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Yar’adua And That 5 Minutes Call

By Prince Charles Dickson, Jos
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I start on this note, I was told that at the New Year service which the vee pee attended, at some point the pastor asked the congregation to repeat after him… 'This is your year of promotion', everybody screamed back…this is my year of promotion…I ask my source, did Jonathan claim it…Hmmm, I can't say he replied.

These days a lot happens in Nigeria, so much that I want to resort to living in denial as it is the best way to keep sanity and balance…The irony is that as much as I would have wanted do that, I cannot and I am sure that a few bold Nigerians feel the same way too.

Yesterday a certain Mallam Tanimu Yakubu lied to an entire nation that President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua yesterday called key government officials, including Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, on phone and spoke for five minutes each

After 44 days, no speech, video call or photograph from Jeddah and then when we are sure that maybe reason will prevail and we may have an acting president. Yet another spin…

In the meantime...Kalakato, mutallab, a mysteriously signed budget, Nigeria on terror list, sackings in the banking sector, fuel crisis and Maryam Babangida have all happened...a nation practically on autopilot. And even at that we are running on batteries because there is no fuel to run generating plants to power it.

It is in this mood that we are again told by some adviser that the president called xyz, what have they turned this nation into…the last we heard was some clerk that flew kilometers around the globe to have him sign the supl' budget.

Has it become a requirement that having some 5 minutes call is the best way to solve Nigeria's numerous problems, a twice a week call a barrier to invoking a section of the constitution that allows us an acting president.

Some mulls just jet in and out to everywhere and anywhere and tell us they just came in from Jeddah. Nobody has told us how much 44 days of Yar'adua's absence is costing Nigerians. Travels, estacode, medical bills and the cost of all the lies.

We have been Mutallabed, the US has wrongly or rightly declared Nigeria a terrorist state, our citizens would and have infact are already being harassed and the five minute man who spoke with Goodluck, Mark and Bankole cannot speak to Nigerians and the world, tell them we are not terrorists. Because that telephone line is not citizens' compliant or the network soon afterward went bad.

Jonathan can hardly do anything, I mean how can he when the rumour mill says he cannot even eat in the Villa, and these days he attends most functions with his mother.

On numerous occasions I have stated that Yar'adua has the fundamental human right to be sick…he is a living thing, but the fact remains that Yar'adua's health cannot be placed above the well being of a 150 Million people.

We wish he recovers but the truth that his kitchen, toilet or bedroom cabinet do not want to tell us is that this man is incapacitated and is far from being capable of governing Nigeria. I have a small office and I know the number of files I have to attend to when I am away for few days…

Can Yar'adua handle his table without having another bout and therefore another Saudi journey? Infact a twist I see is that he will come back hale and hearty but before then, must the nation come to a standstill?

Hear Yakubu… “He directed me to get the Attorney-General to intensify lobby for the passage of the anti-terrorism bill by the National Assembly which the President forwarded to the Senate and the Federal House of Representatives early October. He said that he would like it to be the first bill he assents to on his return to Nigeria.”

Laughable cock and bull story, in 44 days, “Mr. President also told me that he spoke to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan twice in the last five days,” he said. Errant nonsense, a nation as big as Nigeria, with all the problems, a president and vice has spoken twice in five days.

Does anyone expect Jonathan to deny that he did not speak with Yardy…No certainly not, but on his behalf let me state clearly that Yar'adua did not speak with Jonathan, at least if Jonathan cannot confirm or deny…I am denying on behalf of Yar'adua.

But on another count I agree Yardy spoke to Jonathan twice, however one mutes, how is it that he speaks more often to Yakubu than his vice…strange nation. I suggest therefore that he speaks with Nigerians at least for just 3 minutes via video technology and live feed too, not some voice of his cousin or brother.

Yakubu was not specific on the date the President would return, because indeed he does not know, in the end, Yakubu added “In the last week, I have spoken to him on telephone countless number of times. Our conversations every time lasted more than five minutes”.

In 2010….I ask, has it become so bad for us, how did we come so low, now some five minutes call story is supposed to douse the tension. Let me be naive, who is and why are we afraid to do the right thing?

What in this whole episode is 'political correctness'? Every issue that is raised in respect to moving our nation forward is narrowed down to north-south, Christian-Muslim, however when our leaders steal, it has no coloration. My take is that the leaders of the country are only united in looting the state treasury. And then we fight across our naïve idiosyncrasies, while they watch us.

Yar'adua needs rest, he is recuperating, he will return soon, but he could sign a supplementary budget, despite his fragile health, he read the document, understood it and signed it.

The National Assembly say they cannot do anything, my three year old boy…apparently from a local musician heard a song and the only phrase he recalls frequently is '…wahala dey'.

The CrisisWatch bulletin from the International Crisis Group released this week puts Nigeria on the deteriorated situations status with countries like Yemen, Nepal, Iran, Madagascar and Guinea.

We are classified as fraudsters, 419, racketeers and now terrorist and the truth is that personally for me, the problem is not with Nigeria being classified by U.S or anybody in anyway they want. The problem is with us.

Was China not classified in all sorts of ways over the last century? But they couldn't be bothered; they simply focused on becoming the no. 1 nation in the world, which they are close to achieving, inspite of all their fake products.

I picked this up some where I cant recall now, the questions were, why are we always looking for other countries approval, and acceptance, why are we a timid people, why are we never doing the right things at home.

It's our failure at home that has made U.S and Europe so relevant to us. We have to send our children there because the universities at home have failed. We have to look for jobs there because there are none at home. Some people even feel inferior to them and will rather live abroad at all cost- in their minds, by doing so, they've become superior human beings.

A great nation with wonderful people, some of the best brains in various spheres of life, yet governed by a few bunch of criminals. We keep keeping on and hoping against hope.