Friday 2 April 2010

Nigeria: Chiefs must speak with wisdom

Who is this man?

What is most disconcerting is the news [1] from the Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque that he saw Mr. Yar'Adua in the company of others, as if we really care if he did, worse still is the suggestion that his state of health was exaggerated.

The Chief Imam is probably a very respected man nationally and religiously, but I cannot say his utterances belied the maturity expected of a man in that position nor does it show a man with the best interests of Nigeria and its governance at heart.

Surely, he should know that the speculations surrounding the health of Mr. Yar'Adua are directly and squarely the fault of Mr. Yar'Adua and his coterie of aides and advisors, if the then President had done the right thing of full disclosure, there is no way how rumours would have been allowed run riot about his condition.

The absence of truth presents opportunity for tall tales, assumptions and speculation; the Chief Imam if he had been disposed to act wisely should have admonished Mr. Yar'Adua for not doing the judiciously respectable thing as a man and also for Nigerians.

Tales of nonsense

To now regale us with tales of Mr Yar'Adua's ability to shake hands and pray is just disingenuous at best; it invites contempt and should be contemned with indignation from all sections of society.

Where naturally, a Chief Imam should have been seen to foster peace, unity and act wisely, one is left utterly unimpressed with the way the man has been deliberately tactless to the point of outright disrespect for the current leadership of the country.

Legislature should buttress authority

Just as the Nigerian Assembly has approved the Acting President and the Nigerian Senate has endorsed his new cabinet, they should impress on Mr. Yar'Adua to vacate office and desist from lurking in the background being invoked, if not continually exhumed like a mummy to terrify at will.

Anyone should know now that the times have moved on from the old order, the dispensation now belongs to President Goodluck Jonathan.

It behoves the Chief Imam to conduct himself wisely as a chief or return to the laity allowing for others who command a broader perspective of pragmatism and diplomacy to exercise their voices in matters that take Nigeria forward if they should speak of government or help adherents be more patriotic if they should from a pulpit preach.


[1] Nigeria: Chief Imam - I Saw Yar'Adua Last Night

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