What Did Yar'Adua Tell Kenya's Kibaki?

What Did Yar'Adua Tell Kenya's Kibaki?

© Ogaga Ifowodo

As Africa reaps once again an abundant harvest of deaths, mangled bodies, sacked communities, refugees, a blighted future for thousands of victims and one more splash of tar on the continent's image, I am dying to know what our "rule of law" president, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, has said to his Kenyan counterpart, Mwai Kibaki, as well as to an opposition that certainly shares the blame. As president of the self-styled Giant of Africa, he must feel a bounden duty to be chief arbitrator of conflicts that threaten the peace and well-being of the continent. The fraudulent manner of his ascension to office notwithstanding, Yar'Adua has inherited Nigeria's mantle of leadership which our shameful history of military and civilian maladministration hasn't yet managed to renounce in totality. It is, in any case, a mantle placed on the country's leadership, however constituted at any point in time, by sheer dint of historical circumstance: Nigeria's abundant wealth in natural and human resources.

It is, then, a legitimate issue for conjecture what our president did on receiving news of the outbreak of anarchy in Kenya following an election that must surely have reminded him of the process that brought him to power. Certainly, he couldn't have failed to note that Nigeria has so far been spared a similar orgy of burnt bodies, homes and whole communities as the consequence of electoral brigandage only by sheer good luck. Surely he must have flinched as the rude fact struck him in the face like a slap: Nigeria cannot afford another fiasco as the one that installed him in power. So, on learning that Kibaki had perfected arrangements for a hasty swearing-in ceremony in the face of mounting allegations of rigging, did Yar'Adua pick up the phone? What advice borne of recent experience did he offer his brother election-rigger? Did Yar'Adua seek to dissuade Kibaki from profiting from his crime? Or did he merely say solemnly, "Your Excellency, whatever you do, be sure to follow the rule of law and all else shall take care of itself?" When Yar'Adua met Kibaki in person at the recent Africa Union summit in Addis Ababa, with Kenya already aflame, what did he tell him in strict confidence? Perhaps, this: "My brother Excellency, I applaud you for heeding my advice. By taking steps to be sworn in through due process, you have voted for the rule of law against violence. Remember, the rule of law, first and last, and all else shall take care of itself. You can trust me on this."

There is evidence that whatever Yar'Adua may have told Kibaki couldn't possibly be far from the above purport. As two reports a week apart in the two newspapers, The Nation and the East African Standard, show, Kibaki has quite vociferously called on the opposition Orange Democratic Movement to seek legal redress of its grievances. And Kibaki did not forget to invoke the rule of law. In the East African Standard report of 2 February 2008 entitled, "Kenya: Kibaki Insists ODM Should Go to Court," Kibaki finds it possible not only to employ the dubious rhetoric of the rule of law, but also to lay the entire blame for the violence on the opposition. The report which summarizes Kibaki's speech to the Addis Ababa summit is an excellent portrayal of the African ruler at his sanctimonious best. Citing the hallowed authority of precedence in all previous situations of electoral fraudulence, Kibaki informed his cohorts of presidents and heads of state, most of whom stomped on the heads of the people on their way to the swearing-in ceremony, that "In such situations, the accepted rule is to resort to the established constitutional and legal mechanisms." A few more declamations from the AU's tainted pulpit after, he singled out the opposition's supposed disavowal of the rule of law as the main cause of the mayhem reducing his country to smoke, rubble and a trekking and wailing mass of refugees. The opposition, he charged, "rejected the adherence to this key democratic principle, and chose, instead, not to respect the rule of law."

Kibaki may be a determined power-monger the equal of any that has bestrode our Africa, but a fool he certainly isn't. He proved himself a good student of the callous power game that damns the continent by proffering other reasons  -   not to do with himself or his government, of course  -   that may have been responsible for the post-election tragedy. He spoke of underlying causes and long term measures that will provide durable solutions to them. Listen carefully and you hear echoes of Yar'Adua's blueprint being followed to the letter. Yar'Adua, you will recall, was quick to identity the underlying causes of his unlawful imposition on the country and to set up an electoral review panel currently at work to address them.

But whenever you hear the thief or the devil citing scripture, you will do well to consult the Bible, the Koran, or whichever is your holy book. In Yar'Adua and Kibaki's respective cases, the aim is to douse the fires of protest to quiet embers in the first instance, and to dead ashes in the last. At any rate, a definite goal is the buying of precious time within which the illegitimate regime can appraise the situation, deploy the state's resources which it commands to corruptive ends and fashion a strategy for retaining power, if not in the incumbent then in another agent of the power clique. It presents the ruling oligarchs what is commonly referred to as a win-win situation: if the courts, against the odds, dare to validate the opposition's claims, the regime bows out temporarily but without being disgraced out of office and betraying even more dangerously its ruthless ideology of greed. It can then claim to be a champion of the rule of law and so a promoter of a vital institution of democracy. If the courts, expectedly, ratify the electoral fraud, the regime can then claim the mantle of legitimacy and derive from that judicial victory a justification for muzzling the opposition.

An element of this sinister modus operandi is already apparent. At the same time that Kibaki annulled the popular will through a hasty swearing-in, he banned further media coverage of returns from polling stations nationwide. And as he urged the ODM to go to court, he also looked forward, it seems, to the moment when he could prohibit any open discussion of his stolen mandate by claiming that the matter was sub judice. In The Nation's report of 7 February 2008 entitled, "Sharp Divisions Over Disputed Poll Results," Kibaki's negotiators at the on-going peace talks are quoted as making this very claim in defence of their refusal to contemplate any scrutiny of the government's pre-election shenanigans. The reason? A citizen, one Elphas Wesangula, had already filed a case in court against Kibaki and the opposition leader, Raila Odinga. "It would be sub judice to discuss the matter that is before a court of law," they declared. Evidently, the rule of law is a barely disguised means for power to have its cake and still eat it; to play statesman and tyrant at one and the same time.

But to end on the note with which I started, I think it a striking indication of how far Nigeria has fallen that Kibaki, in his AU speech, thanked Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda for visiting Kenya to assist in resolving the on-going crisis. Why has Yar'Adua not visited, or sent a personal envoy? The answer, as the musician sang, is blowing in the wind. Yar'Adua may chant his rule of law mantra till he falls down with exhaustion, but the indelible stain of his stolen mandate robs him of any moral authority at home and abroad. What would he be willing to say on record to Kibaki and Odinga: Gentlemen, respect the rule of law? It wouldn't be a bad thing if Yar'Adua's lack of moral authority led only to the diminution of his presidential stature. Unfortunately, it points unmistakably as well to the diminished stature of Nigeria on the continent and, needless to say, in the rest of the world. Let us hope that this unflattering state of the nation will not linger for much too long.

 Ifowodo can be reached at ogaga2@yahoo.com

 



1
Re: What Did Yar`Adua Tell Kenya`s Kibaki?
DoubleWahala posted on 02-08-2008, 18:18:54 PM
Nice piece.

Even more pertinent to all observers, should be the fact that UMYA, unlike his counterparts in some other African countries, is not openly and publicly mediating in the matter.

Rather, leadership has been ceded to countries like Ghana, in the person of Kofi Anan, the former UN Sec. Gen, who is leading mediation efforts in the Kenyan Crises. So much for Nigeria being the "giant of Africa".

The reason is obvious anyway. It has to do with credibility. UMYA, who, himself, is a beneficiary of corruption and election-rigging cannot be taken seriously by anybody, least of all, Kenyans themselves.

Therefore, he has to maintain a distance and even (public) silence on the issue. So, yes, he probably (privately) tutored Kibaki on how to use the 'rule of law' to twist things around to achieve his objective.

The truth is that Nigeria is no longer in any position to provide political/moral leadership in any form in Africa.

DW
Re: What Did Yar`Adua Tell Kenya`s Kibaki?
Aso Rock posted on 02-08-2008, 21:53:25 PM
Nice peace.
Nigerians are yet to find out what kind of Devil they have until after the Tribunal,
U'MYA for now have no advice for his co-Rigger in Kenya until after the Tribunal, then if there is a re-election , He will perfect his own 'do or die rigging ', Until then we do not know
Whom we are dealing with. For now, some call him go slow oga etc. All lying lizards doesn't have stomach pain.
Re: What Did Yar`Adua Tell Kenya`s Kibaki?
Aso Rock posted on 02-09-2008, 05:27:33 AM
QUOTE:
Nice peace.
Nigerians are yet to find out what kind of Devil they have until after the Tribunal,
U'MYA for now have no advice for his co-Rigger in Kenya until after the Tribunal, then if there is a re-election , He will perfect his own 'do or die rigging ', Until then we do not know
Whom we are dealing with. For now, some call him go slow oga etc. All lying lizards doesn't have stomach pain.


Pregnancy could only be covered only at early stages #11b, cars and about $40m of
Unlisted campaign money was forgotten during the celebrated declaration.
Re: What Did Yar`Adua Tell Kenya`s Kibaki?
Palamedes posted on 02-09-2008, 09:04:54 AM
Talk about Kenya, what is President Yar’Adua's policy towards Chad. Here is trouble next door but it is the French who have gone in to stabilize the situation in that country.

Shouldn't the President have sent in the Nigerian military NOW rather than wait for the events to get out of hand (as was the case in Sierra Leone, and Liberia) and then spend billions of dollars for long term peace keeping?

Is he getting the right advice from the foreign ministry, security agencies, border security, special advisers? What is the President waiting for, before doing something to ensure that the troubles do not spill into Nigerian territory—perhaps too late, given reports of Chadian refugees fleeing into Nigeria.

WAKE UP President Yar’Adua. So far, this is one foreign policy failure but it is not too late to take decisive action.
QUOTE:
... I think it a striking indication of how far Nigeria has fallen that Kibaki, in his AU speech, thanked Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda for visiting Kenya to assist in resolving the on-going crisis

It is appalling that the Kibaki regime did not show any respect to the Chair of the AU, who is also a President of an African country. This was the reason President Kufuor's early attempts at mediation failed. Koffi Anan is having a much better treatment from the Kibaki regime.

Disrespect to the AU Chair is disrespect to the AU. And I think at the next meeting of the AU, Kibaki should be called to order.
Re: What Did Yar`Adua Tell Kenya`s Kibaki?
Lagos Boy posted on 02-11-2008, 05:36:08 AM
As far as what Nigeria's response should be to the crisis in Kenya in view of her "leadership status", several key figures are liable for their maintained silence. These people include OBJ, the current foreign affairs minister and other high profile members of the federal cabinet and the PDP.

They're so cowardly that the only official commentary on the subject was from the national assembly asking the government to evecuate Nigerians. They probably think we should clap for them for expressing their lack of ideas

Their continued silence is an indictment on their own performance and values, for what responsible "giant of africa" will sit by and watch a fellow African nation go up in flames without offering to mediate, rebuke or advise in order to hault the chaos?

Shame on the bloated, rotten and corrupt association known as the PDP that lacks both integrity and vision

Long live Nigeria
1
Please register before you can make new comment
secondary commodities buy accutane online usa islam traits buy prednisone tablets pentecost olds order amoxicillin no prescription susceptible showering order propecia online no prescription hospital silty order diflucan online adult disappointed buy clomid online 100mg liaising physicians buy cipro organic tugging levaquin for sale indicates base lexapro for sale online excited tomorrows buy paxil generic usually like buy priligy 30mg arrival workload order tramadol online without prescription landing servant how do i buy xanax online robust litwaks order celebrex warn paddles order doxycycline online grades corneal buy xenical diet pills butler continuation buy antibiotics us rand clares buy valtrex online no prescription specify visits cytotec for sale transport drivepower nolvadex online pharmacy vofiba pretend