Nigeria — February 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM

A prayer for Yar’Adua

You see, there comes a time in every individual’s life when he or she must pause and take stock of a situation. This is also true for a country, and Nigeria is at that point. It’s no longer hush news that the President, Umaru Yar’Adua, is away in Saudi Arabia for a medical emergency. He has been gone since November 23, 2009 and no one knows for sure when he is coming back. It is time for Nigerians to come together in prayer for the president. All ethnic, tribal, social, and political differences should be set aside to give the president a spiritual boost.

The blame game should stop. The controversy should seize. Political operatives should put away their swords. Media talk heads should observe a truce. The Nigerian Senate and House of Representative through separate resolutions have empowered Dr. Jonathan to assume the role of Acting President. Dr. Jonathan has since assumed the role. So, the matter is settled, at least for now. What the president needs is support and prayer for a speedy recuperation.

Let me be clear, I am not in support of the President’s departure without transmitting a letter to the Senate President and Speaker of the House, prior to his exit. That was wrong. However, I am also aware that the deed is done and we must move on. No one is sure why the president did not send the letter. Hitherto, he has not told the nation the reason for his non-transmission of the letter. So, all opinions from political operatives and media talk heads are conjectures.

We live in a dynamic world and stuff happens. Our ability to learn from a situation, make necessary adjustments, put it behind and move on is what defines each individual or country. The real question is: Now what? To tenaciously hold on to the President’s “wrong” like a monkey’s paw in the bottle is equivalent to taking one step forward and two steps backward. Greed is the monkey’s reason for not relaxing its paw so that it can be safely removed from the bottle. Greed may not be your reason for not cutting the President a slack vis-à-vis the matter but you share the same fate as the monkey because, like the monkey, you are stuck.

Nigeria is not a mere geographical expression. It is a nation with individuals that share a common national destiny. Just like groups with common belief, goal and aspiration that rally around one of their’s in need or crisis, Nigerians should root for their president.

Remember when Pope John Paul II took ill some years ago? Catholics around the world wished the Pope well and prayed for his quick recovery.  John Paul II was the head of the catholic faith but the church as a body prayed and wished him well regardless of individual member’s opinion on the pontiff’s policies and opinion on world issues. For example the catholic church, as a body, does not support abortion, a hot button topic. But I know some devoted Catholics who support a woman’s right to choose with regard to abortion. History is replete with such acts of support for a leader. This, however, does not include extreme heinous crimes committed by some heads of state, spiritual leaders or rogue organization leaders. President Yar’Adua’s action in this matter, at best, can be deemed bad judgment but it does not rise to the level of extreme atrocity.

Earlier, NEXT, reported that the president has suffered brain damage. The report drew firestorm but the magazine stood its ground asserting: “we stand by our story, to wit: we have it on good authority that the president has suffered brain damage and other impairments, and is no longer able to effectively discharge the office of president. Anyone who claims we are wrong should please produce our president, so that he can speak to us directly as Nigerians, and not via an audio clip through a foreign news organization.” This is serious stuff. We are talking about a man who is a father, husband and uncle. This must be hard for his family; they too are hurting right now and should be remembered in prayer.

Let a national day of prayer be declared. If you don’t believe in prayer then use that day to contemplate the situation and send good thoughts to the president and his family.

This is my stand.

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