Dear President Buhari,
This is not the time for an epistle but the truth in the clearest manner I can pass it across. You have always reiterated your commitment to make lives better for the masses of Nigerians, but what has been successfully achieved is quite the opposite. You have further stripped millions of ordinary Nigerians of their defence to deal with the economic buffetings in today’s Nigeria, while further creating a soothing atmosphere for a bunch whose god is their belly and those who have never put country first. These are people who can’t be bothered by the misery of the masses as long as they find a way to profit from the system. These are also people with some form of legal authority who never miss the opportunity to fleece innocent Nigerians. That’s quite unfortunate. But that’s a talk for another day.
The citizens cannot blame you for the sting on our national life occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, but we can definitely hold you accountable for the quality of leadership provided. We can hold you responsible for taking the hard decisions that have taken away virtually everything from those who have nothing. We can hold you responsible for the aloofness and the can’t-be-bothered disposition. The biting effects of the increase in fuel, electricity tariff, and numerous tax burdens have inspired an increase in the prices of services and food items (other factors are also responsible for this). Things were hard. Now, they are harder. And we know the way things work here: once the prices go up, it would take the grace of God for them to come down. The larger consequences of these burdens on our society is a situation where everyday people are forced to cut corners just to get by. And that’s how the rot deepens. We seem not to understand that the ‘poor’ Nigerians are in the majority. The other arguments on the timing of some of the policies and the far-reaching adverse effects have been raised elsewhere.
Time is running out on us to turn the tides, and it appears we are in some self-induced oblivion. We don’t have that time we so waste on some needless formalities. That’s why it’s shocking that in the midst of the many things we have to deal with, your ‘boys’ still find the time to respond to, more like ‘attack’ anyone who is somebody that expresses a view that is not in the shade of the praise you would rather want to hear. Something like ‘Nigerians have never had life this fantastic thanks to President Buhari’ or ‘Nigeria is safer today under President Buhari than it was so-so-and-so years ago’. Of course, the government should be commended for great work but the penchant for paean in the face of abnormalities and hardship should not be the encouraged culture. The truth is: Nigeria does not need all that sycophancy from those who think they are something, or want to be something.
More out of fear than anything else, people have chosen to remain silent on the awry state of affairs. To say something would be to get the description of a ‘wailer’ or a ‘divider-in-chief’ depending on their status. This, however, does not detract from the validity of what’s being said. The truth is what it is. In other cases, many are arrested for even daring to protest. With developments like these, one is forced to question the kind of democracy we practice. Some people in your team do not also help matters by putting out statements either void of tact or barefaced insults, or both. Hurling vitriol at those who hold dissenting views shows that the team can sometimes be too overzealous for anyone’s good. It is also proof that some only read newspapers on the look for who to insult and describe with new registers to be added to our political lexicon. If that’s the best they can do, then something is wrong. In any case, millions of suffering Nigerians don’t read these things so it just doesn’t make any sense. We don’t need the drama. Let the work done speak for itself.
Can I respectfully suggest that such people do better with their time? A good place to start would be in advising you on the statements you shouldn’t be making in public. One of such statements is telling Nigerians that you have done your best. What exactly does this mean? There would be tougher days ahead that would require you to do more but if the most has been done, where does that leave us? Mr. President, now is not the time to simply throw words around. You are human, yes, but the country needs that father in you. Now is the time to get us all united behind the decisions that must be taken in the interest of the greatest number. Please, don’t send someone to do that job. Do it yourself, sir.
These are not very good times. Many people are almost losing it as they struggle to make sense of their current realities. I believe there would be greater days ahead but I must say: it’s an incredibly arduous task being a Nigerian. The level of deprivation is worse than your lackeys would want to admit. To such people, all is well but that’s a lie. More Nigerians are slipping into extreme poverty but that’s something I believe you should already know. The question is, sir: what are you going to do about it?
You have my support, and the very best wishes of many Nigerians. May God bless Nigeria.