Remembering President Yar’Adua
Sir: Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is in the thoughts of many Nigerians for good causes. Though – the establishment requested that he be president, he was not arrogant, was overly-humble, nationalistic in his views, never, religiously opinionated. Yar’Adua was prudent enough to understand his ally and political rivals, he reasoned with several, saw situations with them and, not about them, and negotiated an armistice that saw the end of militancy because he understood what most leaders do not know: situational awareness.
Great countries are celebrated because of the power of collaboration; he was wise enough to know that all people, of differing faith matter. He embraced alliance, the same way most middle-eastern countries do with western industrialists leading to their vibrant economies, one imagines how unfledged these countries would have been without western involvement despite their insularly partisan religious orientation. Leadership for him was destination bound to take us out of doldrums – some analysts have even posited that were he president of Nigeria at a time when a politician in a northwestern state decided to be a rabble-rouser for anguish and not peace, Yar’Adua would have invested efforts in a judicial war at the supreme court to maintain the secularity of our nation, the failure of which – vitalized this current insurgency, bothering our country.
Even though he had a gentle outlook he was never weak, refused to be despoiled by the frills of power and was ready at a point to submit his office to the opposition if it became clear that his ascendancy to the office was rigged in. He might have being accused of selective justice but he was not known to scapegoat the opposition and tried to disrobe some people duplicitously robed by the establishment. There were shadowy (faceless) cabals who tried to hijack his presidency as told but they remained just that: faceless because they lacked guts. But in our day, they say, we have assemblages gutsy enough not to wear veils, who have chosen to daringly make scathing pronouncements promoting ill will. May be if he were alive, he might have put an end to brutality of all kinds mete to Nigerians by “koboko” wielding men in uniform almost all of whom drive against
traffic, ask people to frog jump, others to sit in the mud, some couples beaten harshly at the slightest provocation.
When men in uniforms lord it on citizens, refuse to be their friends, how then you expect Nigerians to supply them with information that can ward off acts of evil by lawbreakers. It was Nelson Mandela who said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”