into a latrine. The adventures of Yar’Adua would make for a bad children’s coloring book. His gargantuan body of achievement dwarfed those of the legendry turtle.
Yar’Adua proved that if you change the clothes without changing the diaper, what stinks will continue to stink. He distinguished himself as an arch-Nigerian- ignoramus hanging on the wing of inaction.
He whetted no man’s appetite. He brought no smile on any citizen’s face. His posture was uninspiring. His program was invisible. He was too pathetic to be laughed at. Our eternal respect for him was in his complete lack of comic value. There was no distinction to be made between his government and the government of a dash.
Before Yar’Adua, the universally acclaimed mantra was that, “Nigeria is the only country in the world where the best is impossible and the worst never happens.” But after Yar’Adua, Nigeria became a country where the worst is impossible and the best never happens. In essence, Nigeria hit the bottom after Yar’Adua.
Before Yar’Adua, Nigeria was governed by two kinds of leaders. It was either “a fool surrounded by idiots or an idiot surrounded by fools.” It was Yar’Adua that first established a government led by a dead man surrounded by vultures. What comes after Yar’Adua will be a government of vultures surrounded by dead men.
I have often argued that the problem with Nigerian leaders was that they forget that they were mortals. Yar’Adua proved that men who are conscious of their mortality will not necessarily perform any better. While Yar’Adua daily knocked on the door of hell, his wife, Turai, was busy stuffing oil blocks inside her bra.
Yar’Adua will forever live in one mythology – his was the definitive proof of how not to be president. He performed so woefully that if Nigerians were people who valued excellence, they would staple a tail to his corpse. So that when he reincarnates and aspires to a leadership position, he will be promptly identified and quarantined.
Yar’Adua studied Analytical Chemistry at ABU but had no understanding of the law of Thermodynamics. On its own, heat cannot flow from an area of cold to an area of hot, says the second law. Yet, Yar’Adua’s Vision 2020 hoped to go from an area of cold to an area of hot on its own.
Faraday's Law states that “the weight of any element liberated during electrolysis is proportional to the quantity of electricity passing through the cell and also to the equivalent weight of the element.” What Yar’Adua did not grasp at school was that this law means that the moral authority of any politician following an election is proportional to the amount of fraud that took place during the electoral process and also to the moral state of the politician.
Yar’Adua was the last “Nigerian” president. Hundred years from now, when the history of that territory formerly called Nigeria is written, historians will note that it was Yar’Adua who finally brought an end to the farce. They will note that his physical ailment was a reminder to the people trapped in that dead and dirty pond that they, too, were sick. The predicament of Yar’Adua was the predicament of the Nigerian lot- an incapability to know when to quit.
If the tears of the downtrodden did not make him raise a finger against corruption, nothing else would. If the histrionics of the vultures around him did not make him question his reality, nothing else would. If an obituary like this did not make him rethink his legacy, nothing else would.
May his soul, and the soul of all those who die, unnecessarily, every day, in that occupied territory, rest in peace.
In lieu of dancing in the street, play squash in honor of the dead president. In lieu of flowers, send assault weapons to his gun-loving son.

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