Tuesday 12 January 2010

Nigeria: Put Yar'Adua on screen today!

What is the real news?

This dreadful game of obfuscation and subterfuge has to end regarding the health and whereabouts of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

There were news stories in the NEXT newspaper stating the president was brain-damaged [1] along with the list of people maintaining this charade of ignominy that makes Nigeria a laughing stock.

The Punch newspaper suggested the president had been on life support [2] as far back as December, the ensuing logic is that the president might already have passed on, but that might just be jumping the gun.

It appears the newspapers have broken ranks and injected a sense of urgency that can cause pandemonium within the coterie of faceless and unaccountable persons holding the whole of Nigeria to ransom.

What presidential orders?

Now, one reads in the Reuters that his spokesman who was on a junket to Angola phoning home from Angola to say the president’s health is improving [3] and he has been ordered by the president to return to Nigeria on Tuesday.

In his words, “The president is alive and actually getting better, he is very much conscious, can talk and has been talking, including making phone calls to some people back home.”

So, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi is going to vicariously leave supporting the Nigerian football team in Angola to return to Nigeria and with that prove he is under presidential orders? That is laughable, if not completely risible. Maybe the president has lost his sense of fun and humour.

Well, that is just not good enough evidence or proof that the president is alive and well, if this spokesperson is not yet aware, we Nigerians do not trust by one bit any government official that proffers any view about the president until they can produce in controvertible evidence.

Do the Castro debunking

This is what would suffice, when President Fidel Castro of Cuba had speculation swirling about his health and fitness he was filmed in hospital reading the current dailies that also included being visited by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

Nigerians would expect nothing less, the President filmed in his recuperating stance in hospital watching a current CNN or BBC programme has was first broadcast no longer than 6 hours before its publicity and reading Nigerian newspapers no earlier than that day before and the current day’s editions of English sections of Saudi newspapers. He must chat audibly and coherently with either a Saudi royal or a well-known Nigerian figure.

Preferably, this filming should be done with an announcement to the press corps in Saudi Arabia about when the filming starts and when it ended, the reproduction and distribution should be done in Saudi Arabia and once the provenance and authenticity has been verified we can accept what is seen.

Need for incontrovertible proof

The provenance and authenticity must follow internationally accepted chains of custody, nothing like some secretly filmed Al-Qaeda announcement, the film certified with voice pattern checks and definitely NO STILLS, this should also include a millisecond clock counter and no editing of the clip whatsoever.

In this day and age, without that kind of evidence, all announcements amount to kicking against the goads and outright lies in the least – it is no fault of the Nigerian public that the government maintains no trust in their activities, this is a sure way of winning that trust back and really arranging this amazing revelation should only take hours.

At worst, get the BBC, CNN or Al-Jazeera to do the filming if they cannot get a Nollywood outfit to film something truthful rather than the fictional briefings we have been regaled with for 51 rotten days of atrocious effrontery showing up as buffoonery before the whole wide world.


[1] Yar'Adua is brain-damaged: 234NEXT.com

[2] The Punch: ‘President placed on life support’

[3] Nigeria president's health is improving: spokesman | Top News | Reuters

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