Open Letter To My President II By Utum Eteng
My dear President will recall that I wrote an open letter to him touching on sundry issues, trusting that you or your aides will read it. I now proceed to my letter No: 2 in humility.
As a traditional Buhari for President apologist, I intend to maintain the tempo by continuously putting my views and perception of issues touching on your envisaged progressive style of governance. In this letter, I intend to focus squarely on a few burning and salient issues in our polity today. I crave your indulgence to permit me to align my thoughts with the Assurances determination, and obsession of the Human Right Activist, an Anti-Corruption Crusader and a Traditional Buhari for president apologist. Chief Barr Okoi Obono-Obla in his unrelenting conviction before now that a Buhari presidency would put a smile on the faces of Nigerians. It has urged since your victory that you will be a shining example of what a people’s president would look like. Thank God that in His wisdom and infinite mercy, He choose you through majority votes of Nigerians to be our president.
My President, Sir, in this letter to you, I would applaud your determination to settle the burning issue on who become what in the APC troubled family in the National Assembly. I very sincerely implore you, in your usual characteristic manner to be very firm, to call a spade a spade and to also advert your mind to the fact that as your pulling one side of the string to succeed, the defeated PDP family is pulling on the other side to ensure that you do not succeed. It is therefore a settlement you would have to embark on with all your wits, eyes and ears wide open and with the force of character to arrive at a sound judgment. Without equivocations Sir, it must be acknowledged and accepted that Senator Saraki betrayed you and the APC family in-spite of the plausible argument they may wish to advance now to justify their antiparty actions. It is the height of treachery and indeed desperation to read in the papers that in Saraki’s desperation to become the Senate President on the day in question, he found his way to the Senate premises as early as 6am. Why would a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and two terms Executive Governor of a State descend so low?
Sir, while the elders say a reasonable man should not use the length of a snake to set the fire to destroy it, else he burns down other important things not intended. I implore you my President to maintain the status quo ante bullem for now. After all, in our democracy we have had Senator Okadigbo, Evans Ewerem, Nwabara, Senator Ken Nnamdi and Senator Pius Ayam Pius from the South East as Senate Presidents at different turns. Nigerians and indeed the world is anxious to see you settle down properly to get the ground cracking. Like you rightly observed earlier that the PDP mess in the system is enormous, and require committed time to clear it.
Sir, I implore you to be careful while handling this act of treachery against the APC family in the National Assembly because you need the National Assembly to set the ball rolling in other to confront and or free our society of endemic corruption malaise. That Chief Fanikayode has been set free of the offences of corruption leveled against him by the EFCC by a court of law is a reflection of the urgency you need to x-ray the capacity of the EFCC as presently constituted to perform. Sir, to amend the EFCC Act, ICPC Act or at best to merge the two into one, you need the corporation of the National Assembly, and to expunge the obnoxious section which makes it imperative that a police officer of a particular rank, serving or retired to be EFCC chairman.
Sir, permit me to observe that as at when the PDP was the law onto itself, the EFCC was speculated to have been used as an attack dog against the perceived opposition party members for selective arrest, detention and prosecution as may be directed from the office of the Federal Attorney General. For example, when ex-governor Lamido was suspected to be hobnobbing with the APC members, he was targeted using the EFCC, ex-governor Murtala Nyako was not left out, when ex-governor Elechi was suspected to be dancing with the Labour Party, the gates of EFCC were left open to handle him. The same can be said of Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State.
Sir, please, let nobody blame the judge who sets an accused person charged by the EFCC free for following the law. To set an accused person free is dependent on the character and quality of evidence produced by the presecution. Such evidence may be deliberately made strong to record a conviction and the prosecution for whatever reason may deliberately water it down to serve a purpose.
My President, please whilst awaiting to either set up another anti-graft outfit or to amend the EFCC Act, do please as a matter of urgency embark on a surgical overhaul of the EFCC as presently constituted. We require to move away from the old ways of the EFCC doing things to align with your new dream of handing corruption matter for the records. The EFCC chairman, Lamorde has outlived his usefulness and is overdue to perform other police assignments if he is still in the police force. He may have done his best and his best may not be good enough. Let another person introduce his or her best, it may synchronize with your change mantra. It is possible that some EFCC operatives are richer than those they arrest, detained and charged to court upon deliberately weakened evidence. You may as well beam your search light on some of the EFCC operatives in the interest of fairness. Sometime the hunter is hunted to ascertain if indeed he is a good hunter of animals and not of human beings. He may be a hunter whose aim is to close hunting tracks with a view to alert or scare the animals hunted from being killed.
Sir, the issue I reserved for another day bothers on the planned and tacitly orchestrated design by some APC political opportunists to divide the ranks and file of the APC. It would touch on their sponsored determination to set a wage in the wheels of progressive relationship between some members and Bola Tinubu who is the nemesis of the PDP. If the PDP must come back in 2019 as its planning to do, its first target to them is Bola Tinubu must be destroyed with orchestrated internal black-mail using some PDP agents posted to destabilize the APC family.
My President must realize that, because Saraki won, the sleeping PDP has now woken up from its slumber and your administration must be sabotaged by planting moulds in the National Assembly, State Assembly and Chapters of the APC. Sir, it is not too early in the day for the APC to be witnessing these pockets of the internal disputes among its members on the face of victory at the centre?
Sir, permit me to end this treaty with a reminder to Nigerians that, even if President Buhari scored more votes from the north than anywhere else, charity we are told begins at home, Buhari came into election a Pan-Nigerian Presidential candidate with a vision for a better Nigeria admired and appreciated transparently at a time the performance of the PDP was appalling. He was nither an AREWA, Ohaneze or APC candidate, therefore let not the respected AREWA body or any of the socio-cultural organizations domiciled his presidency to the North as was the case of Jonathan where in error he was referred to as an Ijaw President. May Nigerians never be troubled, and may they be assured that the era of impunity and corruption spree are over for good. May the EFCC assure Nigerians that the $16 billion funds allocated to resuscitate NEPA and handed over to a committee will be recovered by the EFCC that appears to have suddenly suspended its action on the matter.
Long live my President!
Long live Nigeria!
CHIEF BARR UTUM ETENG
Private Legal Practitioner
Human Rights Activist and
71B IBB Way, Calabar.