Umar Musa Yar’Adua: Our President That is Missing – or is he a Hostage?
Sickness (often considered mental and long-term) and illness (often
considered physical and short-term) in human beings are normal and to
be expected. When you are a private person, invariably these are
private affairs. However, when you are the president of a country of
150 million people, to be sick or ill and to consider that private is
That conclusion is where we are right now when.
Since November 23, 2009, when President Yar’Adua collapsed and was
rushed to a Jeddah hospital in Saudi Arabia where he had gone a number
of times before, 99.99% of Nigeria’s citizens who elected him have not
seen him (either via video tape or still pictures) or heard him (via
any audio/video tape), despite all pleas. For the first time, his
medical condition of acute percarditis was officially disclosed upon
his November departure, but his handlers have since been playing
hide-and-seek both with his true medical condition, as well as his
exact whereabouts – country, hospital or recovery villa, or even
However, suddenly, on December 23, 2009, we learnt that he signed a
Supplementary Budget for 2009 after reviewing it for ninety whole
minutes – with no documentary evidence whatsoever, audio, video or
still picture for re-assurance that he did indeed sign it himself.
Imagine a “father” sending his “children” no Christmas message or New
Year’s Message or even note of gratitude for earnestly praying for him
while sick – yet he has enough presence of send them money for school
Something does not compute here.
As a result, a cottage industry of rumor-mongering has now developed, with the usual “reliable sources” telling us that:
1. He has died, and only a convenient time is being sought to
break the awful news; in the time being, his wife and inner courtiers
will be ruling on his behalf, while faking his being alive.
2. He is in a vegetative state, either in Saudi Arabia (least
probable) or in Germany (most probable), and that because of his
multiple-organ problems and long-term illness, only a miracle (which
his wife and political handlers are still hoping and praying for) can
3. He is actually now in a recovery mode, either in Saudi Arabia,
Germany or even Nigeria. He is even reported to have talked to
Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, House Speaker Bankole and Senate
President Mark ever so “briefly” (a few minutes, in low whispers) a few
days ago after the Mutallab bombing – his first body “movement” since
December 23 when he “signed’ the supplementary budget? The theory here
is that what his handlers are just waiting for is to spring his
surprise return on the Nigerian people any day now, to great “Shout
Alleluias!” and “Allahu akbars” and to shame the “nattering nabob of
nay-sayers” and anti-democratic “enemies of progress.”
Another outcome of all this hide-and-seek is a cottage industry of
activism, both political and legal, surrounding what is fast becoming a
ridiculous international embarrassment:
1. Kicking off on December 1, 2009 (with a follow-up on December
20), The G-53+, a group of human rights activists and politicians,
made demands of the President, the Federal Executive Council and the
National Assembly to do the right thing, either to temporarily hand
over power to the Vice-President (as “Acting President”) – who happens
to be Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, from the Southern State of Bayelsa in the
volatile Niger-Delta oil-basin - or to initiate steps to determine the
permanent incapacitation or otherwise of the president in preparation
for declaring the position vacant. So far, these patriotic citizens
have been rebuffed.
2. Lawyer Femi Falana (on December 15, 2009, joined later by
hundreds of Nigerians at home and abroad), former Rep. Farouk Adamu
Aliyu and Sani Gabbas (on December 23), and the Nigerian Bar
Association (on December 29) have filed three separate law suits – with
the hapless and wily Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa as a defendant
in all of them – to force the same things.
3. Two additional groups of Nigerians – 100 Lawyers of Conscience
(on January 1, 2010), and Save Nigeria Group (January 7) – have made
their own demands, including of the Saudi royal house, with the former
group offering to go (or set up a delegation to go) to Saudi Arabia to
determine the true situation of the president’s medical condition if
only to obtain a “proof of life”, and the latter planning to mount
protests around the world. There is an underlying implication of
either complicity in deceit with a power cabal inside Nigeria, or
outright hostage-taking by the Saudi government.
4. Some Nigerians have issued a Missing Person’s poster for President Yar’Adua – see Appendix.
Almost every section of the Constitution – well, from Sections 140 to
149, for I exaggerate a bit – is being thrown at the president, the
Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the courts – to
get them all to do the right thing.
Why must Nigerian citizens be treated this way? It must be a result of
a disconnection between the President and the electorate, his political
Party and the People. For if they felt that they would indeed have to
fight to return for a renewal of an electoral mandate, they would not
be acting this way. However since the previous mandates in 2003 and
2007 were stolen – with the help of INEC, the Police and the Supreme
Court – their reasoning must be “why can’t the next one be stolen
too?” This mentality must also be a factor in the stalling and
dilly-dallying over reforms of the Electoral Law and the Constitution.
With a president missing for almost fifty days now, this whole affair
has turned ridiculous, even internationally embarrassing, with Rachel
Maddow of the MSNBC tongue-in-cheek questioning recently whether he is
“secretly dead”, and a young Nigerian drama-couple parodying on video
the possibility of remote ruling from Saudi Arabia via Blackberry.
So let the world hear it again from Nigerians – Our President is Missing, and We Are Earnestly Looking for Him.
originally posted on saharareporters.com