There is a saying in the Yoruba tradition to the effect that death translates ordinary mortals into idols. I do not know the exact sense in which progenitors of the tradition meant it, but this can be construed in two ways, at least.
The first but more improbable is the spiritual. In Yoruba cosmology, the dead are believed to have moved on into the spirit realm albeit with the capacity to still fight on behalf of their descendants. The second sense, which is the most likely and relevant to this intervention is that the good that people do in their lifetime is generally most apparent after their passage.
Again, this proposition may be hinged on one of two planks. The first could emanate from the belief that you should not speak evil of the dead. And that is understandable. Not only is a dead man now a spirit and possibly in the league of ancestors, he is also dead and gone, in no place to defend himself. So, why flog a dead horse? That would not just be a futile effort; it would be inhuman!
The second plank on which this point could rest is that the world does not generally speak about the import of the lives of people until they are no longer there. So, at the death of a person, those who know them are effusive about their good deeds some of which may have never been spoken. Tradition however forbids evil from being spoken about them even when there are testimonies that impeach the abundance of posthumous positive revelations.
So, Nigerians woke up on Saturday morning to the news of the death of Mallam Abba Kyari, until then the Chief of Staff to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.). Kyari was in a no love lost relationship with most Nigerians who, for no fault of theirs, saw him as Nigeria’s alternate President. And there are so many reasons you should not blame Nigerians for seeing Kyari as not just a usurper but the one behind everything that may not be working in the Buhari regime.
One of these is that some of the people who should know, given their proximity to the powerhouse, told Nigerians so. Recall that just about one year into the first term of the Buhari regime, former Senate President Bukola Saraki suggested that an unnamed cabal might have edged Buhari out of executive control.
In reaction to the barrage of court cases that he faced shortly after his inauguration, Saraki said the following in a statement he personally signed: “However, what has become clear is that there is now a government within the government of President Buhari who have seized the apparatus of Executive powers to pursue their nefarious agenda.” Although he did not mention names, Saraki, then number three in the hierarchy of leadership, should know.