Dear Buhari, Don’t Be Deceived By Sycophants, Nigerians Are Suffering, Lamenting! By Ogundana Michael Rotimi
Your Excellency Sir, after much procrastination and patience, I feel writing you this short piece is long overdue.
Meanwhile, before some of your Media Aides and perhaps some sycophants who are not avoidable close to you tag me a wailing wailer- may I quickly tell you, that I was and still a firm believer of your change mantra and have no doubt in your passion to seeing this country succeed.
However, I am prompted to write you this openly to call your attention to an erroneous belief already being paraded by one of your media aides- Mr Femi Adesina that only those in the minority are complaining and that Nigerians are not suffering- perhaps, a reflection of the perception of what is being paraded at the presidency.
Mr Femi Adesina featured on a phone-in programme on Raypower 100.5Fm in Abuja on Friday, July 8, 2016, he said, and I quote: “I maintain that the people who are complaining are in the minority. I can tell you that the support base of this government is still enormous. Yes, we know some people are complaining but, they are still in the minority”. Meanwhile, before then, in his last interview with Punch Newspaper in May 2016, he said- “It is mendacious to say that in the last one year, what Nigerians have been experiencing is suffering. It is not true”.
Mr President, let me tell you categorically, without fear of losing or gaining anything- Nigerians are suffering, the situation is stretching towards the elastic limit. I hope something drastic and spontaneous is done about it before it gets to the breaking point.
The economy is in a daring stage of collapse- according to Trading Economics; consumer prices in Nigeria jumped 15.6 percent year-on-year in May 2016, following a 13.7 percent rise in the previous month. It was the highest reading in more than six years, as the cost of food, housing, utilities and transport surged mostly due to 67 percent increase in gasoline prices. There’s also an increment in electricity tariff even when the power is not available for use.
The naira is in a bad shape; businesses are crashing, and livelihoods are becoming severe. Sir, before you entirely blame these predicaments on the failure of the past administration and the dwindling global price of crude oil, you would agree with me that some economic policies and decisions that have been taken under your watch in the past one year also contributed to these.
Mr President, in all of these, most states are unable to pay their workers` salaries and are owing them for months. The people cannot be going through all these, yet your media aide think they are not suffering. Or are these people not Nigerians, do they not have blood flowing through them? I wonder how and where Femi Adesina generated his stats from, but from all indications- he goofed.
If all these are happening and a media aide of yours is saying the people are not suffering, and only those in the minority are complaining, then I think his patriotism is questionable.
While I understand that media aides would do everything and say anything to keep their jobs, I expect that there should be a limit and sense of humanity to everything they do.
Media aides are not just meant to speak for you but are also supposed to give you accurate feedback that will help shape your decisions and policies and not one that will give you on a false perception of the reality on the ground and eventually place you on the wrong track.
While some people still firmly believe in you and your change mantra, others feel you are becoming insensitive to the pains of the people and begin to lose touch with the reality on the ground- perhaps as a result of reports you receive from some of your media aides that are doing everything to keep their jobs.
But sir, don’t be deceived, don’t be carried away by false noise disguised as praises, Nigerians are not in a good shape economically and regarding security. As a matter of fact, Nigerians have begun to ask- if this is the change or there’s another one to come.
Perhaps, there are things you are not getting right and are needed to be revisited and redressed- think about this! Whatsoever you need to do to cushion this pain on the people; you have to do it and do it fast.
The longer the solutions tarry, the more disappointing your government becomes and the more the people lose hope in you and your administration.
Once again, this is not the voice of a wailing wailer, but one passionately concerned to see this country succeeds.
Dear Sir, whenever you need feedback that reflects the reality of the masses, reports from your media aides or any other persons that benefit directly from your administration are the most unrealistic one you can trust. These sets of people have sycophancy tied to their hearts.
Critics, not sycophants will do us more favour and lead us away from dead ends to achieving the change we desperately desire as a nation.
I belong to the school of thought at the hem of which is Harry S. Truman- the 33rd President of the United States, who said: “I want people around me who will tell me the truth, who will tell me the truth as they see it. You cannot operate and manage effectively if you have people around you who put you on a pedestal and tell you everything you do is right because that in practice can’t be possible”.
I consider it of outermost urgency to draw your attention to this; else you are paraded with reports from sycophants who are privileged to getting feedback directly to you. Nigerians and not just the minority are complaining- they are lamenting!
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!
Ogundana Michael Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator, and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.