Dear President Buhari: We Are Not Expecting Magic But Failure Is Not An Option By Abdulrahman Usman Leme
Dear President Buhari,
As much I am very happy that today I am addressing you as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; I must say that this is as far as I am concerned the only reason to rejoice – having you at the helms of affairs at a time when the country hit the rock.
Mr President Sir, your victory is a testament of your popularity among the common man who voted for you against a sitting President who also came into power with a tremendous goodwill but failed to deliver on his promises of transformation. This should be your first reference point as you begin your term as President.
The common man on the street today is eager to see the change that has been the mantra of your campaign, as a people and as a nation we are faced with enormous challenges, these daunting but surmountable challenges ( I will needlessly remind you) Security: Boko Haram, Cattle Rustling, Middle-Belt crisis, Kidnapping/Trafficking and Oil Bunkering. Others include Job Creation , Fostering National unity, Reviving our crippling Economy, Poor Health Care Delivery, Falling Standard of Education and of course fighting corruption among others.
This vicious circle as you always refer to these myriads of problems facing our dear nation Nigeria, needs to be broken almost immediately and deal with them simultaneously. I am under no illusion that you are coming with a magic wand to turn things around but your Excellency Nigerians voted for you because they believe in you and your capacity to face these challenges head-on by identifying a team of competent Nigerians to salvage us from our current predicament.
In the words of Martin Luther king jnr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” I believe your stand at this critical time of our nation’s history is with the masses and that, for now is unquestionable and it is against the backdrop of this believe of your stance that Nigerians approve of you to steer them to greatness.
The greatest crisis facing us is leadership crisis. In terms of natural resources, we are enormously blessed. Yet, despite these vast resources, the bulk of our people live as if they are second class and sometimes third class citizens. Despite being home to millions of skilled and talented innovators, Nigerian leaders in the past struggled to stimulate, retain and utilise its strongest resource — the people. You, sir, must not fail because we simply cannot afford to have you fail.
It is however important for you to know that starting from May 29th, 2015 you will no longer be judged based on either your antecedents as head of state in the 80s or your role as a PTF Chairman in the 90s but rather your successes or otherwise in this dispensation. Like you said in your inaugural speech, “you belong to everybody and you belong to nobody”, this statement is assuring and indeed a signal to the kind of leadership Nigerians should expect from you; an administration that will give every Nigerian a sense of belonging regardless of their ethnic, religious or regional affiliations.
One of my expectations and indeed a large number of Nigerians is that you will ensure those who stole our common wealth — resources meant for developing our country will be made to face the law and return every dime illegally taken. I, and indeed a large number of Nigerians are concerned by the unconfirmed reports suggesting that some of these people will be granted a so-called soft-landing, this if true will be disappointing and indeed an indictment on your conviction against corruption.
Mr President sir, as you promised to diversify our economy to reduce the overdependence on the oil as our major source of revenue, permit me to be a bit bias and appeal to you to consider my country home the Mambilla Plateau in three areas; first as a tourist haven, with an average height of about 2,419 metres (7,936 ft.) above sea level, back dropped with rolling hills of exotic flora and fauna plus the curvaceous valleys with an evergreen and serene landscape overlooking the Gashaka Gumti National Park, the plateau is no doubt another Genting highlands waiting to be exploited.
Secondly, the plateau is said to be a host of several mineral resources that will fit into your plan of reviving the mining industry to create jobs and generate more revenue. A group of Russian scientists recently found a large deposit of silver, precious stones with some traces of gold among others. At the moment many people engage in illegal mining on the plateau and are making millions of naira, people who are mostly foreigners exploiting locals.
Finally, Mr President Sir, the plateau is home to the Mambilla hydro-electric dam project which has been more of a campaign tool for the PDP led government since 1999. Sir, the dam if completed will create jobs and also help in solving our epileptic power problem. It is my prayer that your administration will consider completing this project within your first four years.
At the moment we will continue to pray for you to succeed and defend you from those already expressing their doubts and dismay with what they call ‘a slow start’ But you must know very soon your actions and successes will have to do the defence, expectation are high on you to swing into action and address these issues bedevilling our dear country Nigeria.
God bless Nigeria