Continued from Part 1
Eventually, as the weeks wore on, the man became weaker and weaker and it became apparent that he was more or less like a human marrionette in the hands of those whom he surrounded himself with. The final straw that broke the camel’s back led to pericarditis for the then President. He went to Saudi Arabia for treatments and never came back alive.
I decided to check Governor Sullivan Chime’s story online (with my Java phone, of course) and I was shocked to see so many similarities between his history and that of Yar’adua. In the first place, even before Chime stepped into the Governor’s office, it was an OPEN SECRET that Mr Chime was an individual with poor health. In addition to that, rumours were rampant as to how he indulged himself in nefarious activities, such as heavy smoking and drinkin, as well as sleeping with different girls from the state’s universities. It was even reported that his doctors counselled him and advised him to reduce/totally stop his frivolous activities. He heard them but didn’t listen. Eventually, all these culminated into him falling very ill. He was taken to India for treatments (hopefully, JUST medical treatments) and no one has seen him since then. In the meantime, everything in Enugu State seems to be in place; the deputy Governor is acting as the Governor, Clara Chime is performing the duties of a first lady and no one is asking any questions. The clocks chime away, yet Governor Chime is no where to be found.
I’m not a political columnist but the little I know about politics in Nigeria never ceases to amaze me. It even obfuscates me most times. I always wonder why we aim to pattern our system of government after the Americans. We claim to be practising the American Presidential system and that’s where the similarities end. Have we taken time to see the tolerance level of the American system to corruption? Or even if the ‘normal’ is unattainable and otherworldly to us, how about the build-up to the elections? In America, people contesting for public offices take jogs in the full view of the media and the masses. They do this to show that they are physically and mentally fit to handle whatever the demands of the public offices throw at them. But back here in Naija, the only requirements are having a big round pot-belly, a solid capital base (no one cares whether the money is legitimate or not) and making sure that the godfathers have been appeased. Nobody cares about the man himself, nobody cares about his health status, nobody cares about the nitty-gritties of his personal life.
In my humble opinion, as long as this negligence of significant (usually not prominent!) issues in the health and lifestyles of runners for public offices in Nigeria continues, we would keep on having the deja vu feelings related to the Yar’adua’s (then) and Chime’s (now) administrations.
I wish the Governor of Enugu State a speedy recovery and a speedy return to the helm of affairs at his state. However, the clocks are chiming away on the hour, every hour, it’s high time we learn from the past to create a better future for ourselves and posterity.