Open Letter To The President- Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Waheed Ogunjobi
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Waheed Ogunjobi

Some eight years ago, I sat reclining on my sofa, writing this same form of letter to the then President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari whose tenure is about winding down.Initially due to the general state of disquientness and impoverishment, I had said I will not be writing any open letter to anyone until I am certain that a new dawn is here and the new administration has shown the right zest to rescue this county out of the gulag it is currently enmeshed in.

Due to the renewed hope that the administration ushered in then as a result of where we are coming from, I did expressed the hope as shared by many Nigerians that Nigeria will be great again. But quite unfortunately,the situation of the country eight years after is better imagined than felt as Nigerians are left more disenchanted than it was in 2011-2015 and beyond . The irony of the fact is that you played a very critical role in the outgoing administration by virtue of being a key member of the ruling party and yet Nigerians are not the better for that choice made which had your blessings.

Truth is that your emergence against all the odds and despite all the shenanigans both from the oppositions and within your party was divinely ordained. Ordinarily, Nigerians would not want to touch anything All Progressives Congress (APC) with the longest of rope,giving the hardships Nigerians have had to endure which eventually climaxed almost on the eve of the elections with the currency redesigned policy adjudged to be ill-timed and mischievously implemented.

But, in overwhelmingly electing you to serve the nation, Nigerians have indeed voted personality and not party.This is an attestation of the fact that our democracy is coming of age. As can be seen in the pattern of voting,Nigerians across religious and ethnic divides earnestly yearned for a positive change and they have no iota of doubt that you represent that positive change. In doing so they repose so much confidence in your leadership, especially giving your track records and evidence of high-octane leadership characteristics which can be seen even beyond Lagos state, where you had held sway. They see you as the new face ; they see you as the face of hope and you must work to let this renewed hope with the while.

Thus, in overwhelmingly voting you to run the affairs of the country, Nigerians believe so much in your capacity, capability and ability to turn things around. Nigerians have become disenchanted, distraught and violated to say the least. Like the theme of the celebrated book by Chinua Achebe, things have really fallen apart and the centre appears to no longer hold; the falcons no longer ear the falconers.

In the last eight years of the APC- led government many people have lost their economic livelihood as the issue of dollar exchange rate to a naira has continued to stifle the economy. The informal sector which used to be the engine room of the economy is in doldrums, especially as the price of diesel has also compounded the woes. Don't forget,the intractable dollar/naira exchange rate and crisis had done incalculable damages to the economy. Isn't it ironic that the naira crunch which is having biting effect on the cost of living is also drastically reducing productivity, as peolle barely find the naira to buy foodstuff,let alone transact business; the business environment is almost grounded?

For instance, analysts say the naira notes and petrol crisis could affect the projected easing of the country's inflation rate for 2023. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria's headline inflation rate slowed for the first time in 11 months to 21.34 percent in December 2022 from 21.47 percent in January,2023.

You will also not forget in a hurry the soaring number of Nigerians leaving in droves to foreign lands in the name of " Japa Syndrome", as the nation no longer hold any good promises for the future. The Japa Syndrome is an attestation that Nigerians are no longer safe in their country and they no longer believe in the possibility of the system rescuing them from poverty. Of a fact, there is biting hunger in the land and many people have chosen ro vote with their legs, with some selling off all what they had laboured for all their lives- Sad!

As you roll up your sleeves to begin the process of governance and restoration as it were, Nigerians are not asking for too much;they are not asking you to perform the overnight magic of equating one US dollar to one naira; they are not asking for fuel to be sold at N70 naora per litre, what they are just asking you to do is to at least bring back the good old days a bit by doing all within your capacity to address the forex scarcity, which is almost grinding the nation's economy to a halt.

In this renewed hope, the twin problems of naira scarcity and fuel scarcity appear like the last straw that broke the camel's back. Again, Nigerians are hoping that there will be a quick fix to that. At least, the naira redesign policy should be made to have a human face, while the issue of importation of refined oil which is at the heart of the fuel scarcity should be addressed squarely.

Also, many Nigerians have mulled the idea of removal of petroleum subsidy, I also feel strongly that time may be right to do that and end the bulk passing between the Petroleum Marketers and the Federal government once and for all. The fear from discernible mind on the proposed issue of removal of subsidy is however about what would the government do with the proceed and what palliative measures will be put in place to mitigate the sufferings that will follow. On this, Nigerians also have the hope that you will score a good point and we will all be better for it.

The issue of insecurity which started in the North- East and had since spread to other parts of the country with tell tales of woes had no doubt assumed a dangerous dimension and the cries of Nigerians on this issue have indeed reached heaven. It is my fervent hope that you will take a critical look into the missing link in the spect of security and restore normalcy to our dear country. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons most comfortable Nigerians are selling their hard earned assets to migrate to a future of uncertainty is the issue of insecurity and your new administration is expected to undertake an effective diagnosis of the issues involved and put an end to this impunity once and for all. Enough must be enough !

As a political strategist of note which you are , Nigerians are looking forward to better days ahead and they are praying fervently along with you to achieve success, so that at the end of the four years of this mandate, they will indeed bless the day they made the choice to give you a shot at leadership in response to your widely acclaimed outburst- Emi lo Kan ( It is my time). In the spirit of this mantra which has already gained grounds therefore, your new administration is urged to make it obvious to the entire world that it is indeed the turn of Nigeria to rise again; let I happen that the international community will take us seriuos once again and make the votes freely given to you at the polls by millions of Nigerian in hunger and anger count. Congratulations sir. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Waheed Ogunjobi, Journalist, Writer and Public Affairs Analyst, is the current Vice Chairman of the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations ( NIPR) and writes from Abeokuta. He can be reached on 08035004741 or [email protected].