Letter To Nigeria’s Next President By Amina Aminu Dorayi
Sir, since you will be my “OGA AT THE TOP” for the next 4 years, permit me to call on God a lot less and be calling you much more. After all, since you have been selected by God (through election by us) to be the father we can see and feel, I think it’s only fair to expect more from you and less from Him. Mr. next President Sir, as a citizen of our great country, I am a second class citizen everywhere else in the world despite the magnanimity of this global village. Based on this sir, my first appeal to you is to ensure my safety and freedom from harm or any kind of threat to my mere existence in the only place I can call home. I would really like to contribute my quota to nation building and support my children to become the next generation of responsible Nigerians, but as it is right now, my family and I feel insecure when we are at home, in school, at work, on the road and even in the market. Sir, by human design, these are places where we do not have a choice but to be at almost every day of our lives. Unfortunately, the current threats have paralysed our activities of daily living and limit our productivity which directly has affected our economic advancement among other things. Please make this part of your development agenda Sir.
My next Oga, I have a strong belief that even though we are all at liberty to choose our spiritual inclination, it should be a private affair and not encroach on the rights of others. On the other hand in our beloved nation, there are some obscure elements that are dividing us across religious lines and making life difficult to live by the day. I miss the times when faith was not an issue and we could be best of friends with persons of different religious beliefs so far we have common interest for good. Dear next president, I have high hopes and expectations that these times can be relived through your able leadership. Many Nigerians will hold you in high regard if you are able to steer us towards this direction. Sir, I will be glad if you can kindly look into the economic quagmire within which we find ourselves. As a common citizen, all I want is for my monthly income (be it salary or my modest business) to be enough to cater for my basic needs. I believe this should not be too much to ask from my dear next President. I hope you will understand that I ask this “favour” from you Sir, because I do not want to be forced into stealing and corruption to sustain myself and my family. My children are coming of age and I would like to assure them that hard work pays even in their ’fatherland’. Sir, please tell me this is possible and not merely one of my delusions, as I think, these are things that make up solid bedrock for any nation to advance.
Mr. next President, not all my friends and family have been opportune to have some level of formal education, but I am certain that if provided with the necessary support, they will be able to harness their potentials and cater for their basic needs. Interestingly Sir, even those that attended public schools in my village have not been appropriately equipped with the tools to succeed in our labour market. This is probably because most of these ‘mushroom’ schools lack qualified teachers and the necessary facilities to train our young ones, please kindly prioritize upgrading these schools and supporting the educationally disadvantaged in your reforms. This way, perhaps they will be less of a burden for the few that are lucky to make it in life. It will most likely reduce crime rate too!! Sir, I trust that by now you must have heard of the deplorable state of our basic amenities, those things that are part of our basic human needs to enable life easy for a common Nigerian i.e. potable water, stable power supply, safe roads etc.
Electricity supply has been very unstable, but I managed to buy a generator which has since been packed up because of the wear and tear of constant usage as a result of the erratic supply from the national grid. Water supply is another kettle of fish, for the benefit of consumption, many of us either boil tap water, buy sachet water (popularly known as pure water) or bottled water when we can afford in order to avoid the dreaded cholera and its counterparts. Sir, in many neighborhoods’ being a ‘mairuwa’ has become a lucrative business because of their role in acting as the official water board. We are not quite happy with the source of their water supply but they hold us to ransom because of our limited options. Our roads have also become like battle grounds because of the number of people that die every day as a result of road accidents. My heart is always in my throat when I receive news about friends or family embarking on road trips because I cannot but think about the possibility of not laying eyes on them again. Sometimes, those that have no business being behind wheels even become commercial drivers and the lives of multitudes depend on them. Please sir, include these rehabilitations and reorganizations in your immediate plan of action for our sake (Nigerian Masses).
Mr. next president, if wishes were horses, I would have wished that my loved ones and I will never fall ill or need medical attention but unfortunately, this remains a wish. It will really help, if during your time as my next President, you would ensure that our clinics and hospitals have the basic drugs and equipment to diagnose and manage any health condition we may be ill opportune to come down with. We also like to be treated well especially when we are ill and at the mercy of health workers, so it will of immense value if you look into making them more motivated and committed to take care of us more instead of being on perpetual strikes. I ask this of you sir because most people that live in my community cannot afford to travel out of the country to access health care. As an alternative, they turn to our trade-medical quacks that relate well with them but have no clue as to the science around our body and its health needs.
Dear Sir, since there is no place like home, we would like to be proud patriots and be able to hold our heads up high brandishing our green passports. Unfortunately, as a result of no fault of most of us, we face serious humiliation from other nationals because of the label of corruption our country has in the international community. I envy citizens that are patriotic to their country but I realised that this is a symbiotic relationship and they have an exhaustive list of the benefits of being citizens of their countries. Some initial steps you can take Sir, is to lead by example and be intolerant of corruption such that those that are thinking about it will consider the consequences before they act. This will greatly improve our position globally and even encourage investors to invest in our promising country.
Mr. next President Sir, may I bring to your attention that in many wards, LGAs and states, the primary election process of most of our political parties even in 2014/2015 has frustrated my hope for good governance. I have seen clueless individuals with little or nothing to offer emerge as ‘selected’ candidates. There is no scientific evidence, but it is common knowledge that most self-acclaimed Nigerian politicians are individuals that have amassed wealth (from God knows where) and share to electorates to obtain their votes, only to never set eyes on them again until the next electioneering period. In my opinion, it is the level of poverty that makes voting become base on the highest bidder and not attributed to provenor potential track record.
On a final note Sir, please be rest assured, that these are just a few of my pressing issues, but I know you are human and as such I do not expect you to make my life better with a wave of a magic wand. There are so many talented Nigerians in every sphere of life that have the willpower and commitment to help you take us to the promise land. I urge you to make them your best friends even if you don’t like them as individuals. A team approach, a team of individuals with integrity, is the only way, because the task is herculean and will take quite some time to accomplish. We will be patient with you Mr. Next President, if we know that you are taking appropriate steps to tackle these pressing issues. After all Rome, they say was not built in a day. Sir, I want to assure you that most of us the ‘common citizens’ will support you in your quest for nation building once we are convinced that our development is your number one priority.
May God help you as you help us.
Thank you and best wishes as you lead us during these vital years.
Dr Amina Aminu Dorayi