Death and Politics…
The death of president Umaru Yaradua is very unfortunate. I pray for his family. I hope they have the strength and fortitude to stay strong in this trying time.
But as we all offer our condolences and wish the new president well, i can’t but ask myself if this tragic event could have been averted. If only life, liberty, the rule of law, and respect for the constitution trumped politics.
The late president was ill right from the start of his presidential campaign. He had been taken to hospital when he was on the campaign trail, so news of his ailing health was not new to Nigerians. After the elections, and he was sworn in as president, news of his ailing health still dominated the headlines. He got very sick, and was flown to Saudi Arabia in November of 2009, from this point things changed very quickly.
The Mystery surrounding his health and exact whereabouts were shrouded in total secrecy, sort of like a chapter out of a clandestine Robert Ludlum novel. No one , but a handful of close aides and family knew where he was.
But as the pressure from the press and the Nigerian citizens grew, the politics, instead of the Presidents health took center stage.
Senators stalled installing an acting president pursuant to the constitutional requirements.( the reason they didn’t want power to leave the North and go to the Niger delta! aint that great) The senate congressional group sent to saudi Arabia on a fact finding mission on the president’s health was turned back without seeing the president.Nigerians were totally left in the dark, except off course a handful of cabals who really knew what was going on, and were okay flouting the law.
The unbearable pressure and threat of installing Goodluck Jonathan as president eventually made the presidents advisers smuggle him into the country in the dead of the night. He still was kept isolated from everyone, even the Vice president hadn’t seen him. He confirmed this just a couple of weeks ago in an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour. Seventy days after he returned to the country, he died of undisclosed causes.
So here is my point, was the lure and thirst for power so strong that it allowed those who should have known better, and put our late presidents health first so power drunk?. If he had relinquished power to his vice president, and sought medical attention abroad, not having to rush home to save his presidential seat, maybe he would still be alive today, no one knows. If he had stayed away to seek expert medical care which we obviously lack in Nigeria, he might have had a chance at life? So many if’s but only God knows what would have happened.
One thing is very clear Politics came before the health of the President, and it is a shame that his advisers who should have offered him candid and truthful advice failed to do so. Instead they chose to fight for his political life. Well they lost his political life and his natural life in the process.