Open letter To President Muhammadu Buhari, By Shomoye Abiodun
Your Excellency sir,
With enormous respect for your personality as Yoruba cultural value prescribed and another moral value built on foundation of formality associated to the important office you are occupying, I have decided to write you and bring to your awareness the reality of the day against the gargantuan expectation of the masses. I won’t want to sound divisionary like your campaign volunteers sir, hence I felt it is important for you to know that the densely populated masses crying every day on the street of Nigeria are not just those that did not vote for you but rather a “disappointed population” drawn from all nooks and crannies of the country, the “disappointed population” even unexpectedly includes majority who found you worthy of their votes with alliance with those that chose Prof Remi Shonaiya above you and unsurprisingly those that formed a 12.4 million force against you sir, lest I forget, this also includes those that loss hope in political participation.
Sir, you might be wondering why this letter becomes necessary amidst several P.As and SSAs at your disposal occupying office as media aides and not forgetting office of the “photoshoot” aides as well. Certainly they are performing their tasks but they are far away from the reality of the day as I doubt if they spend hours on the queue to get fuel, invest two hundred or above to get a bag of sachet water (mostly known as pure water) or even transact at the Bureau De Change. We even heard some of them telling us to go and fight vandals rather than complain about drop in electricity, one of them even told those in diaspora not to come home because of the situation of things back home. Due to these uncertainties, I have decided to sit boldly on the seat allotted to me in my office as a citizen of Federal Republic of Nigeria to write you this open letter sir.
First and foremost sir, let me bring to your awareness that there are thousands of Nigerians out there, who for reasons best known to them has found you worthy of deification, sir don’t see this as me involving myself in “amebo” or backbiting, I just wants you to be wary of their sycophantic nature. Previous failed government like GEJ’s own also had them in abundance, they will try all possible best to defend any of your acts even if you later find reason(s) to apologize for the “defended action”. Some of them are already saying we need to stop democracy for a while so that you could perform, sir, don’t listen them, they are the people you should not take seriously a bit.
Sir, let me begin with the well-deserved accolade as your passion to “sefly” clean Nigeria off corruption and any of its Lilliputian components is a task that for years seems unsurmountable but you are making it look like simple quadratic equation. Sir, in this your fight against corruption, I am still flummoxed a bit, I still finds it extremely difficult to comprehend the scope, although some has given me “expo”, the “expo” givers says it is a one sided combat and not the much expected “Fearless, Non-partisan, Objective” fight against corruption. Sir, I believe the corruption that ate the “gold” out of Nigeria and handed over “wood” to us began 16 years ago, that your fight has chosen to limit its scope to the last admin is commendable as there is no much time at our disposal to cover the entire 16 years. Be as it may, that the fight is yet to see any culprit within your party leaves me to wonder, if the same APC that was a coalition of the then “corrupt” PDP members with undeniably “dedicated, devoted, determined” but not “corrupt practice free” ACN, CPC, ANPP members, does not have any fishy element worthy of being investigated, though we have heard about “website” scandal, “borehole” scandal but I think in this our fight against corruption, those are insignificant and not worthy of EFCC’s attention. Sir, as much I love and admire your passion to fight this recalcitrant mutual friend in our country called corruption, I will be happier if the fight could be institutionalized, and the institution designated with the responsibility should be granted autonomous of power.
“The countless man hours that will be spent at petrol stations today, will reduce our productivity as a nation. This should not be so”
Your Excellency sir, the concatenated alphabets inside quotation might look weird and most likely new to you, yes I know, but it wasn’t generated by me, the quoted statement is one of several campaign tweets via your official twitter handle “@Mbuhari” prior to 2015 general election that brought you in. To think that it is almost two months of scarcity and this government, led by your excellency seems unperturbed, unbelievably lost in “land of knowledge” trying to figure out a clear cut approach to elevate us away from this aesthetically ugly order of the day, is worrisome and stupendously disappointing. Previous governments that we perceived bad enough to be labelled a “disaster” also drove this same direction, a major reason we vehemently went against them and gave our mandates to you. The issue of fuel scarcity is not limited to “they can’t get fuel easily”, it also caught across all sector of the economy, a major factor giving inflation perfect chance to survive, a real-time (effective and long lasting one at the same time) approach is needed to curb this menace. I believe the best time to ensure the passage of Petroleum Industrial Bill is now, it will go along way to curb this menace. It will be awesome also if the virtual monopoly approach in the downstream sector can be overhauled with no further argument(s) against such decision.
Sir, government is said to be a continuous process, and if there is a change of occupant(s), it involves the inheritance of both assets and liabilities from the predecessor. It is to some extent appalling and more like a set back that you inherited a terrible one, most diaheartening is the fact that you inherited a nation structured carelessly on a fickle crude oil. You inherited a disaster masquerading as economy, yes I agree, we need a way out, diversification is unavoidable with the current situation, the questions begging for answers are; what are the plans of this government to diversify?! If this government really aims to diversify, why set aside fund for oil exploration in Northern Nigeria?! Why allocate so much to social welfare when we can easily put such fund into agriculture? Is it not better to teach us how to fish rather than giving us fish?! Unarguably, social welfare has its own advantage but are we considering what this “profitless” endeavour will do to the terrible economy state of the country?! What are the plans to make sure the targeted “less privileged Nigerians” gets the fund without power that belongs short-changing them?! What plans do we have on ground to make sure the targeted “less privileged Nigerians” invests the funds judiciously?! Sir, this might be coming late, as news suggests, the “under review” budget has been passed already but it might be worth noting in subsequent budgets not to invest such huge amount of money in such luxury.
Sir, I will like to drag you back to the fight against corruption and the recent solidarity club whose membership form is only reserved for the legislatives and judiciaries. Sir, I know the strongness of the solidarity club is really frustrating your efforts to relegate corruption totally, with due respect sir, don’t you think it is time to strengthen our judiciary?! Who knows if our judiciary is strengthened, the membership form might be made unavailable for our judiciary members and hence, a weaker solidarity club.
Sir, I believe you have good intentions for the nation but it seems unavoidable to test the good intentions against the reality of the day and the perceptions of the good intentions by the masses to be sure of its acceptability and effectiveness. This is a major reason I will be happy if you could set aside a day in a month or two months to hear the voice of the masses rather than leaving it in the hands of those that said you can’t go to Agatu to sympathize with those that loss property to the genocide.
I will be dropping my pen at this juncture as I believe there are lots of tasks ahead (both internationally and probably locally (Nigeria) too). I will like to end my open letter with a prayer session as I believe in every endeavour it (prayer) is unavoidable and its importance can’t be undermined; As you continues to direct the erm of affairs of this great nation, I pray for God’s guidance and protection over you, your family and Nigerians at large. God Bless Nigeria!
Shomoye Abiodun is Nigerian blogger and a social media commentator with biasness for socio-political issues. He can be reached via his handle on twitter @mrshomoye.
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