Dear president Jonathan, I am writing this letter to you because since 2011 when you assumed the post of the most powerful man of the most populous black nation in the world, Nigeria has been left adrift with plunder and hopelessness. Dear president, am in no doubt that you understand the rudiments of leadership or maybe I should take it as a responsibility upon myself being a patriotic citizen of our country to enlighten you more on it.
Leadership is about committment, sacrifice, foresight and intelligence. It is simply about one man who has the mettle and charisma to take his nation to eldorado. Leadership is about taking advantage of salient situations and using it to transform one’s society for the better. It is a situation where the man at the top, against all odds, uses the power at his disposal to entrench basic fundamental ideals, promote favourable policies for the people and create an ideological front that would propel not only the people’s status but the country towards greatness. A leader is one who comes out straight, talks straight and act straight in time of crisis and trouble. Leadership is about stepping on toes to make those meant to be served better off. It is simply the rule in a mutually binding social contract.
Dear president, I can go on and on, but like the millions of Nigerians who came out en masse to vote for you in the last presidential election, I am hopping mad that you have failed to display the promises in your campaign and change the stagnation that has bedevilled this country for years. Nigerians are very disappointed at your lackluster temperament and lackadaisical attitude towards national issues.
From the issue of legislative financial recklessness, massive corruption unprecedented in our history, the Boko-Haram menace that has continued to defy all solutions from your military chiefs, recklessness in the judiciary to unemployment, falling standard of education and most especially the subsidy removal injustice. All these and many more have led to disaffection and bitterness among the vast majority of people who thought with you as president, a breath of fresh air would permeate the nation. What we see today is a sharp contrast to what many had hoped for.
Dear president, in the history of our leadership enthronment in this country, none from Tafawa Balewa to the late Yar’adua had emerged through the goodluck mien as you did. Never in our history had we openly revolted against a certain powerful cabal in the late Yar’adua presidency who lorded themselves over you, even as you were the vice president of our dear country, refusing to allow you exercise your constitutional power.
Dear president, I remember just like millions of Nigerians holding placards and voicing out against those who refused to give you the constitutional right as acting president. We were fighting for justice and equity which belonged not to the cabal but the people. Our resilience and doggedness eventually forced the legislature to use the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ unprecedented in our history to give you full powers even though the cabal were yet unsatisfied.
Dear president, if you could remember vividly that even when you became president as a result of the death of the late Yar’adua, this same cabal were still hell bent on seeing that you were systematically schemed out of the power game by firstly, insisting that there was a nonsensical zoning formula in your party which gave them the right to continue ruling until 2015. When they discovered this was not possible, they went ahead to anoint a consensus candidate to defeat you at the primaries, but with your goodluck mien, you surpassed the mathematical and political machinations of this cabal.
Dear president, not many Nigerians would forget easily those cannelloni words used in your campaign and presidential inauguration speeches which claimed you wore no shoes to school and we thought for that reason, you understood our pains and therefore, as a matter of expediency, you were going to do all in your capacity to transform Nigeria and propel it towards greatness. Nigerians were hopeful that someone for the first time, who had felt the pain of being a Nigerian was becoming our president and would do the people proud, yet these people today are frustrated and filled with regret at your volteface.
Dear president, as if struck by myopia, which had been a recurring feature with past Nigerian presidents, you suddenly trippled the price of petroleum which is the only benefit the people gain from abundance of oil and arrogantly told the people there was no going back on it. You refused to shift ground and called the bluff of the people. Your ministers and governors became your supporters and even when we rightfully came out to show our displeasure over the insensitivity, armed soldiers ready to commit murder lined the streets. Not even the death of youths who would have contributed to the development of this country could assuage your feelings. Your speech did not solve the question of the subsidy removal and only exposed further the thievery ongoing in the presidency.
Dear president, the oil sector is one issue too overflogged but the issue of Boko-Haram is another too sad not to be mentioned. Since the emergence of the British in Nigeria, violence had been the order of the day and even after independence, violence had not stopped appearing on the socio-political scene. These brand of violence were majorly on a small scale and were quite easy to curtail. Today, however, the challenge of insecurity continues to be a bane to our collective security. Boko-Haram and its incessant attacks in the North have made those at the top clueless as to how they could nip this national embarassment in the bud.
It is so sad dear president that you have failed to realise that your ascension to the post of president is dreaded by some powerful northern elements and for that reason would do anything to disparage your administration. Since you are helpless in tackling this menace, the aim of these elements is to ensure you do not go beyond 2015. Your lack of foresight dear president is why you made a Northerner your party chairman simply because you wished to spite others and block their ambition in 2015. By this singular action, you have given many Nigerians the reason to believe that you wish to go for another term come 2015.
It is so sad dear president that you do not have the wherewithal to use your constitutional power to bring down the vestiges of northern political hegemony that has dragged us down for decades. As the first president from a minority group, you ought to have done what millions have been agitating for which is to cut the godly powers emanating from the centre, while throwing it to the geo-political zones so that the bloody quest and thirst for power at the centre would diminish in its entirety. You allowed yourself to wine and dine with hawks who have no patriotism towards the country but how to make it big for nothing in the face of the international community.
We are yet to see what the increase in fuel had done for the country and people and it is in the best interest of your administration to let sleeping dogs lie else more than ever before, Nigerians would come out in revolt and make the country ungovernable for both the oil cabals who you had failed to prosecute and your administration as a whole. We will take to the street and we shall be ready to die for what we believe in.
Dear president, it is a well known fact that the worst thing anyone can do to a fellow human is taking such a human for granted. Nigerians have for years been taken for granted and our patience is no more alive. It is our belief that since you are a minority, you could change the destiny of other minority groups in the country, yet your brand of leadership is weak, unsavoury and lack political will. If it is your intention to contest in 2015, Nigerians who you have failed will not stand by you anymore. Nigerians would readily give their support to an individual who have the will to get those who have drawn this country backwards on their knees. We shall support a man or woman who is ready to play by the people’s wishes and not some political friends or party.
Nigeria belongs to all of us and if those who claim to represent our interest at the top fail to implement people friendly policies, then we must begin to rise against them. Dear president, if an Arab spring had swept away kleptocratic and insensitive leaders in the last couple of months, it is not hard to have it here and soonest shall it appear if things do not take a better turn for the people and country as a whole. Dear president, God bless Nigeria.
RAHEEM OLUWAFUNMINIYI is a social commentator and political analyst. He could be reached via [email protected]