National Secretary of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Pastor Emmanuel Nuhu Kure, weekend disclosed that late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua may not have died had the family heeded the advice to evacuate him from Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja three weeks before he died.
Kure, who one of the four pastors who visited the Villa to pray for Yar’Adua at the height of his sickness in 2010, said he told the Yar’Adua family at the meeting that there was the need to take the president out of Aso Rock within three weeks to keep him alive.
The three other pastors were Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith World Outreach, aka Winners Chapel; Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Catholic Bishop of Abuja; and erstwhile Aso Rock Chaplain, Prof. Yusuf Obaje. The pastors visited the seat of power for the prayer session after Yar’Adua was flown back from Saudi Arabia where he had been taken for treatment for an undisclosed illness.
According to the PFN National Secretary, the Yar’Adua family shunned the advice as they were afraid that President Goodluck Jonathan, then vice president, would take over, if they took him out of the Villa immediately.
“Of course, I was not obeyed and exactly three weeks after that visit, he died,” the Kafanchan, Kaduna State-based pastor last week told Vanguard.
Narrating what transpired at the prayer session for Yar’Adua, which he claimed lasted about 10 minutes, “sharp and straight to the point,” the PFN leader said: “When we went in there, they pulled me aside and said the reason you are here sir, go beyond that, can God show mercy? Can God change these things? It’s like deep inside of them, they felt he (Yar’Adua) might not survive. And they had the right to ask God for mercy. That was why they called in the Muslims and the Christians”.
“So I knew my own mission but I sensed things do not happen like that and I told them what would make him escape death. I told them privately. That is, me and them, it had nothing to do with the four (he and the other pastors). My reason for being called was slightly different from the other three. I think Oyedepo was called because of the miracles (he was performing) in the Living Faith Church. We were called in because they believed we have access to God and that we could pray some effective prayers that would help the matter.
“I told them the Lord said that within three weeks they should take him out of the Villa to somewhere he’d be without pressure. That was the time the polity was heating up. I told them to take him away from there (Aso Rock) because while there within those three weeks, even if as much as one mosquito bite him, he would die. I told them I saw only three weeks. So if they had taken him out within those three weeks, maybe God would have shown mercy and given him some rest and added some time to his life.
“I don’t know how much, I’m not God. I’m just an oracle who spoke for that season. And the understanding I got later, I was told they couldn’t take him out because it was not politically convenient. They were afraid that Jonathan would take over if they took him out immediately. He kept him there to ensure that Jonathan did not take over even when it was to the detriment of his health. Maybe it was a tactical move; the wife had no say in the matter”.
Exonerating the former president’s wife, Turai, whom many accused as being the de-facto president during the late president’s rule and illness, from blame over the failure to move Yar’Adua from Aso Rock as advised, Kure said, “Nigerian politicians are very complicated and sophisticated people when they know their interests are at stake; they will use you to remain relevant. They will keep you there until they get what they want. I think she was also in captivity.
“Of course she would have wanted her husband to live; she would have wanted to remain the first lady naturally. Let’s not pretend about these things. Constitutionally it was not her call; it was the politicians’ call which was what the people in the National Assembly and Nigerians were making that, `let the constitution have its way’. It was a constitutional call, it was not her call,” Kure said.