I am one of those Nigerian citizens who “checked out” of Nigeria to seek greener pastures in distant lands; the shame of having a feeling of abandoning ones country is always mitigated by the fact that my government forced me into taking this very painful decision. My sincere apologies for writing you through these medium-drastic situations require drastic modus operandi.
Sir, my motivation to share my thoughts and worries with you stems from the fact that you insist on being seen as “a listening President”. Your Facebook page encourages Nigerians of all ilk to send their concerns to you with the sweet assurance from you that their thoughts and concerns will be attended to- well done sir. As it stands, there are a good number of issues I wish to bring to your attention-issues which troubles every sane Nigerian citizen. They are not strange instances which no one has harped on before but it saddens me greatly to say here that it appears nothing worth mentioning is being done about all the negatives pulling down our nation.
Mr. President, corruption is one monster armed with a cold sledge hammer which is bent on bludgeoning our nation to death-I am sure you would be nodding in agreement at this one. The business of government at all levels in Nigeria is continuously being polluted by the rather too wicked actions of the very people entrusted with the running of our affairs. It is without fear of contraction that I assert that our politicians are amongst the most vicious primates to walk the face of this our dying earth. Ours happens to be the most expensive government in the world peopled with individuals whose capricious mind-frame makes Ali Baba and his gang of forty looters look like saints. Nowhere in the world have I seen politicians go into government with little or no wealth only to come as out multi-millionaires; my dear President, how do we justify the sinful and obscene amount of money our legislators are dragging home at our expense? Why is Nigeria the most notorious country where those that suddenly find themselves out of power are accused of emptying the treasury while in power? It makes nonsense of our anti corruption laws and stance when no real punishment is meted out to those that rob our country, rather the People’s Democratic Party [which you belong to] turn around to tell us that “it was a party affair”. I implore you to rise up to the occasion and tackle this monster head-on while there is still a political space called Nigeria.
All across Nigeria, we are really a cheerful lot armed with a curious overdose of hope-I have not seen that vicissitude of life that stands the chance of making us dump our positive attitude usually expressed in “e go better”. However, our smiles and cheerfulness fizzles into gloom in the face of darkness. Mr. President, when are we going to start enjoying uninterrupted power supply? Our claims to nationhood stands on a dodgy plinth as a result of our rather too erratic power supply; it is a shame that with our stupendous wealth brought about by our massive natural resources, this country experiences more darkness. The shame one feels for the ugliness of our power sector peaks when government makes provisions for generators and fuel in our annual budget. Sir, you will be celebrated forever if you call on those that squandered billions of dollars of our money on scandalous “power sector reforms” with nothing good to show for it to explain to Nigerians what transpired. Mentally, I remain in trauma when people that should be hurled before a Judge to answer to the wicked crime of stealing our money while pussy-footing about giving us regular power supply are decorated with National Honours and celebrated as “party stalwarts”. Curiously, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo remains a free man who rubbishes our psyche as a people; a man who frittered away a beautiful opportunity to transform our country into a better nation. According to Nuhu Ribadu, Obasanjo had a modest sum of N20, 000 in his bank account by the time he came out prison-how then did he end up with so much wealth after eight years as President?
Mr. President, you remain the only leader in Nigeria who cruised to victory at the polls on the wings of the goodwill and support of the youth of our country. However, the youth of Nigeria remain an endangered lot because of the bleak economic environment they are forced to exist in. It is a very ugly fact that your party, the Peoples Democratic Party plays a sad brand of politics that churns out policies that impoverish the youngsters of Nigeria. Our schools that ordinarily should be producing bright minds have been allowed to decay and now is a breeding ground for Internet scammers, armed robbers, kidnappers, drug mules, terrorists, gangsters and similar dregs of the society. As somebody that benefited immensely from our once glorious education system, it is my hope that you would make haste to restore that system to its long-lost glory. Until our schools re-establish itself as “a citadel of learning”, we will continue to be victims of a society filled with youths with a demented mentality; a warped mentality expressed daily in “I go hammer”. Sir, have you ever found yourself wondering why a local government Councilor would be earning more money as salary than a university lecturer?
Sir, Nigerians are dying needlessly because we do not have a functional healthcare system-this is a fact that must be troubling you greatly as President. In countries where government is seen to be working for the good of the people, government officials go the extra mile to bring about a society of proud citizens. In Nigeria, those that use uncommon and morally reprehensible methods to force their ways into positions of authority insist on lining their pockets only. Is it not curious that government officials are treated abroad for common diseases like cold and the bills picked up by government while the hapless citizens are forced to patronize charlatan quacks, native doctors and thieving “pastors”? It becomes more worrying when ex Governors who are hurled before Judges to answer to criminal charges are granted bail on such stupid reasons of “going for medical check-up abroad”. Governors who stole billions of state funds while paying lip service to “building state of the art hospitals” turning around to want to go to Europe and America for medicare? Where is our shame as an independent nation? Are we really asking for too much? All we ask for is for our government to use our massive wealth to provide a functional healthcare system for we the people.
Sir, it is no “rocket science” when one observes with sadness the depressing level of insecurity in Nigeria-again, this is another sad fact that I suspect is gnawing at the very heart of your existence. The bombs going off in the North, the assassinations in the South West, the mind-boggling armed robberies/kidnappings in the South East and the hostage-taking enterprise in the South-South all translate to a society gallantly galloping down the route to perdition. It is true that every society experiences its own share of crime; it is equally true that the State uses a well trained and efficient police force to arrest a situation of anarchy. Mr. President, Nigeria is saddled with an antiquated police force that is ill equipped to tackle crime-the manpower is poorly trained and motivated. Nigeria needs a police force that is able to check the ploys of criminal elements, a police force that would be able to arrest rampaging soldiers rather than scurry to safety at the sight of an army truck. Our country needs a police force that will have officers that will have the moral strength to reject the lures and trappings of N20. A secured society is a prosperous one.
Mr. President, I know you are a very busy man struggling under the weight of the destiny of 150 million or so of us, so I will be summary in my demands. Incidentally, you are the President and I believe you will do something about the things I have said here. History is beckoning at you and it is my sincere wish that you will make critics like me to recant on our earlier submissions that you would be no different from our past leaders. I have no other country other than Nigeria and I remain a proud citizen of the slumbering Giant of Africa; our country is dying while it appears that your party, the Peoples Democratic Party remains bent on carving up our resources amongst the ‘party faithful”. But then, you are a listening President whose humble background must remain a reminder of the fact that those in positions of authority must strive always to work for the good of the people rather than run away to Europe and America with their wealth.
Thank you so much for reading.
Jon Chikadibie Okafo