I have tried to understand why you have devoted so much in defense of Turai, the bereaved wife of our loved President Yar’adua. The only reason that comes to my mind is the fact that from the point of view of civility, everybody has a right to his opinion. However, from the point of our subjectivity to the will of God and the demands of natural law, I think one is only entitled to that which is the truth.
Having said this, I must commend your well thought out defense which underlines your very sympathetic position. You do not totally exonerate Turai from the negative events of the recent past but give her the benefit of doubt that she acted out of reverence and love for the one man she shared her life with. This in all sincerity gives credence to your piece and I learn from you.
However, I think the case in point in a matter of national integrity, respect for the rule of law and the entity called Nigeria. Yar’adua (May his soul rest in peace) was the president of Nigeria. For me, he was our head and our pride. His life was to a greater extent a public issue no matter how. It was simply right that the state of his health as of November 2009 be told Nigerians who were responsible for all his bills. If he were a king ruling his subjects, we would have trusted his family and probably allowed his wife to call the shots but he was a democratically elected president answerable to us.
The fact that it was shrouded in big mystery with no concrete fact or evidence (as you kept saying) and Turai as wife was at the head of it, tells volumes. All the ‘Truths’ we heard from the Aondoakas, the inlaws, the so called kichen cabinet were issued on the instruction of who? Was it the vice president or just who? At those times that Yar’adua as a result of his health could not make decisions considering as you stated even in good health he was slow in stamping his feet, who gave the executive commands? Why could nobody even the national delegates on the bill of Nigeria unable to see him in hospital? When eventually did his vice see him? Why was he brought back the way he was with all the security disconcerts? And eventually the President JUST DIED…..just like that?
My brother, I think you greatly underestimate the events of the recent past and you under play them to the detriment of this huge nation. Nobody is thoroughly evil and no matter how bad a person is either by accident or the deliberate act of the will, some good is done by him or her. So it is not an issue that the government of Yar’adua has brought about some good, it is even possible that these goods were initiated by Turai in the privacy of their bedroom. This, however, does not make right the deliberate manipulations of the past nor does it suggest your ‘lacuna’.
That I may not be misunderstood, let me be very clear about what I think of Yar’adua and his wife Turai.
Yar’adua, to my mind, was a good man who seemly meant good for this land. Was brought into the race of the presidency when he was least prepared for it. Under intense pressure from the OBJ and maybe, in fact most probably, Turai (and using your assumption about her, the woman who dabbled in occasional vanity and nursed sundry secret ambitions) had to accept to be president after all the race was won before it began. Now, having found himself on the mighty stage, Yar’adua had to tread carefully, hurting as few people as possible. He had to listen to those close to him to help him in governance, to give him courage and strength since he was not cursed with the brutality of OBJ, the old general. These advisers both public and private were instrumental to his actions but in all cases his nature took precedence. He tried to do what was most right for Nigerians, and I must add, to the best of his knowledge. But when the good Yar’adua could no longer stand by November 2009, his advisers took up his role in his name and turned the virtuous to the villain before the very people that loved and trusted him. This is my pain: that by their actions they turned Nigerians against their president and he received negative comments that were not due to him. This was great injustice to a good man. However, Yar’adua still takes responsibilities that lie on him. You can list them.
Turai on the other hand, was a wife and mother. This must have conditioned some of her actions but she was also the first lady. These two offices were a conflict in her and she loved to play the role of the first lady better. But I must confess that the first time I saw Turai, I loved and appreciated her not minding her accent. I saw a woman with the heart of a true mother. Her beauty was enchanting and drew all to her. But like all that fades, her inner self made that beauty fade rather too quickly.
Nonetheless, we must all realize that Turai is human and therefore bound to make the wrong chooses like all of us. That some of us talk about her, does not mean all love is lost. We forgive and respect her if not for anything, for the fact that she is a mother and have lost her beloved.
God rest Yar’adua and give Turai the fortitude to bear the lost.