By Godwin Etakibuebu
MY dear Acting President, I salute you most respectfully Sir. Last week I wrote a letter to you, saying that Nigeria’s restructuring could start from you. The type of restructuring that “could start from you”, according to that letter is for you to sign a few Executive Orders and the first of such orders recommended for your immediate signature, in the letter says:
“The first thing to do Sir, is for you to sign an Executive Order banning the usage of generating plants as source of electricity supply, in all Federal Government institutions throughout the Country, except hospitals. The starting point of implementing this order [that is if you will have enough courage to do so] is the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, where you operate from. This will be a very pragmatic step towards moving Nigeria to one direction only. It is either all Nigerians of One Hundred and Eighty Million people [including those dealers parading themselves as leaders] live in total darkness for ever or remain there for such a time until reasons about revolution of what to do takes better side of the so-called dealers called leaders”.
I was elated when someone very close to you disclosed to me that you read the letter. That news gave me exhilarating excitement, and for very cogent reason Sir. That you had the time to read it meant a lot of things to me. One of such things is that, because you read it, you became different from most of your predecessors in office. It is good to know that there is a Nigerian president who is willing to read news from Nigeria. Others before you did not achieve much along this line for different reasons. It was either they were not adequately equipped academically for such exercise or they lacked interest in doing so due to laziness or some cynic reasons. Let us walk the memory lane a little Sir.
Baba Olusegun Obasanjo, you would recall Sir, admitted that he never bothered with Nigerian Newspapers even as a president. That was Baba’s true confession and such remains his testament.
There was not much evidence made available to us on how much interest in reading Nigerian newspapers, his successor; late President Yar’ Adua, had. His case [on reading or not] was understandable, as he came into office much of a sick-man until death painfully took him away from us. Ipso facto, we cannot judge the man on that but history shall honour him as a man more sincere in governance than his predecessor.
President Yar’ Adua’s successor was a man of letters. At least, he came into office with a doctorate degree in one of the science subjects. It is however different to assert if he upheld the tenet of walking what he read.
About his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari; the man you now act for, it is difficult drawing any conclusion about him on this reading subject matter for one simple reason. There remains a very thick cloud of controversy hanging over the authenticity of his academic qualification even at the lower level and his inability to put this controversy to rest by producing an authentic school certificate over the years did not help the issue. It was significantly made worse when his own constituency; the Military High Command, he alleged was holding the original of his certificates, denied him and his claim flat. Such cloud of doubt leaves the citizenry with only one option of judgement on Oga’s position about his reading ability and that is “only God knows the truth”, which amounts to obscure silence of discomfort.
My joy was “killed” by this same informant [who told me that you read the letter] when he said that “Oga will never sign such Executive Order”. “Why will Oga not sign it”, I found myself asking him. Sir, his explanation of why you might not be signing the recommended Order, left me dazed and perplexed. He told me of the three types of fear-factor that would dissuade you from appending your signature to that Executive Order.
One, according to him, is the saturation of the presidency by those wild animals; hyenas, jackals and leopards in human forms. He is of the opinion that you would want to finish whatever tenure God has assigned you in the villa alive. He gave a second reason as “fear of those who have invested heavily in darkness over the years in Nigeria”. “These are people who can run Nigeria aground within seconds if their status quo ante is ever jettisoned or troubled”, he said, adding that “they are from the background of former rulers, first class Emirs, Obas, Kings and retired Military Generals of substance”. The third reason he gave was that you are not sure signing such order would go well with your principal – President Muhammadu Buhari.
My dear Acting President, l am totally saddened by this information though we need to see you in action, or inaction, before believing what this gentleman, who is close to you has said. My opinion for now is that you are not, or may not, be the coward as portrayed by this guy for one major reason. As a man who climbed the pulpit of God with the message of salvation, you are aware that God hates the fearful, according to Revelation 21:8
It may be for the sake of taking decisions like this that God appointed you to this office. Be advised therefore that “he who has nothing dying for has nothing living for Sir”. May you live to bring salvation to Nigerians. I shall write you a third letter after a while. Be assured of my esteemed respectful regards.
*Mr. Etakibuebu, a veteran journalist,wrote from Lagos.