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Yar’Adua’s return and matters arising

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With the return of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar'Ardua back to Nigeria on Wednesday, 24th March 2010, after a 90 day absence for medical attention in Saudi Arabia, the course of polity in the country has begun to change.

First and foremost, we must give praise to the Almighty for bringing our President back to our fatherland, for guiding his vice throughout the long absence, for keeping Nigerians stronger, more united and more politically enlightened, and for all the blessings Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians as a people have continued to enjoy amidst envy, jealousy and conspiracies.

Although there are controversies over the return, some still claiming that the scenario was created to cut the wings of the Acting President and others opining that it was a ploy to frustrate those already scheming for 2011, there could be little truth that the whole country is taken for granted by the very few ardent kitchen cabinet members who feel the president's seat must be vacant whatsoever may be the consequences and that he can preside over our affairs in absentia.

If there can be a patriot who will fearlessly tell us the truth, I think no one apart from those who are bent to keep Nigerians groping in the dark, can claim to have seen the president. Many have called on him to address the people in a nationwide broadcast. Others are of the opinion that he should have been seen at least by members of his kitchen cabinet like the ministers and special advisers. Some others have maintained criticism on how unwholesome the situation can be that the Acting President cannot see him a complete week after the alleged return.

However, the return, whether true or not, has brought joy and elation to some Nigerians as well as worries and discomfort to others. Those who have been keenly following the political spin-off in the last three months would easily grab the implications of the return which although unexpected and unannounced but good for the country would correct many things that would have gone wrong. Without doubt, there is going to be an intensity in the politicking and politricking.

There is a byword that out of sight is not out of mind. It is a well known fact that in politics, there is no best friend and no worst enemy. This is because there is hardly a Nigerian politician who vents into the murky political waters to lose. Politicians can do anything to please the man on seat. There can employ whatever trick and display the highest level of sycophancy, deceit and baiting to keep their job for themselves but definitely not for the people. That is why it is make-believe that no Nigerian outside there is fit enough for the jobs than the people in the recycle-web.

The absence of the president has exposed some of the sycophants as well as revealed the loyalists to Nigerians and lackeys to the president. It has exposed the prostitution in our politics. And we know it very well that the political prostitutes have been the most dangerous to our development.

Every man has a heart that tells him or her what is good and what is bad. Those who have been on the path of truth and justice, putting Nigeria and Nigerians first even while pursuing the best of their heart desires, know it. Those whose sole desire is to fill their basket pockets and accounts, and inflict sufferings and pains on the Nigerian people, know it. One thing that is so funny is that most of our politicians seem to be ardent believers. The front rows and seats are reserved for them in the mosques and churches. But one continues to wonder what their belief in the day of account is like.

Even while digressing little, it is fair to remind our elites that the race for life is a continuous one. That is why one must resist the temptation of believing that without a person, life can come to a halt. Life itself is full of ups and downs. It is not what you have that is yours. It is the one you can use for yourself, your family and humanity that is yours. This is because no one knows when death will knock at his or her door. And once it happens, all the millions and mansions remain behind for those who will shed the crocodile tears.

Moreover, as believers, it is believed that each man must give account of the trust both God and human beings reposed in one. Leadership is trust and anyone who betrays the people's trust on him or her cannot claim righteousness. This takes us to the fact that many people loot the people's wealth and pitifully stand before the Almighty, seeking His forgiveness and still doing the same times without number. They loot the people's money and think that buy giving a crunch of it to charity and even fostering religious activities, that they have soothed God and man.

Those who have kept Nigeria in its present condition should have a rethink and feel the breath of God in them. Nigeria has continued to suffer because we allow these same people to recycle themselves each time there is the so-called general elections. Some of those who accuse Nigerians of being cowards may be right but what do they expect from a people who, though angry and hungry, are systematically fixed apart not to agree and act. The weapons that are used during elections are not owned by these hungry and gullible people. The religions that are used to curb these deluded and despondent people are not theirs because even the religious leaders cannot stand firmly for them in these hard times. Have they not seen how truth overpowered falsity in the Holy Scriptures?

The problem of Nigeria is not only in the leadership. It is in our individual perception of things. It is in our inability to truly believe in our unity in diversity. It is in the ability of the leadership, especially the political elite to allow criminality, hatred and inhumanity to permeate the polity. The system has proved to be far away from our hallowed traditional values and fraternity. We so much believe in borrowing, importing and depending on others. It's time we believe in ourselves and do things on our own.

Now that our president is back, the most paramount should be for him not to rush in scattering the government. As earlier said, his absence has already exposed many things. He cannot deny the fact that many of those who acted in what may have seemed contrary to loyalty did so in the interest of the nation. For instance, the Professor Akunyili's memo that the Vice should be made acting was definitely in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. Many things were at a standstill. Many decisions that would have moved the nation forward, however little, were frustrated in the 90-day absence. The Acting President himself was so loyal - such loyalty that was faulted by critics - that he insisted that the President can rule from anywhere.

So the President should not use the sledgehammer to crack the nut. Many things may have gone wrong. Definitely, human beings are always in a hurry. He should rather be worrisome over the interference of few past leaders who have assisted in no small ways in holding the nation at ransom. There are cabinet members who have performed far below average and they scheme to continue in office. Let the President use many of the youths in his government. And let First Lady Turai seek more powers for the female folk. As a mother of the Nigerian child, let her intensify the fight for child-girl education and child abuse by using the youths.

Nigerians, however, expect that things will work better with the president's return and that in the shortest period, the names of the saboteurs will be made known while capable Nigerians will be brought in to chart a new and more effective course for our prosperity. The nation has had much licking from this saga.

Ajah, a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance writes from FCT, Abuja ([email protected])

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Muhammad Ajah and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Muhammad Ajah