I am writing on behalf of the deprived, dehumanized, hapless and traumatized poor people of Nigeria to express to you their disgruntled impressions about your government. Sir, your (s)election or ascendancy to the presidency of a castrated nation was by providence. Personally, I believe you ought to pounce on that privilege to make history. It has been argued as well in some quarters that you are a child of circumstances; that your political and academic nomenclatures do not commensurate with the mundane position you currently hold. I stand to disagree with your critics including this writer that nothing good can come out of your government. I strongly believe you still have ample time to act presidential. History of the world is very repetitious. And history taught us that good things evolve from least expected situation and circumstances. The events of the past few months are litmus tests that the country under your closed watch and power is under attack and on the brink of disaster.
I am dwarfed to suggest to you sir, what to do with the power in your hands but as a concerned citizen trying to sensitize you on behalf of a milked nation, it is my responsibility and our collective task to salvage the nation together from the impending doom looming over us. We are fast becoming a pariah nation and a safe haven for act of terrorism.
Sir, presently, you have a golden opportunity to turn the country around in a drastic and dramatic ways if only you act decisively. As the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria, the buck stops on your table to right the wrongs currently plaguing the country.
The whole world is watching with keen interest the menace and insurgence of religion fanatics known at home as Boko Haram and in the international community as terrorists. And as you also watch nonchalantly or helplessly the pillaging of the country resources by a few cabals at the helm of affairs of the country, you have the onerous responsibility, the will and power within your disposal to stop them. Just to remind you sir, your good citizens, who are professionals abroad hold enviable government and non governmental positions across the globe contributing positively to development of other countries. In fact, a country where this writer resides is a classic example of one of these countries. We are a nation blessed with abundant human and material resources. Nigerians in the Diaspora are willing to come home to contribute their individual and collective quotas to the socio-economic and political development of the country if your government creates a conducive and secured environment.
In a nutshell, much has been said through symposia, letters, lectures and agitations by people in the country, but what can you do to salvage the country before these concerns translate into total revolt? The answers are not far fetched. Sir, firstly, the negative impression of Nigerians about their rulers should be a concern to your humble self as there is a total disconnect from the needs of the people. Corruption needs to be killed and the corrupt politicians need to be brought to book, ostracized, rejected and excommunicated from our body polity. According to a recent reports, more than 500 billion dollars of accrued money from exportation of crude oil in the country have either been mismanaged or embezzled by the successive military and civilian governments of Nigeria through chronic corruption in the last 50years of nationhood.
One school of thought believed that Nigeria required revolutionary violence to throw off the shackles of its current and corrupt past in order to attain true federalism and egalitarian society. I hesitate to support this notion because those who had witnessed wars would tell you that it is easy to start a violence as it is difficult to end it. Syria, Western Sudan and Central African Republic are ugly examples of what can happen in Nigeria. You can initiate a peaceful revolution now in order to prevent a violent one. You can mobilize your cohorts in power and past leaders by apologizing to all Nigerians for these socio-economic and political crimes that have been committed against the country.
General Olusegun Obasanjo, your political godfather who conscripted you to polity and this enviable but difficult position is as guilty as you are in his message to you through his celebrated missive. He understands your SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity and threat). He is using your weakness now as existential threat to your government . You should note that he is a political persona who relishes in political opportunism and attention seeking.
Your predecessors – Olusegun Obasanjo and Yar’Adua missed golden opportunities when they set up a similar version of South African’s truth and reconciliation commission to correct the wrongs of the past, because of lack of sincerity on their parts, the reports of the commissions were dumped into the dustbin of Nigerian history.
We have drifted from a prosperous nation to a failed and perilous state due to the hedonistic and a cancerous corruption that have eaten deeper into the fabric of the system. You have the onerous responsibility and power to save the nation after all, Nigeria is a forgiving nation and one of the easiest nations on earth to rule. When you start to do this, I can guarantee you that other positive things will start to fall in place. You will be positively placed on the good side of history.
Secondly, discountenance your being seen as a naive, incapable, clueless and inexperienced leader. Consult with the brightest among your citizens at home and abroad, while doing that, beware of political jobbers; have an eye with praise singers; come not near corrupt political associates with the tendency to distract your focus because they do not love you to make history. Send concise and comprehensive bills to the National Assembly to tackle corruption, I vehemently believe that bad leadership and corruption are intertwined, they are the hydra-headed mantra plaguing the country and also the diseases corroding the system.There is nothing wrong with the entity called Nigeria. Unless, these two monsters are expunged from the system, the country will continue to see underdevelopment and insecurity under your administration.
It should be added that corruption is a menace that hinder progress and the provision of basic necessity of life such as security, power, roads, transportation, education for the citizenry. People are suffering in Nigeria with the nonchalant attitudes of their leaders to provide the basic necessities of life. You should urgently do something to alleviate the suffering of the people. There is no justification for people to wallow in abject poverty in the midst of plenty.
The reason why people seek elective positions in a civilized society is to serve and the current political office holders in Nigeria pompously “do not give a damn” to serve the masses that elected them. They violate their constitutional responsibilities and duties to uphold the constitution (our sacred document) – the constitution that is supposed to circumscribe our set of rules as a nation; they seem to have misplaced their priorities.
Before 2015, Mr. President with posterity’s sake you should use your exalted office to take urgent cognizance of needs of the people and rewrite your administration in the good book of the deprived Nigerians. Again, you should beware of political jobbers and any government in power; take heed of godfathers; come not near religious zealots; and have an eye with political prostitutes. They all love thee not. It is not too late for your administration to make history. Once , Nigerians start seeing the dividends of your government in their lives, I bet, you will not only be making history in this purported “wasted generation” but rewriting Nigeria ugly history with hopes and aspirations. A stitch in time saves nine! “It is not too late”.
God bless you sir, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Yahaya Balogun writes from Arizona, USA and is on firstname.lastname@example.org