I have decided to write you this 18-page letter BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. If I don’t write it now, people may start considering you as a good president; forgetting that I am the only good president Nigeria has ever had. There is no one like me. As far as Nigeria is concerned, I am the Baba of the Babas. I am the president of the presidents. Before me, Nigeria had no president. After me, there will be no other president.
I have had occasion in the past to warn you, especially when I nominated you as vice-president to Yar’Adua and then campaigned for you to be president, that under no circumstances should you outshine me. I did not put you there to do the things I could not do. Neither did I put you there to succeed where I failed. I put you there because my fourth-term agenda failed. Therefore, I needed someone to be a figure-head, while I continue to rule from behind the scene.
But since you became president, you have not been following my orders. I have warned you again and again to desist from this abuse of the authority I gave you. But you have refused to listen. So you now think you are actually the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I still de laugh! You are not the president. I am the president. If you continue to disobey me, and to promulgate policies that put me in a bad light when compared to you, I will see to it that you don’t even complete your first-term, how much more have a second-term.
I am already in discussions with the APC to see if we can have you impeached. Did you not read in the papers that APC leaders came to my house the other day? When they were here, we all ate pounded yam with egusi soup. Even Buhari had a second helping and asked for the recipe. You better read the writing on the wall. I notice you have quickly returned the missing 49 billion dollars after I brought the matter to the notice of fellow Nigerians; but that won’t help you. I will have you know that we are already training 1000 snipers who will puncture all the tyres of your supporters. Therefore, if you know what is good for you, you better start acting as the puppet president I put you there to be.
How dare you, Goodluck? How dare you build almajiri schools in the North? Why didn’t you suggest that to me while I was in office? How dare you address the NEPA problem when I could not? What exactly are you trying to prove? You think you are better than me? Don’t you know that you would have remained a striking university lecturer if it had not been for me? How dare you appoint a competent man to be Minister of Agriculture? Now the man is going around getting awards for his policies. Which policies? I am the one who revolutionized the agric sector in Nigeria. When I became president, I had only one farm. By the time I left office, I had over six farms in different parts of the country. Is that not progress? How many farms do you have?
You can never be better than me. The corruption in my government was far more than yours. You have nothing to compare with my infamous Siemens and Haliburton scandals. You don’t even have the gumption to buy a Toyota Land Cruiser for your mistress. Chinua Achebe said, “One of the truest test of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” You will soon find that this statement cannot be applied to me. I am above it.
How dare you release AlMustapha from prison after 14 years when you know I want him to stay there for the rest of his natural life? I give you my word; you are going to regret that decision. How dare you convene a national conference when I specifically refused to do so? Are you trying to make me look bad? Did you even get my approval before agreeing to it? You are a very disrespectful man. Do you think that you, a minority nonentity from the South-South, could have risen to be President of the country had it not been for me? Have you forgotten so soon, the extent I went in order to ensure that you are where you are today? There was only bad luck in Nigeria until I, in my infinite wisdom, bequeathed good luck on the country.
You ungrateful man! If you don’t stop all these irritating policies, I will declare a national state of emergency. Nonsense! You are supposed to obey your elders. Henceforth, Goodluck Jonathan, you must obey me. Otherwise, I will show you pepper. I will pour sand into your gari. I will put tea in your coffee. You can no longer be trusted; that is why you will only get a second-term over my dead body. I need to get someone in Aso Rock who will do what I say. I already have your replacement in mind. I don’t intend to make the same mistake three times. I will take him to a shrine under Olumo Rock to swear an iron-clad oath to do whatever I say. Any flagrant disregard of my authority, and he will not be able to speak English and Hausa again.
People close to you, if not you yourself, have been asking: “What does Baba want?” What a stupid question. I want to be president of Nigeria again! I want to be president! Half a dozen African presidents have spoken to me and assured me that I am the only president they recognize in Nigeria. Half a dozen of them said their only wish for Nigeria is that I should return to Aso Rock. Of course, yes. Mugabe is still there. Why not me? It is not my will but providence has determined that the presidency is my birthright. I fought for this country. Single-handed, I kept Nigeria together during the civil-war. You cannot sideline me. I put you there: I can remove you. I made you: I can unmake you. You are not the Messiah of Nigeria. I am the Messiah. Don’t you forget it! I want nothing personally from you but that you obey me at all times.
When I changed the constitution of our great party, I made sure I would continue to control things by inserting a clause which guaranteed that I am the only one qualified to be the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. But as chairman, I was not given the recognition I deserve as the father of the party. Therefore, I tendered my resignation. Imagine my surprise when you had the audacity to accept it. You are such an impudent man. If you knew your place, you would have recognized that my resignation was just a protest. You were supposed to send the elders of the party to beg me to stay on; a plea I would have graciously accepted. But like the ungrateful son that you are, you accepted my resignation. And now, you have Tony Anenih occupying a post that rightfully belongs to me.
Your unlimited ambition became clear to me when the National Chairman of the party said he never does anything without your approval. So you now see yourself as the Leader of the party. Never! See where it has got you now. A number of governors have resigned from the party and taken APC. If you don’t behave, another set will resign and take aspirin. The PDP has lost its majority in the House. There is talk of impeachment; and you are no longer sleeping at night. It serves you right. I fully intend to teach you a lesson you will never forget. By the time I have finished with you, you will run out of the country and seek political asylum in Equatorial Guinea.
It is not surprising that you have not been able to eradicate the scourge of Boko Haram from Nigeria. You don’t have military experience like I have. Under my watch, Bola Ige, Marshal Harry and others were surgically removed from the scene. Similarly, I would have finished Boko Haram within three months. I understand the violence. I am fully cognizant of the root, stem and branches of the underlying causes. But I will not share any of this with you as long as you refuse to make an unequivocal statement that you will not pursue a second-term.
Unlike you, as president of our great country, I was dynamic and resourceful. I exterminated trouble-makers from Odi and Zaki Biam. I spent $16 billion dollars restoring NEPA to its enviable heights. I committed 300 billion naira rebuilding all the federal highways in the East alone. I restored the country’s refineries. I raised the price of petrol several times. I rigged the most amazing election in the history of the country. I conducted the first widely-accepted national census. I could go on and on but my secretary has to go home. In short, I was the great president you can never be. So if you think a neophyte like you can compete with me; think again!
Stop taking me for granted. You don’t want to be in my bad books. I don’t forgive my enemies. You will regret this for the rest of your life. I will show you how much of a nuisance I can be. I will embarrass you everywhere. I will tell as many lies about you as I can. I will write public letters to you every week. I will copy the next one to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Never you forget: I dey kampe!
Accept, ungrateful Mr. President, the assurances of my highest disapproval.
Baba the Baba.
P.S. I shall be sharing the contents of this letter with all the newspaper houses in Nigeria and Ghana. I will also be copying my very good friend Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
By Femi Aribisala.