Monday 15 February 2010

Nigeria: The "success" of the Jeddah delegation

The search party

The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) risks a state of myopic closed-mindedness having first spearheaded the consideration that the President be declared missing on medical grounds and search party be instituted to ascertain his whereabouts.

The Federal House of Representatives instituted a “search party” of sorts to seek out the President comprised of members of the House rather than some special composition prescribed by HURIWA.

All but one of the selected members were able to make the journey to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the one being an unmarried lady would have been disqualified for visa requirements to Saudi Arabia even if she had presented her diplomatic passport rather than her Nigerian passport, but that was beside the point.

The host of delegates and President

The team arrived in Jeddah and would have by reasons of protocol been guests of the most senior Nigerian official in Saudi Arabia, that being the Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

The Ambassador would also have been the recognised host of the Nigerian President by our standards of protocol just as the President would have been a guest of the Saudi Arabian government by reason of his visiting the country in his capacity as the Nigerian President with the purported aim of opening a university in Saudi Arabia when he made his journey in November 2009.

As representatives of the Nigerian legislature visiting Saudi Arabia, the Ambassador would have known the main purpose of that entourage, to have at most an audience with the President of Nigeria or at least an observation of the President.

Inability to facilitate

For the first three days of that visit, the Ambassador who politically, legally and technically was host to the Nigerian President and the delegation from the House of Representatives could not facilitate an audience, an observation, a conversation or contact by all seemingly possible means with the Nigerian President.

As the reports go, the Ambassador tried to distract the delegation from their tasks by offering better accommodation, religious perks and tourist attractions which the delegation ably declined so as not be to distracted from their purpose and be compromised on their mission – that might call for some commendation.

Juliet not Jezebel

In any case, they eventually met with the First Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua who from all indications was forlorn but hopeful, distressed but prayerful and so very aware of the condition of her husband.

The condition we can safely say could not be observed by persons who were not close family, by deduction one might surmise and aver that the President was in no condition to be seen for an audience or basic observation and probably in intensive care of some sort.

It is even possible that the President might not even be in the condition to see his wife, recognise her and consequently converse coherently with her – the picture painted of the situation reveals a lady who is a Juliet rather than a Jezebel – this is no woman scheming to retain the trappings of power and influence, I would suggest this lady just wants her Romeo back, alive, strong, able and responsive.

Those opportunists

The unfortunate thing is the faceless mandarins pulling the levers of power were already aware of her preoccupation with the health of her husband but conveniently co-opted her name and supposed influence to mask their conspiratorial Machiavellian activities.

It cannot be safely said those people were rooting for President Yar’Adua by any stretch of the imagination, but as long as they could keep us all in limbo about the state of the President they could pretend to have the eyes, ears and blessing of the President and his wife to run roughshod over the Nigerian Constitution and the Nigerian people.

A useful visit

That delegation by not being able to see the President through lawfully constituted provisions of assignment, protocol and purpose proved that the President not being available to meet under every possible circumstance was probably too incapacitated for himself, talk less of the office he had so far held.

For that reason, I do not believe that meeting was a wasteful and fruitless journey as HURIWA clamours. Regardless of the developments that have since ensued, the deduction HURIWA should have made should have been closer to recognising these circumstances rather than raising an unnecessary ruse which in my view leaves them open to myopic closed-mindedness as I said in my introduction.

God bless Nigeria

Until President Yar’Adua can be presented for observation, conversation and audience in contemporary settings as I suggested in my blog of January the twelfth Nigeria: Put Yar’Adua on screen today! – he is just incapable of appearing in public, he is also incapable of his public and his inability to be a public figure for what other unstated reasons means he is currently unable to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

We still genuinely wish him a speedy and full recovery, but the ship of state cannot be permanently moored in foreign docks, there are stormy seas to traverse with essential cargo for the purpose of building the motherland – Nigeria needs to move on.

God save the President, but more so, God bless Nigeria with capable leaders.

General Sources

(1) SaharaReporters – HURIWA asks Speaker Dimeji Bankole to refund Saudi trip’s expenses

(2) SaharaReporters – House delegation returns empty-handed: Yar'Adua very sick, isolated and abandoned in Jeddah

(3) 234Next – Lawmakers to account for failed mission

(4) - Nigeria: Put Yar’Adua on screen today!

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