The “Power, Politics and Death” of Late President Yar’Adua; The Tell-All Book

Late Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua

“If we will be honest with ourselves, we all know how we rig elections in this country,” Adeniyi quotes Yar’Adua as saying during a closed-door January 2008 meeting about the corrupt election that saw him become the nation’s leader.

It is a tell-all book that delves into the untold story about the term and death of late former Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua, and news of it has spread far and wide.

Written by his former spokesman, Olusegun Adeniyi, the book “Power, Politics and Death: A Front-Row Account of Nigeria Under the Late President Yar’Adua” reportedly tells of how late President, whose health had been compromised for a long duration of his term, was simply a pawn in the country’s political playground.

Associated Press reporter Jon Gambrell had obtained an advance copy of the book and reports that it “describes the rise of militancy in the oil-rich country’s crude-producing southern delta, including how a militant leader stole thousands of machine guns from Nigerian army depot”.

According to the AP, the author, currently a columnist for the ThisDay newspaper, had been flattering about his former boss, but much less so about the nation’s budding democracy.

One shocking part of the book highlighted by the AP is that President Yar’Adua, already ill from a serious kidney condition, had reportedly admitted election discrepancies that aided his rise to power.

“If we will be honest with ourselves, we all know how we rig elections in this country,” Adeniyi quotes Yar’Adua as saying during a closed-door January 2008 meeting about the corrupt election that saw him become the nation’s leader.

“We compromise the security agencies, we pay the electoral officials and party agents while on the eve of the election we merely distribute logistics all designed to buy the vote.”

Adeniyi made claims in his book that while the late President’s conditions worsened, the men around him worked harder to keep his condition secret.

The author recalled his role in that aspect, saying he had once, in 2008, instructed a cameraman from state-run television network to film the president from one side in order to hide Yar’Adua’s swollen face after an allergic reaction.

Adeniyi’s book reportedly exposes the network of cover-ups that protected the President’s true physical state from the Nigerian public, even as he was flown abroad numerous times for different surgeries.

The book also details the events that transpired behind-the-scenes when Yar’Adua’s longest stay in a hospital, his seven-month stint in a Saudi Arabia medical facility, compeled the National Assembly to hand over power, temporarily, to then vice-president Goodluck Jonathan.

The former spokesman said that in his final days, the late president had been incapable of working for more than a few hours at a time, and soon unable to speak, yet members in his camp had been eager to keep him in power.

“There were fears among (Jonathan’s) closest aides he could be shot by the soldiers,” the book claims.

It later adds: “Signals from the military were also hazy, with fears that some soldiers could take out both Yar’Adua and Jonathan.”
Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010. Jonathan was sworn in as president the next day.

Adeniyi’s book also takes a look at the rise of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Deltam the region’s premier militant group which, he writes, was aided by a series of weapons thefts engineered by the group’s alleged leader Henry Okah from Nigerian military depots.

The theft of thousands of weapons, including pistols, machine guns and rocket launchers, “was so staggering and the crime so well organized that the investigating team could hardly determine the exact amount of arms removed,” Adeniyi writes.

Though he denies it, Okah is still facing charges in South Africa over the Independence Day car bombings that killed 12 people in Abuja in 2010.
There have been no comments from the President Jonathan’s administration about the claims made in the book.

The controversial tell all is set to hit stands next week and has already piqued the interest of Nigerian readers awaiting its release.

Channels Television :
Disqus Comments Loading...