I was drifting between sleep and wakefulness on the 5th day of the fifth month in year 2010 at about 27 minutes after eleven at night when one of my brothers called out: YAR'ADUA IS DEAD! Check STV! I immediately practically flew to the sitting room, wrestled with the TV remote control for a few seconds and finally got the TV on. And sure enough, there he was, staring wordlessly at me from the screen of the TV while I read what STV had to say, which was precious few: PRESIDENT UMAR YAR'ADUA IS DEAD.
I quickly scanned the other TV stations; nothing! The president was dead and even channels TV was showing a movie! Next, I went on the net, I had to get further confirmation (I knew anyway, that for STV to carry it, it had to be the real deal. I do not know STV for any extra ordinary act of boldness). Which website to check? oh yes! 234next.com! They seem to have this reckless boldness which I secretly find appealing. It was anyway thanks to them that the whole news of just how sick the president was, began to unravel, and they seemed to have been right when they insisted on standing by their story about the president being brain damaged even after the controversial BBC broadcast.
Sure enough, the news was already on Next's website, but it was without an accompanying story. Saharereporters had also by then carried the news.
Also, the other TV stations had caught on by that time and were flashing the breaking news. Having got sufficient confirmation, my sometimes fertile imagination went on immediate overdrive. Did he truly just died? had he been dead a week or a month before? No! I immediately chided myself. That would simply not have been possible! Or could it be?
I wondered what was going through Turai's mind; was she truly mourning her husband and companion of about 35 years or was she just mourning the now certain loss of her position as Nigeria's first lady?
What was Jonathan thinking? the now certain thrust of full presidential responsibility on his shoulders? or eureka!
What about Patience Goodluck? She'll at least now be certain of what her title should be unlike when her husband was acting president and she was neither first lady nor second lady!.
My mind was running in a thousand different directions and I had trouble catching up with it. I had the urge to call a thousand people to ask if they'd heard the news but lack of credit on my phone and the ungodly hour put paid to that.
I wondered what was happening with the political vultures. Or should I rather call them hawks? The vulture is after all reputed to be a patient bird which preys on the already dead. The Hawk on the other hand, preys on living and defenceless creatures. On that note, the hawks won. What schemes will the hawks be up to in order to become vice president? what will they consider taboo and what will they do?
Finally, I felt sad at the way the whole situation was handled by the president's family. I felt sorry for Yar'Adua for allowing Obasanjo to convince him to become president despite his poor health. I felt sorry for Yar'Adua for the way politics was played with his health, with his life and with the country. At the end, I couldnt help but feel sorry for Turai, she fought long and hard. But in the end, death won and the president drew his last breath!