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YAR’ADUA: A call for national concern!

Source: Edoreh F. Edoreh

The outburst and misgivings being generated by President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's continued failing health has again reared its ugly head creating palpable fears on the land. This time, Yar'Adua is said to be receiving expert medical attention at the King Faisal Specialist and Research Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Reports have it that this will be the third time in four months that the president has been speculated to have been admitted in a hospital for severe medical condition, and the fifth time in his presidency.

According to Olusegun Adeniyi, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, it all started at about 3pm on Friday, November 20th, after President Yar'Adua returned from the Abuja Central Mosque where he performed the Juma'at prayers, and complained of left-sided severe chest pain.

His personal physician, Dr. Salisu Banye said the medical review and tests undertaken at the hospital confirmed the initial diagnosis that the president is indeed suffering from acute pericarditis.

Pericarditis is a life threatening ailment that results from Churg–Strauss syndrome. According to medical experts, it is an inflammation of the pericardium, the membrane forming the outer covering of the heart. The inflammation may cause a thickening and roughening of the membrane and an accumulation of fluid in the sac surrounding the heart, and sometime leading to renal disease and kidney failure. It is said to be more common in men than women, and one in every five victims likely suffer a recurrence within few months of initial provocation.

The most common symptom of this deadly ailment is a sharp stabbing chest pain on the left side, which tends to aggravate when lying down, coughing, or breathing deeply. It can be resolved in a period of six weeks in the first instance.

The presidency spokesperson while appealing to Nigerians stated that Yar'Adua needs enough time to recover from his condition. He cautioned that sentiments apart, President Yar'Adua needs real time to enable him regain his health back, perhaps before resurfacing into the Nigerian murky political terrain.

Since May 2007 when he took over as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yar'Adua's health condition have not shown appreciable signs of improvement, rather it has remained a game of hide and seek.

His medical history from the time he was Governor of Katsina state in 1999 does not even usher any meaningful ray of hope. For most of his second term in office as Governor, Yar'Adua was reported to have been endangered by unstable health profile from serious kidney ailment. Yet, instead of taking some time out for rest and to attend fully to his life threatening ailment, he chooses to swing along with the likes of the Obj's and the Iwu's of our time, in the Nigerian politics of fraudulent elections and shame.

It would be recalled that in the days of the presidential election campaigns, during the ill-fated phenomenon of former president Olusegun Obasanjo's “do-or-die affair” that have dragged us into this unfortunate predicament, Yar'Adua, the then PDP Presidential flag-bearer could not consistently lead the PDP campaign train due to issues bothering on his deteriorating health.

At one point, he was speculated to have collapsed during one of the campaigns, and precisely on 7th March, 2007, the nation woke up to a rude shock, with rumours that Yar'Adua had given up the ghost. It took the notorious former president Obasanjo to wire a phone call across to Yar'Adua on his sick bed before sanity could be restored back to the political landscape. Yet, former president Obasanjo, irrespective of Yar'Adua's failing health was still hell bent on creating a political dynasty for himself, and continued to foist the sickly on unsuspecting Nigerians.

Hopes have remained precarious from reports emanating from some senior government officials who visited Saudi Arabia suggesting that Yar'Adua is indeed in a dire state of health as none of them has been able to see the sick president for first hand assessment and information.

At Katsina, crisis is said to be rocking the family of Yar'Adua over the unceasing calls for their son to resign from office on the basis of his poor health. But this is no time for crisis and confusion. What the sick president need now is God's intervention in his life, the restoration of his bodily organ and a total renewal of his heart, and kidney. This is a divine approach, and with Senior Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nation as the anchor man, President Yar'Adua's failing health will be a thing of the past, because with God nothing is impossible. Many world leaders have visited Nigeria to settle various scores at the Synagogue Church, and with T.B. Joshua the results has always been positive.

A group of over fifty elder statesmen, cutting across various strata of human endeavour, including prominent Nigerians like Chief Olu Falae, former presidential aspirants, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former Kaduna State governor and chairman of the conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Col. Abubakar Uman (rtd), former Kaduna State Military governor, and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, former Edo State governor are already demanding the president to quit office immediately to allow government business to move on without unnecessary and avoidable hitches.

The groups noted that within the last few months, President Yar'Adua has been unfit to attend to crucial engagements of the state both at home and abroad. Worse still, his judgment appeared impaired whenever he found time to attend any. The group observed that President Yar'Adua's continued deteriorating health has consistently impacted negatively on his ability to discharge his duties dutifully, whereas the country is passing through a delicate and very crucial stage of political evolution, lingering electoral reform, and epileptic power supply just to mention but a few.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is the ruling party, has not relented in refuting claims that the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is under any pressure to be kicked out from office.

Earlier, there were strong indications that the Vice President may be under intense pressure from some highly influential quarter, particularly from the Northern hemisphere to resign. It is strongly believed that the move is to ensure that the delicate power sharing arrangement between the North and the South as agreed upon by some military chiefs and politicians in 1998 subsists.

The National President for the Arewa Youth Forum, (AYF), Yerimah Shettimma, is reported to have said that the constitution notwithstanding, the north will not allow Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to take over as president if eventually Yar'Adua's health degenerates, this has caused a drastic opinion divide among the populace, particularly the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) says it will neither act in haste nor be drawn into political speculation since it is still watching the federal government's amnesty deal it voluntarily entered to usher in peace into the Niger Delta and the sensitive issues of the post-amnesty plans and expectations.

But the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) still of the Ijaw ethnic nationality had already fired the first cannon threatening secession of the Ijaw nation and by extension the Niger Delta from the Nigerian state if the Vice President is coerced to resign from office. The Ijaw aborigines claimed that the resignation of Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan may lead to grave anarchy.

A public affairs analyst, Mike Igini has described President Yar'Adua's present health condition as a threat to national security, attributing it to stagnation and motionlessnesss of governmental affairs, arguing that for as long as the president continues to manifest unstable health conditions, the country and the business of governance will continue to suffer incalculable hindrances.

Former Deputy Speaker of Oyo state House of Assembly and a frontline legal practitioner, Niyi Akintola (SAN) had tasked the leadership of the National Assembly to ascertain if President Yar'Adua is still fit to continue to rule Nigeria. Perhaps, if Yar'Adua can no longer function as president, he should step aside.

Former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu was reported to have visited the Embassies of British, Germany and the United States in Abuja where he was alleged to have discussed the issues of Nigeria's electoral reform and the president's health with the High Commissioner.

However, one thing remained undisputable that President Yar'Adua's health is failing, and alarmingly too, that not withstanding, governance must not be allowed to remain static. Medical experts have cautioned that acute Pericarditis is a deadly health condition that requires real time to resolve. The many problems of Nigeria is in itself heart-aching, let alone led by someone already with a serious heart problem.

The sick president should therefore be allowed to attend fully to his health, and adequate arrangements must be made to constitutionally mandate Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to propel the wheels of governance and attend to crucial national matters rather than relegate him to leading political campaigns from one state to another.

Above all, President Yar'Adua should seek divine solution to his health condition and find time and urgently too to visit Senior Prophet T.B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of all Nation to seek the face of God in this matter and for a more permanent solution as neither man nor medical experts in Saudi Arabia may fail him. May God bless Nigeria! Amen.

Edoreh F. Edoreh
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Development / Accra / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com