An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari

By Alaba Abdulrazak
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Dear Mr. President,
First of all I would like to congratulate you on the recent academic achievements recorded by your children. It is the wish of every father to witness such event in one’s lifetime. Mr. President, before I go into details of my letter, I want you to know that this letter is not written in a spirit of hate, contempt, nor is it motivated in any way by any ethnic intolerance but is written with respect due to your office and the awesome tasks that have been placed on your shoulders by Nigerians.

Truth according to Sir Henry Fredrick is not violated by falsehood; it may be equally be outraged by silence. I’m compelled to write you because I used to be one of your fans prior to the 2015 polls. I was one of the advocates of ‘change mantra’ that swept across the land in preparation for the 2015 polls. I believed we needed a positive change to the negative change we witnessed under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

I believed we needed a transition from a government that that suffered from kleptomania to a prudent one. I had a ‘Nigerian Dream’ which I thought would be achieved under a man who has an antecedent of honesty. Mr. President, it has been over a year that you took over the mantle of leadership of this great nation. During the electioneering period you and your party, APC made promises which many of us believed. Some of us believed in those promises not because we were fools but because those promises came from you, a man we once vouched for his integrity. But, today Mr. President none of those promises has been fulfilled. Mr. President, Nigeria has fared badly under your tenure.

Since you took over, you have travelled to abroad more than thirty times and up till now we have not seen the result of those journeys you expended tax payers’ money on. Mr. President, it is true that past government created a lot of problems for the new government; but for how long are we going to be blaming the past government for our current travails?

Does it mean that we can’t fix these problems? In the annals of Nigeria’s history, we have never had it this bad. The economy of Africa’s most populous nation today has become a hydra-headed monster that is difficult to tame or control under you. It is now a ravaging bull running amok and has defied any solution from your government. Mr. President, majority of Nigerians have become hopeless in the face of the economic hardship that has plagued Nigeria since you took over mantle of leadership of this great Nation. The vicious cycle of poverty now engulfs the masses to a level of suffocation.

Your economic advisers have even compounded the problems by making careless and contradictory statements on the state of the economy. The other day your Finance Minister said we are in recession and a position which was equally supported by the Central Bank Governor. Just few days ago, your Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma said our economy will grow by over 3%, rejecting the IMF’s prediction.

Mr. President, we don’t even know what is happening to the economy? We don’t know those who are controlling it now? Who are the prime beneficiaries of this kind of unstable economy when in a year we have lost the single digit inflation status we maintained in past administrations?

Unfortunately, this kind of economy you operate is only being understood by majority of Nigerians to be one that has brought untold hardship to the common man on the street. It is an economy that has deprived the masses basic means of livelihood. Today, workers are being owed salaries running into months.

Mr. President, while you are busy fighting corruption, many other things that require your attention are left undone. Unfortunately, the fight against corruption which seems to be the hallmark of your government is systematically fighting back.

Today, people in your government are equally being accused of corruption. Mr. President, there are stories making round that you spent fortune to acquire glasses and shoes. You were also accused of hosting a lavish banquet to honour your children who recently graduated from a London school and Law school in Nigeria.

Mr. President, you are doing this at a time when many Nigerians who voted for you can’t afford to pay for their children school fees not to talk of hosting banquet for them. You are doing this at a time when your government has not shown any holistic or concrete effort at alleviating the hardship of the people not to talk of raising their standard of living.

Mr. President, I understand that one of the major problems we have in this country is corruption. I equally want you to know that another major factor that has rendered fight against corruption futile is hypocrisy. Mr. President, there is no corruption-free society anywhere in the world. But it can be reduced to the barest minimum when it is free from double standards.

Mr. President, I have to commend you for the success you have achieved so far with Boko Haram terrorists but more still needs to be done with the displaced people. Fulani herdsmen menace is yet another serious threat that your government needs to tackle. Mr. President, I also want you to understand that the method or strategy used in tackling insurgency in the North eastern part of Nigeria may not be suitable to tackling Niger-Delta or Biafra crises.

Signs of a country in a gradual drift to disintegration have always been present in the polity, which is why you must handle issues relating to Niger-Delta and Biafra with utmost political maturity and diplomacy. Mr. President, if there are people you need to distance yourself from-they are sycophants and political yes men. They exist in any government and if you desire to achieve anything good; you must not allow them to hijack your government.

These sycophants are already heaping praises and laurels on you when you have not proved yourself to Nigerians. Sir, if they are deceiving you; you must avoid deceiving yourself like the Narcissus who fell in love with his own image reflected from a pool of water. One major area that needs your urgent attention at the moment is how best to put an end to the suffering of the masses. Remember that a hungry man is an angry man. One cannot think well, love well or even sleep well, if one has not dined well. I wish you the very best.

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