President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua died at night yesterday, May 5, on my father's 55th birthday. My father is on TV now commenting on the politics.
Previously there was Muslim prayer being recited musically on TV, with images of Hajia Turai praying alongside her husband. Yar'Adua looked like a humble schoolboy. I thought, she must be so sad, and especially feel so alone. You see, Turai was Yar'Adua's only wife, whereas as a Nigerian Muslim he was free to take more than one wife. This says something of their devotion to each other.
The melodious Muslim sounds made me want to find a mosque to pray in. Maybe I'll let this tugging pass, but like a battering ram, there may yet be another push, until one day, I'll pray as a Muslim. Ram: the most favoured food animal of Muslim festivals in Lagos. Have you ever seen rams fight? Maybe the battering ram is so-called because it's also relentless.
There is too much illogic in religion, so it's not that I want to be very religious. I have attended a Mass a week (thanks to living with my parents) for the past ten months and am now desensitized to Catholic prayer. These days I come to the end of Mass with the thought, wow, I can't remember anything the Reverend Father said. On the other hand, I remain responsive to the sights and sounds of Arabia/Islam.
Another commentator on TV just used the phrase "complete gentleman" to describe Yar'Adua. It is very heartening that we have come this far, from the hoodlums that ruled the country to the era of "gentle" persons. Thank God.