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Frisky Larr (M. A.)

Radio/Television Journalist/Communication Scientist, Govt. accredited Translator/Interpreter of the English language
Judicially sworn interpreter of English (Regional Court of Bochum)

Germany
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FriskyLarr@aol.com


more articles by Larr


When history finally sets out to judge however, no doubt those who had the opportunity to serve the nation will have to answer first and I guess Akunyili will stand out conspicuously, with a conscience in the whiteness of snow.

 



The Fuss and Fight over Turai: Is she the real Problem?
by Frisky Larr

 
Abuja is in the grip of fear. The naked fear of a military coup! So reminiscent it is of the comedy of the Philippines in the late 1980s that I am forced to sing déjà vu! It is a perfect duplication of history. The history of pre-announced military coup d’etat that keeps a nation in suspense and awe! The Philippines was under the reign of a widowed lady Corazon C. Aquino and her top military brass were General Juan Ponce Enrile and General Fidel Ramos. Both Generals could never be more contrary in their positions on defending democracy under a lady who once saw herself as a simple housewife. In the end, Fidel Ramos frustrated Juan Ponce Enrile's desire for a snappy power grab without the rigors of a ballot box and the President rewarded General Ramos with the status of a crown Prince to succeed her when her tenure eventually came to an end.

The Dramatis Personae in today’s Nigeria though could not be more different. The official housewife of an ailing President has long being spearheaded to the fore of media coverage as the de facto leader of a visibly crumbling nation. She is never seen. She is ever heard by indirect affirmations. Veracity can therefore never be verified.

Still, the tremors are felt very far and wide. It is reverberating through the entire nation.

It has exposed Jonathan for what many have suspected him to be. It has thrown Jonathan into the abyss of avoidable blunders. Not only that. It is forcing Bankole out of his camouflaged protective shell and exposing him to attacks from obvious quarters. Above all, the tremor is exposing the borderlines separating several power brokers across geographical divides. We now know the power-hungry desperados of the north and an Obasanjo camp seizing every opportunity no matter how weak, to destabilize them. We also know the bunch of creeping termites going as politicians ruling Nigeria in its present state pretending to know what they are doing.

In case you are lost and would want me to break it down, let us take it one step at a time.

Just last week when it was clear that the Federal Executive Council was to sit and adopt a resolution on the health of our sick President to move the political machine of the nation on the forward direction, a coup de main was hatched. The spirit of Yar’Adua appeared from nowhere. Till today, it is hovering above all political actions within the borders of Aso Rock. The seat of President was guarded with the force of arm. The Acting President was humiliated by a Presidential Spokesman.

What speculations did we not have before all these acts unfolded! Some had already seen the return of Nuhu Ribadu and El-Rufai if not as eventual Vice Presidents but in the eventual roles of rekindling action in crucial fields of good governance. Some had wished nothing but prison for Michael Aondoakaa. Many wished public execution before trial for James Ibori.

But the singular act of Tuesday night (early hours of Wednesday) finally unveiled the voices that were speaking through the gworo-stained mouth of an unfortunate Aondoakaa when he said “The President can rule from anywhere”. It uncovered the backbone of all those voices that were attributed to the housewife of a seriously sick leader of a self-imposed giant country. A lot of dust was raised over the expression “Vice President” and “Acting President”.

The furor heightened expectations that the time was ripe to dismantle the building blocks one after the other. But Jonathan was obviously thanking his stars that those three hundred soldiers who guided the ambulance to the Presidential palace did not opt to pick him up en route to Kirikiri. We were saved the chant of “Fellow Nigerians…” once again and the soldiers know precisely why they stopped short of toppling Jonathan.

Some optimistic analysts spoke out loud and urged Goodluck Jonathan to unveil affirmative action and signal the man in charge as soon as the block of spokesmen and spokeswomen began crumbling. When “Vice President” suddenly made way for “Acting President” in a mercy-seeking overture, many thought it was time to save the day and unveil the moment of truth.

But coming to think of it, many will remember the rumor that trailed the prospects of a Jonathan's Presidency. Many called him coward, fearful and a random opportunist blessed with the gift of tide. And they said he has no bile. Then he came out and warned Ministers to sit up and perform and seemed to be sounding clearly that he was in charge. No sooner had the loudspeaker been disconnected however than the first Minister told him to kiss his ass and embarked on a trip of choice.

No doubt, a lot has been going on behind the scene. There is yet no clear information on the success or otherwise of foreign diplomacy to rearrange the power equation in Nigeria. It is no secret that western powers would prefer a Babangida Presidency by virtue of experience and the paramount goal of forestalling sustained political instability. But the inherent instability in the renewed Presidency of Ibrahim Babangida would emerge only on the medium till long term.

The political division that Olusegun Obasanjo has brought upon northern Nigeria in a bid to dissuade them from the notion of ruling Nigeria as a birthright is continuing to foster stronger desperation on frustrated northern elites. Their options are dwindling by the day. The most viable option of retaining power in today’s Nigeria even till 2015 is also coming under attack and is anything but certain. The notion of meritocracy – seeking to install the meritorious and most credible entity – is now beginning to creep up in public debate. Credible sections of the north agree with this reasoning. The traditional and dogmatic elites that have long enjoyed periods of characteristic dictatorship however are not willing to give up power without a fight.

While the banner of Turai Yar’Adua continues to hang in public domain as the bad girl of the neighborhood, Jonathan has obviously long been told in unmistakable terms by forces in trousers and medals that he has to play ball for the sake of his life and play ball he has indeed begun.

Funnily, there has been no new headline in the past few days of any new instruction issued by Turai Yar’Adua because others have now taken over the duty of issuing the instructions behind the scene. But there are ample news visualizing the trembling feet and the flush of urine through the moistened trousers of the Acting President.

Power in Nigeria and by Nigerians in a developing society is usually understood as an avenue and opportunity of delicious enrichment. The preparedness for martyrdom in the spirit of laying down lives for a national cause is not construed in Nigeria as an inherent element in the package of holding public offices. Nelson Mandela knew he could be killed at any moment by white supremacists and he tells the world that his own life means less to him as long as his ideals are achieved.

The rugged road of dislodging the north from its illegal stranglehold on power in Nigeria sparked off an illegal wave of Sharia declarations to provoke a civil war. Olusegun Obasanjo chose to soft-pedal and let them die a natural death. He never tried to appease them. He stood his grounds but averted a civil war.

The big loud Gong has not yet chimed and Goodluck Jonathan is appointing a 25-man Advisory Council on Policy with old man Theophilus Danjuma at the helm of affairs. All in a bid to appease those guys who have been sounding the warnings in his ears all these past days, to heed the signs of their body language.

Southern politicians are now outdoing each other to tell the invisible northern powers (mind you, not Turai Yar’Adua) that they are ready to comply. The ruling party under Ogbulafor has hastened to pronounce that Jonathan has been barred as eventual presidential candidate come 2011. All in the bid to avoid a coup d’etat!

As if that was not enough, Dimeji Bankole comes out even clearer than clarity can ever be. He voices out what we already know. He says there is a coup in the offing. A Rawlings-type assault with venom to go round town! He begs in desperation for open cowardice to avoid heating up the polity.

Governors gather in broad daylight and chastise Dora Akunyili for voicing the truth. All in a bid to avoid a coup d’etat!

With public support so strongly behind, no one seems to have the guts to damn the consequences and be the martyr of modern Nigeria. Jonathan lacks the courage to kick out the Aondoakaas and empower able-bodied men and stand up to the risk of martyrdom against which Nigerians will rise to say enough is enough. If a Rawlings was to emerge from the present shape of Nigeria’s military, the nation would rejoice. But the Rawlings that they fear is obviously the Rawlings that would wipe off relevant southern politicians to reposition the North.

But we have no men of courage that would damn the consequences. We have men of substance that will fill their pockets and ignore the responsibility of laying down all they have to see the nation rise.

Ribadu is no longer in a hurry to come back home. The message has reached him. He is launching a shadow parliament to engage in shadow-boxing. Time is passing by and our lives and generation too.

When history finally sets out to judge however, no doubt those who had the opportunity to serve the nation will have to answer first and I guess Akunyili will stand out conspicuously, with a conscience in the whiteness of snow.

 

 


 
 

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