Thursday, May 06, 2010



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.


Anonymous said...

May his Soul rest in Peace.

I am not Nigerian but I follow Nigerian news and I found him endearing

t said...

Thank you, Anonymous.
It's been a hard couple of weeks for some Nigerians: first to lose DaGrin, and now our dearest Baba Go Slow.

There is an old joke about Yar'Adua, oh boy, Nigerians are crazy. Guy walks into a restaurant and orders all kinds of meat: two roundabout (pomo: the skin on the cow tail), one shaki (tripe), two Yar'Adua ... Nigerians enjoy eating snail meat :)

One Love.

Anonymous said...

two Yar'Adua, lol. That's a good one. Food is a nice way to endear the guy to ourselves in a lasting way. Tomorrow I am going to Zaragoza and will try to see a castle called Aljaferia. I will take pictures for you, and hope you come and visit soon :-) Cheers, K


May his soul rest in peace.

Se alafia ni?


BTW, like you, I thought he only married one woman, but turns out he had a previous wife and 2 kids with her. I found that out while doing research for a post in which I had planned to highlight the fact that unlike many Muslims, he chose one wife to stay with. Irregardless, it was nice that he was seemingly a one-woman man.

Okay, off to do some more research. Later...

t said...

Ok o, anonymous, no problem.

Mr. Solomon Sydelle ;) :
A dupe.

Yes, I saw that in a paper today. I was like, cool, he's human. And proceeded to think about how to interpret that (like scheming machinations that restored power to the first wife) then I noted the danger in relying on little bits of information to judge the whole picture.

On a personal note, I can't understand monogamy, and Yar'Adua's short-lived other-marriage seems natural and conservative enough.

t said...

does that mean you're staying in Spain?

Don Thieme said...

I enjoyed this post. It is well to remember the good things about the man which marked him for higher office and promised peace and stability. Nigeria has lost one of its great men.

t said...

thank you for the comment, DT.