Letter To President Goodluck Jonathan (3) | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Letter To President Goodluck Jonathan (3)

Posted: May 27, 2015 at 12:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Your Excellency, please permit me to stand on all existing protocols and commence this missive on a much lighter note. Was it a Freudian slip when you declared at the Presidential Thanksgiving and Inauguration Service conducted last Sunday in Abuja that you are “happy to be leaving Nigeria in peace”? Did you you mean to say you are happy to be leaving Aso Rock Villa in peace or are you seriously contemplating – as part of your much vaunted transformation agenda – to mutate into an Andrew and checkout of the country while we stew in the badly fermented juice you are leaving behind?

Lest we forget, Nigerians and the world at large heaped plaudits on you for conceding defeat even before the final results of the presidential poll were officially announced. It is a very rare occurrence in Africa where political leadership is considered a family-cum-ethnic heritage and heads of state and government try every ploy – no matter how macabre – to retain a vice-like grip on the levers of power.

But, Mr. President, little foxes are threatening to spoil your miraculously produced vintage wine as the D-Day for transferring power to your successor approaches. You say you are in power till May 29 but your body language and undignified silence in this depressing period of a biting fuel scarcity clearly indicate you have lost all interest in governance. Many are wondering if your perceived game-plan to handover a nation in great distress to your successor is simply your way of extracting your pound of flesh from us for rejecting at the polls.

Of course, there are some who believe that the serial crises the nation is currently facing are part and parcel of a transition process. The words of American statesman John Calhoun is sweet music to their ears. He had posited that “The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and the establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition, which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism.”

But there are many others who posit that it is good for an athlete in a race to finish strong. And many are wondering why you seem so determined to thrust a sharp double-edged sword at Buhari’s throat?

If, for example, he retains the over-bloated civil service your reported last-minute hiring has created, he would have to allocate not less than 80 percent of the annual budget to recurrent expenditure. That way you would not only be seen to have performed better, but your foot soldiers waiting in the wings would vitriolically accuse him of failing to revamp the economy as he promised. On the other hand, if he decides not to keep them, the same spoilers would bemoan the ‘resurgence’ of his ‘latent autocratic trait’!

Your focus of attention has definitely shifted to plotting how to recreate PDP after your image. APC chieftains must be fervently praying for you to succeed in your re-engineering project as it would mean that the PDP would be stuck in a rut for a long time to come. Your Excellency, that good fortune smiled on you and you were catapulted from obscurity to celebrity doesn’t mean you are the best thing to ever happen for the Niger Delta and the PDP. “Egotism,” lamented legendary American football coach Frank Leahy, “is the anaesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”

It is a great pity you didn’t take the wise counsel in my previous two letters to you to heart. Please read the letters again to appreciate why and how the internal crises rocking your party start and end with you. The only part missing is the poorly managed quarrel you had with your egocentric conjurer and erstwhile chairman of your party’s board of trustees, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

You forgot that he who has power to give equally has power to retrieve what was given. Again, our elders say that it is only a child earmarked for destruction that chooses to challenge the benevolent personal god (chi) that has fortuitously cracked palm nuts for him to a wrestling match. Still, and as incredulous as it may sound, we have already started missing the special gaffes you and your highly voluble spouse add to the nation’s political lexicon. God bless.

Yours truly, Ichie Tiko Oziko-Okoye