Letter to Mr President | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Letter to Mr President

Posted: May 16, 2015 at 12:16 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dear President Goodluck Jonathan, with heavy heart , I write to sympathise with you sir over the unfortunate loss at the March 28 general elections. You lost your bid to remain in Aso Rock in the next four years and your party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lost its position not only as the ruling party but also as the dominant party in the two chambers of the national assembly. If Nigerians had given you their mandate, you would have made history again just as you made history in your steady divine journey from the little community of Otueke to the nation’s seat of power in Abuja. Yes, history would have been made again but for the strong wind of CHANGE wich blew across the nation’s political firmament last Saturday. You would have spent 10 unbroken years as the president of Nigeria, the largest democracy in the black world! This Hurricane APC also cut short your party’s dream to remain in power for 60 years. Even Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, a military ruler and self styled president who came to power via the barrel of gun, as much as he tried, he could not spend 10 years in office. His attempts were scuttled by resilient Nigerians who forced him to flee Lagos for Abuja and from there to his hill top residence in Minna, Niger State where he has been hybernating.

So, permit me Your Excellence sir, to say that you are one of the few Nigerians who have been extremely lucky, highly favoured and blessed by God in a complex country of over 150 million people. For this, you have no cause to regret the loss, rather, you have every reason to be grateful to Him for the rare opportunity given you to lead this great country for six consecutive years as President. No doubt, you have left your footprints in the sands of time for which history will judge you right or wrong. I know you will be on the positive side.

As a fellow South Southern sir and someone from the minority of the minirities, I will be very blunt to you as to why you failed at the polls last Saturday. Aside the fact that religion and ethnicity played major role in the election, some persons in government, some of your associates and off course, your wife, our First Lady contributed to a very large extent to your embarrassing defeat. It was not as if your major opponent and the eventual winner was better and it was not as if the APC had a better campaign cum propaganda machine. As an incumbent, your war chest could not have been compared to that of the major opposition party, above all, you were in control of the mechanism of control in the country. That is, the police, the armed forces and to some extent, the electoral body. So, what went wrong?

Everybody say it that as a person, you are a good man, kind hearted and an embodiment of humility but the arrogance of some chieftains of your party was really nauseating to Nigerians. They talked down on us as if we do not have a say as to who rule the country. Persons like Godswill Apkabio, Edwin Clark, Ayodele Fayose, Asari Dokubo and Government Tompholo who thought they were helping you ended up doing a lot of damage to you and your government. They did so much havoc to the image of your government and that of your party in their unguarded utterances and unbecoming public conduct. They will tell whoever cared to listen that the party is the biggest in Africa and that it’s here to rule for at least, the next 60 years. This is nothing but an insult on the sensibilities of Nigerians. But God says it was 16 and not 60 because He says our ways are not His ways and His ways are the best for us. The statement credicted to Asari Dokubo and Tompolo in the heat of the campaign threatening war if you are not returned to Aso Rock coupled with the altercation with Gen Theophilus Danjuma was nothing but a misadventure which sent a big blow to your reelection bid. As minorities, we need the major ethnic groups in the country to win election while they don’t really need us since politics is a game of numbers. Edwin Clark did not help matters either. He thought he was helping you but his behaviours and utterancs were unbecoming of an elder statesman.

Sir, I must tell you that the constant fight with your political benefactor, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was unnecessary and uncalled for. As much as you could not engage Edwin Clark in an open confrontation, you should as well tolerated Obasanjo if not for anything but for his age and the fact that God used him to make you what you are today, from deput governor of your Bayelsa State to the state governor . And against all odds, he made you the Vice President and off course later the president. 

The enemies your wife, the First Lady created for you with her overbearing conducts and undue interference in the affairs of some states took away a sizeable chunk of the votes that would have accrued to you. She carried herself as an alternate president and lioness of the Villa. She made you to part ways with Governor Chibuike Amaechi, a man with high electoral value and wide network of contacts. But for your wife, Amaechi would have been one of your reliable allies. She joined forces with her Okrika brother, Nyeson Wike to fight a sitting governor who controles enormous resources. She almost created problems in your own state of Bayelser in her near face-off with Seriake Dickson but for the maturity on the part of the Governor.

With due respect Your Excellency sir, you present a pathetic picture of a president who has been held hostage by a cabal of corrupt government officials and associates with the lackluster attitude paid to the war on corruption. For instance sir, one would have expected you to have taken a decisive action against some persons especially Stella Odua, Dieziani Allison Madueke and Aremah Oteh based on the serious allegations of corruption leveled against them. While investigations were going on at various levels, these officials were still at their duty posts as if nothing was happening. Sir, that was the height of impunity! This seeming culture of corruption around you gives you the tag of a weakling. Hence ,the vexation with which Nigerians spoke with their PVC last week.

Our refineries have been down in the last six years, yet, your government prefered to import than to fix them. The importation of petroleum products has constituted a great drain on the nation’s foreign reserves with the attendant under-the-table deals.Some persons are benefitting heavily from this rot at the expence of the country. Under your watch, huge contracts were given to your cronies under questionable circumstances to protect our pipelines, yet oil theft remains unabated.

You appointed a controversial figure, Femi Fanikayode as the media director of your campaign organisation. Unfortunately, he ended up decampaigning you as he delighted in attacking personalities using the platform to settle old scores.

About 15 job-seeking Nigerians died March 2014 in a very shoddy exercise conducted under the watch of Minister Abba Moro. It was alleged in many quarters that you spared the minister because you did not want to offend his tribes man and godfather, Senator David Mark. Like your sister, Allison, Moro is perceived as one of the untouchable ministers in your government. Despite the cries of Nigerians over their several official misconducts, you turned a deaf ear and a blind eye, did nothing and said nothing! To add salt onto the injuries, you crowned Moro’s “efforts” with a national honour! Sir, you were alleged to have severally encouraged your sister, Allison to shun lawful invitations from the national assembly. The national assembly gave Aremah Oteh’s agency, the Security and Exchange Commission a zero allocation in the 2014 budget because of her alleged official misconduct and disrespect to a legitimate arm of government. Unfortunately sir, you gave her all the encouragement to embark on that voyage of self destruction until the expiration of her tenure . Nigerians were incensed with this culture of impunity and corruption as clearly displayed by top officials of your government which got to its peak in the last two years. Hence, they waited patiently for March 28, the day of recorning and they made a loud statement with it.

However, we need not cry over spilled milk but some good and bitter lessons must have been learnt. Inpite of all these, I must commend you sir, for your uncommon spirit of sportsmanship and statesmanship as you conceded defeat and put a call across to the winner even before the final results were announced. For this, posterity will surely record you on the positive side. I wish you well sir in your future endeavours as you retire to your country home of Otueke to join the ranks of elder statesmen.

This piece was first published on this colunm April 4, 2015.



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