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Nigeria: make the corpse walk

March 3, 2010
When the cold hands of death snatched away the brother of millionaire Kester Weidmann – he Weidmann believed his money can buy everything, even life and death. Out of love, grief and possible trauma Weidmann sought the services of a voodoo priest to bring back his brother to life. In his desperate quest for the elixir of life he finds a certain queer and crooked night club operator in the person of Rollo – the opportunity for the biggest scam of the century was hatched. This ungodly enterprise quickly attracted some of the meanest characters to weidmann, which only saw an opportunity to reach for his fortune. Well, this is the fiction of the master story teller; James Hadley Chase.
Enter Nigeria, the reality, a country that defies all sense of definition of what it takes to make a nation state; a self proclaimed giant of Africa, whose condition par excellence is a dysfunctional state. Nigeria is a constant source of pain and embarrassment not only to its well over 140 million people but the African continent. When Yar’Adua, the country president was rushed out of the country over three months ago to Saudi Arabia, most Nigerians thought it the usual bout of relapse into his by now known misfortune of health problems -- that has made his entire tenure as president lame, to drive home the point – the state of the nation over two years is full proof that he has never been and will never be in the frame and shape of mind to govern.
Turai Yar’Adua, (by title Mrs Yar’Adua, her only forth) the first wife of the president (he is polygamous) and by the pomp and waste of the Nigerian presidential system of governance, its first lady. The role of first ladies in Nigeria is an ugly and unwanted liability in the political landscape, it looms larger than life and contradicts the modest disposition and empathy which we expect from the wives of public officials, in Nigeria its meaning and practical representation is – avarice, pompous and flaunt, laziness and extortion. From the wives of presidents and vice presidents, governors and deputies, senate presidents, speakers, ministers, commissioners and local council chairs, the toga of first, second and third ladies (or daughters) is a metaphor for the shameless and brazen display of primitive drive to acquire wealth, uncouth and unintelligent, many if not all found their inspiration in the inglorious trailblazer in the person of late Maryam Babangida, with her grace, style and sense of fashion, she became a great distracter from the extreme incapability of her husband to govern, they both looted Nigeria like never before, set the country to the downward spiral we now experience. Ibrahim and Maryam Babaginda distinctive legacy remains the destruction of the socio-political fabrics of Nigeria; he and his late wife (posthumously) remains the grand patrons of the order of Nero of Nigeria. The role of first ladies though constitutionally not backed should be banned in Nigeria, the crisis in Abuja makes for the best reason.

Like kester Weidmann, Turai Yar’Adua saw the need to keep her husband alive, only Kester’s grief for his brother was heartfelt and the need to bring him back to life was buoyed by the love he had for him. In search for the elixir of life for the sick president, Turai went about recruiting the evil cabal -- Michael Aondokaa, James Ibori, Tanimu Yakubu, Abubakar Ruma, Ahmed Yayale, Tanimu Yakubu, Usman Daikingari (Kebbi) and Isa Yaguda (Bauchi) her son in-laws who her governors respectively of two northern states and a certain smuggler from Katsina -- all solely motivated by lust for power and greed; they are after the fortune of the nation, which they can only be in control of through a zombie president.

Off was Yar’Adua flown to Saudi Arabia, itself an undemocratic and closed fiefdom, some sort of modern-backward kingdom whose security depends on the Americans and Britain. A corrupt and totalitarian fiefdom that became the model that Umar Yar’Adua strived so much to achieve, the Muslim world became the corner stone of Nigeria’s foreign policy interest. The ideology and chants from Mecca and Medina drove his presidency; today Nigeria lacks foreign policy initiative to the progressive world, Ojo Madueke recent presentations is symptomatic of the incompetence that astride Aso Rock.

Weeks after the president went missing, an hiatus made all the more dangerous by a diffident legislature hung on the nation, a house wife, a trained less than an average nurse, from a backwater state, who would normally not challenge the status quo in her domestic and conservative role as housewife and her gang of national saboteurs held the nation spell bound like a voodoo priest enchanting adherents, torrent of lies were pulled out of their fast depleting bag to hoodwink the gullible of the Nigerian populace. As the prevarications became more crookedly, the expected empathy towards Umar Yar’Adua vaporised. The battle line was drawn, a house wife with vicarious ambitions that would have been tucked away in some rundown hospital in Katsina versus a 140 million Nigerians. The gang of inglorious bastards wouldn’t even shy away or be frightened from the pending doom that their action was about to let loose on the country and the West African sub region.

They stirred up ethnic and religious sentiments, amplified the regional north and south divide and set the nascent democracy and march towards nationhood many years back, the very thin threads that held the social fabrics of the space called Nigeria is now stretched to the limits of snapping, Turai Yar’ Adua and her legion of doom engendered a new virus of hate that spread across the geographic entrapment of a supposed nation, long buried suspicions and primordial fears of the Nigeria of yesteryears are brought back to the fore, very provocative taunts that gave credible reasons to regions to secede has been orchestrated daily. That which she has failed to achieve; resuscitating the president’s health from the deep slumber he fell into since over three months, she has succeeded in unearthing the ghost of Nigeria’s troubled past to haunt Nigerians and Umar Musa Yar’Adua (my sincere sympathies) -- the real victims.

The language of voodoo priests like we all know can sometimes be unintelligible, voodoo priests fancies themselves as the medium through which the spirit world communicates. To Turai the president is in a never return journey of unconsciousness, she and her callous and cowardly gang has long assumed the medium through which the spirit of the incapacitated president communicates – well over 100 days they have been uttering some gibberish that has proven not transferable to a country fed up of her chicanery. Turai’s hostage has also been talking and asserting policy in an eclectic manner – a phoney BBC radio interview, telephone conversations with top government functionaries, signing an appropriation bill and lately felicitating with AP Goodluck Jonathan for excellently commandeering the state away from disaster and the citizenry for the unexpected civility that has marked his vexed disappearance and endless subterfuge from his loyal captors.

Unlike Kester Weidmann whose sole motivation was love, Turai kept her sick husband (the president) away from family members and the rest of the nation; the motivation – power, privileges and money. It is time to let go, Yar’Adua needs the tranquillity a sick man deserves to recuperate fully, at this time his health should be of paramount interest to him and his family, that is also the interest of well over a 140 million Nigerians – separate Yar’Adua from the rigours of government, no more sabotage, let the acting president steer the nation on the right part.

Voodoo priests can’t bring back the dead, dead men don’t talk or walk but sick presidents can be seen; I mean Yar’Adua is ill, just an infirmity, the collective sympathy of the citizenry is with him for that, he can address the nation via television or indulge in a binge of courtesy calls from well wishers; after all we are a nation of sycophants making courtesy calls even in the most unwarranted of circumstances.

This is a man that consciously prided himself in the decency of the functionality of the constitution and the rule of law and order, unless it must have meant nothing to him other than the ambiguity of a catch 22 phrase, anarchy and disintegration is an option to that.

Edgar Daniel Biu
[email protected]


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