Posted by News Express | 18 February 2015 | 3,726 times
Mr President Sir,
I must thank you for having the courage and the cleverness to tell all your predecessors in office that you truly are in charge and that their time is past.
You are today, by the grace of God and the rare luck that you possess, the President of the single largest assembly of African peoples in the world. Nigeria boasts 180 million peoples and you sit atop their fortunes as well as their failures.
You were quick to remind the likes of General Yakubu Gowon, PhD, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief Ernest Sonekan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar that you are not only in office but in power. And to boot, you are also the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces with all the ferocious powers attached thereto and the Forces’ custody of the weapons of terror.
This well rehearsed confidence must have led you to loan your voice to National Security Adviser, to Security Chiefs, and lamely to the Chairman of INEC to speak your mind and decision on the national elections that had been in the pipeline for four years.
For six years you had all the opportunity in the world to command your forces to victory in the North East of Nigeria where Boko Haram extremists have seized the jugular of the country.
For six years you watched the Forces which you command to become a laughing stock in the comity of nations. Ill-equipped and ill-motivated, the Forces sent to the field to combat the insurgents were always in disarray. Apparently they questioned their Generals’ morality for sitting in their air-conditioned offices, dinning and winning with their Commander-in-Chief while they were sent to face fire and certain death!
You watched while over 300 school girls with very bright hopes for their future were abducted from their hostels while writing examinations and to date these unfortunate girls, going through the worst of agonies, are yet to be located or found or rescued.
You should also remember that you told the whole world that some members of your cabinet were sponsors/sympathisers/members of the dreaded Boko Haram. In the same vein, you once also declared after the Eagle Square bombing that the perpetrators were your ‘brothers’ from Niger Delta. These are statements a leader should not have made, but you did make them and we respect your level of judgement.
You are also aware that going by leaks and reports in the newspapers and even findings by probe committees established by your government that the level of corruption under your watch is mindboggling and unprecedented. We must also excuse your new definition of stealing which the speakers of English are struggling to come to terms with. ‘Stealing is not corruption’, you claimed.
Mr President, Sir, I am really puzzled by your ability to have a sound sleep after you bowed to pressure by those who do not wish you well to unilaterally abort a four-year-old schedule for national elections where you are a keen contender. I thought it should have occurred to you that nobody in Nigeria or in the international community would believe the very illogical excuse of security concern for your cancellation of February 14 and February 28 dates slated for the elections.
There is no greater virtue for a leader than CREDIBILITY. When a leader loses trust, he loses everything.
It does not matter anymore what your propagandists and spin doctors are saying. It is what is perceived to be true that matters. Anybody who is a competitor in a race and chooses to postpone the match after entering the boxing arena cannot be trusted or believed.
I will try to limit this letter to the issue of elections and your place in history. And if you will permit me to advise, giving me the benefit that I have seen this world and its global spread much longer than you, I will suggest that you listen more to your inner mind and your conscience than to people who are petrified at the thought of losing the huge unmerited benefits they drive from your continued stay in office.
It is not my business to tell you that you are hugely unpopular, not because of your person but because of the equally hugely and irredeemably corrupt government you lead. Nigerians are openly fed up with your style of administration and of the hawks that you surround yourself with. And you know it even if you choose to live in self-denial!
All those making the loudest noise will desert you when history beckons. Which of the ministers who served Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Ironsi, Gowon, Muritala Mohammed, Obasanjo, Shagari, Buhari, Babangida, Sonekan, Abacha, Abubakar, Obasanjo, Yar’Adua are remembered today? Nobody holds any of them responsible for the failures of their principals. It is you; my dear Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, that history will talk about. And you owe yourself, your family name and your children a sacred responsibility to defend that name and what history will say of you.
Always remember the word nemesis. Remember also that a man may be called upon to account for his deeds even 50 years after leaving office!
All those who are beating the drums of war and are prepared to plunge Nigeria into anarchy will run away or get consumed by it, but it is the name of President Jonathan that will forever be linked to whatever tragedy befalls Nigeria during your regime.
You should also bear in mind that there are more arms in private hands than you have in the nation’s armoury. It is alarming. And this is one reason why no lover of Nigeria and its people should plunge Nigeria into anarchy. And anybody who has witnessed or suffered in war will never wish it for any country.
It is not worth it.
By the special grace of God, you have been President for six years. And if legitimacy earns it and God sanctions it, you may even be President after May 29. After all I am the president in my house!
But more than that, please conduct the period between now and May 29 in a way that several years down the line you can still walk the streets of Nigeria, wine and dine with whomever is President, and hold yourself in pride and dignity.
You can never be poor again in your life time. And the era of shoelessness is gone forever.
Please listen to those who love you. Do not listen to those who are using you and using your exalted position to feather their nests. And believe it or not, what all these people who say they can die for you say behind your back will drive you mad. I wish you have a mind recorder and can read the minds of all these newspaper/television politicians who feed you with endless lies and deceit.
Submit your mind and thoughts to conducting free, fair and credible elections come March 28 and let the heavens fall. You owe yourself and posterity nothing less. History may after all forgive all your human failures. You are after all just human!
With kind thoughts and respect,
Akogun Tola Adeniyi, The Irunmole.
•Chief Tola Adeniyi (shown in photo) is a former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
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