LETTER TO UMU ANIOMA: 'THE POPULAR WILL' OR CARELESS TALK? YOU BE THE JUDGE

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January 16, 2012
Dear Great Umu Anioma,
INTRODUCTION:
The ongoing national crisis in Nigeria regarding the announcement by the Federal Government on January 1, 2012 of fuel subsidy removal has been dominated by talk about corruption. The participants of strike called by the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the protest rallies tagged “Occupy Nigeria” have too often been pointing accusing finger of blame at the corrupt political office holders and Government officials as the cause of Nigeria’s economic distress.

Aside from these phony accusations, their exposure to the news limelight has also spurred some opposition candidates and members of the Nigerian Diaspora intelligentsia who are sympathetic to the Opposition party to try to cash in on this national crisis by showing up at protest sites and talking tough in the worst un-patriotic manner.

This kind of sword-swinging braggadocio (Shakara) is dangerous, as it not only stifles constructive national discourse but it can get out of hand and take on a life of its own in a self-fulfilling prophesy in which The Minister of Finance stated that Nigeria is headed for economic collapse if urgent steps are not taken to avert it. The hypocrisy and lack of patriotism showed by Mallam El Rufai and his co-travelers is nauseating. Any leader who seeks to gain political advantage from a national crisis is un-patriotic in my humble opinion. We have a situation whereby perhaps a corrupt Government in power has articulated through its Minister of Finance trained and logical reasoning for the removal of oil subsidy. And in response, the opposition led by Mallam El Rufai, Mr. Patrick Utomi and Pastor Bakare and their co-travelers in essence responded by saying…. “Okay we [Opposition] do not say oil subsidy removal is bad, but what we are saying is that before you remove it, we want you to tackle corruption which has been going on since General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime before you can remove oil subsidy.”

Folks, now, that I got your attention, let me break down what the Pastor Tunde Bakare, Pat Utomi and El Rufai “Occupy Nigeria” are saying in simple terms so we all can understand it no matter the level of our education. And just for your information, the oil sale and petrol importation process involves several agencies and their corrupt employees. Some of these agencies are, Nigerian Customs, NNPC, PPPRA etc.

Now, what Mallam El Rufai, Patrick Utomi, Pastor Bakare and their co-travelers are saying when they say tackle the corruption first and go after the corrupt people that have been stealing from fuel subsidy is that [In a country that most of its citizens literarily poor, un-educated and corrupt, Lucky Igbenedion steals billions of naira from Edo State and gets sentenced to a fine of 5 million naira]

“this government MUST first arrest and perhaps jail or execute Otedola, Wale Tinubu, Dangote, Abubakar Atiku, the remaining oil cabals and all the custom officer assigned to Tin Can Island port, NNPC employees who process the payments and write the checks, and the PPPRA officials first before removing oil subsidy. Not only that, they must to show that they too are ready to make sacrifice, the Govt. must issue order that all political offices must work pro bono, all Presidential jets sold and all the perks of office removed for all Government officials so that no one but us [the opposition, El Rufai and Co] are the only ones interested in running for office. So that way since the allure for office is removed, we can come in un-opposed and the first week, we can make laws to re-instate all the perks.”

Now all those who participated in the protest who are reading my submission right now, can ask themselves if this is truly, why they left their homes to protest?

I know that those unpatriotic Nigerians who used the crisis to their advantage will continue to shift ground and modify their arguments and things unfold. As, I am writing this now once it became clear that Comrade Omar may sell out like some of his predecessors these un-patriotic Nigerians in the opposition party are now saying that even if NLC calls off the strike the “Occupy Nigeria” protest will continue etc. That to me is seditious. Swearing to make trouble with the Government in power no matter what at the very least is un-patriotic.

Folks, I don’t know about you but I think all these stuff look like things that can be accomplished legitimately through a free and fair poll where it is “One man One vote” I understand that no elected office holder in Nigeria is interested in “One man One vote” but what do you do when the opposition is calling for a President to respect the “The Popular Will” of the people by stepping down perhaps and handing over to his Vice President may be? Anyway, let’s leave all that for now and I will come back to it all later.

Quote”
Now that he has been confronted with mass protests, it is in the collective best interest for him to begin to show that he is a democrat and a leader by respecting the popular will.

Unquote: Mallam Nasir El Rufai January 13, 2012
The opposition and their sympathizers never offered any suggestions as to where the replacement for President will come from if he were to respect the convoluted “the popular will” that has some of the protesters calling for the President to resign. Neither have they told us where the replacements for these other corrupt individuals must come from considering that politics in Nigeria is about money; and everyone in the society is corrupt, the Custom posts have to be manned, someone has to be working in NNPC in order for our crude oil to be sold ……. I am sure you get my drift. Are these replacements that run Otedola’s Conoil, Wale Tinubu’s OandO, Aliko Dangote’s company, Customs, NNPC going to come from Mars where the inhabitants are not corrupt?


Funny enough opponents of the subsidy removal agree that removing the subsidy is the right thing to do, however they argue that there are some things the Government need to do first and number one on that list being that the Government needs to tackle corruption first before removing the subsidy. While the Government can agree with labor to tackle corruption, the results can be illusory if the citizens don’t make a commitment to make sacrifices themselves considering that they too are more or less just as corrupt.

A lot of my compatriots are likely to disagree or be disappointed that I feel that as right as they may feel they are to say Nigeria’s main problem is corruption. I have dug deeper and concluded that since almost all Nigerians are corrupt. lack of patriotism is without a doubt the root cause of ALL of Nigeria’s problems and NOT corruption. Corruption it appears is just a symptom. I will have more to say on this later in the concluding part of my analysis.

Prior to the oil subsidy removal was announced, I was emotionally torn in the middle, in fact several Umu Anioma I spoke to via the telephone would confirm that. I was hurting not because the oil subsidy removal was a bad economic policy but because of the inevitable hardship from the adjustment and sacrifice everyone will be required to make. Once the announcement was made, I had to do what real leaders do in this instances…. I.e. I put my emotions under bounds. Being able to put one’s emotions under bounds is a necessary leadership skill; perhaps that also explains why you do not find a lot of women in leadership positions as much as one would like to see. As a leader, I took the time to write you all a memo to share my thoughts. I suggested you look for the opportunities and take advantage of them. When I looked at the opportunities in it for me, I saw first that the events leading up to President Goodluck Jonathan’s election and the re-action from those in the social underclass is an opportunity for voter education on “How to choose your leaders” I thought the lessons learnt from the U.S. landmark case Bush v. Gore could be applied here. I also saw an opportunity to enlighten folks on the voting process in Nigeria. I however never thought the subsidy removal would give me an opportunity to turn the searchlight on the Nigerian opposition and its sympathizers. It appears that Nigerians are naturally inclined to be complaining about Government and people in Government while ignoring those in the opposition who as we have come to see use the advantage of not been under the radar to advance un-patriotic and sometimes seditious agenda. If God keeps me healthy the opposition and their sympathizers and all that careless they spew will henceforth be equally scrutinized; folks, that is not a threat but a promise.


When, we started the Umu Anioma Movement, I was very upfront with you all about my commitment to the Anioma cause as I promised to lead this great movement with everything that is me. As you all may already know, I am not perfect. I will be the first one to admit that I am a “licensed hypocrite”, even though I am licensed to be one, I have never met any human being I do not like.

Now, that we got all that out of the way, I wanted to let you all know off the bat that it is my humble opinion that all things being equal, 99.9 percent of Nigerians are corrupt. [Period]

Even though I think all Nigerians that live in Nigeria are corrupt all things being equal, I do not think all Nigerians are un-patriotic. Since General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida changed our Nigerian cultural DNA, hopefully not forever, by institutionalizing corruption in the country, since that time, Nigeria has been on a downward trajectory. In my humble opinion, it will take ONLY purposeful leadership that is anchored on un-questionable patriotism and educated and engaged masses to start this climb back to the top.

So, please when you look at issues, whether they are economic issues as was the case with the oil subsidy or if they are social issues like whether homosexuality should be banned, it is important that you go back and research the characters of the major players that are involved in the forefront of the debates on that specific issues before it is implemented. In my 4 or 5 part analysis, I will attempt to do just that with this issue of fuel subsidy. I will provide online links for you so that you can read stories that relate to the major players and their antecedents. On one side of this crisis is the Government. I have chosen two relevant Government Officials, namely Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Arc. Mike Onomelemen and put them in “Group A”

In “Group B” will be the Nigerian masses. And in “Group C” is Mallam El Rufai, Professor Patrick Utomi and Pastor Tunde Bakare; these individuals from the 3 major ethnic groups in Nigeria are from the 3 major tribes in Nigeria.

I trust that if you are armed with enough information as new generation Anioma leaders you will follow the facts to where they lead you, unless of course you are unpatriotic or you have emotional issues that permanently makes you “anti” everything.

Umu Anioma, just to re-iterate, I have already said, 99.9% of Nigerians that live in Nigeria are corrupt; all things being equal. Furthermore, I stated that not ALL Nigerians are un-patriotic. I believe that to move our country forward, eradicate the endemic corruption, we need to identify and empower patriotic leaders and stand by them even when we think they are making an obvious mistake. And those leaders whom we have identified as being un-patriotic ought to be called out even if they were your Siamese twin. As I compiled my list

In making my point, I have identified some Nigerian leaders some in Government and others in the opposition.

The title for my submission today was inspired by an article written by the face of the opposition on the internet Mallam Nasir El Rufai. That well written article was titled “The popular will” The title made me wonder if Mallam Nasir El Rufai was referring to the popular will that was rendered in an election held April 26. 2011 which another leader of the opposition CAN and former governor of Lagos State characterized as having been worm “clean=clear” by President Goodluck Jonathan or if this was about something else.

Please double-click on the link below to read that article and decide for yourself what popular will he really ought to be talking about:

http://www.elombah.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9428:the-popular-will-by-nasir-ahmad-el-rufai&catid=31:general&Itemid=69

For those who do not know him, he was the former PDP member and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime. I will come back later with web links that shed more light on Mallam El Rufai’s other businesses. I have observed that a lot of Anioma people likewise other Nigerians have been repeating sentiments expressed in Mallam El Rufai’s well written piece titled “Popular Will” without understanding its nuance.

Mallam El Rufai and others that I will place in “Group B” through their public utterances in this period of national crisis have showed their true color and as your leader it is my duty to call them all out including our brother Patrick Utomi who frankly ought to move back home to Ibusa and start farming or try another trade other than being a professional politician.

Last week, after the fuel subsidy removal was announced, I sent you all a Memorandum which was posted on Umu Anioma Facebook page to prepare you all for what is ahead. My intention also was to discourage you all from what I thought was a useless idea……. That idea, that joining the protest, called by the opposition, to induce Government to reverse its policy of fuel subsidy was the right thing to do in the circumstance of a national crisis.

Frankly speaking, even though the citizen’s right to stage peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Constitution, no legitimate Government would reverse itself on a policy that it announced was to avert a total collapse of the country’s economy. I can understand if one does not fully grasp what ‘Economic Collapse” really means. In the discussion part of my submission, I will paint the scenarios of an “Economic Collapse” {Not Economic Downturn oo]

My Memorandum to all Umu Anioma which is posted on the Umu Anioma Facebook page basically states that this subsidy removal has in it opportunities for all Nigerians to grow going forward. Assuming the likelihood of an economic downturn is not strong enough to get the people’s buy-in into the policy.

What any patriotic leader would do is what I thought I did. Basically, I asked everyone to give the Government the benefit of doubt; look to take advantage of the new opportunities that fuel subsidy removal is sure to present. I also directed that Umu Anioma should not

Let me start apologizing right now to all the Umu Aniomas who are participants of the “Occupy Nigeria” movement. Sorry to disappoint you, if you were confused and thought this is it; this is not the revolution we need and MUST have. This strike called by the NLC and TUC to protest the fuel subsidy removal sadly has been hijacked by sore losers, mediocre opposition wannabes, and gullible masses. In this analysis I will create three groups and place in those different groups Nigerians who in my opinion fits into these groups and I will end it with analogy that describes a problem, offer 3 solutions and have those who want to play along match each of the groups with their recommended solution number.

Also as an Anioma Prince, I have always believed that cultural prosperity is the least costly way forward for us therefore; I will have as a preface to each of the groups of the people relevant Anioma proverbs. Also, according to Dr. A. Monye, a brilliant Anioma Fulbright scholar who taught at Central Connecticut University

Group A
RELEVANT ANIOMA PROVERB FOR GROUP A:
“Ndi be anyi asi na o sone na uda egbe, ife onye gba, ya bupuhe e.

English Translation: Our people say that what counts more in shooting is bringing out the game which one has shot and not the loudness of the gun.

•Ada Anioma, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Minister for Finance and Supervising Minister of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Economic Team. Former Managing Director of the World Bank, Former Minister of Finance in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet.

Click on web links below to read more about Ada Anioma Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngozi_Okonjo-Iweala
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/11/06women_Ngozi--Okonjo-Iweala_H2RN.html

•Arc. Mike Onomelemen PhD, Minister of Works. Former Minister of State for Defense in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s cabinet.

Click on web links below to read more about Dr. Mike Onomelemen:

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/news/national/2011/dec/14/national-14-12-2011-0014.html

http://africanleadershipmagazine.com/alm/News/nigeria-road-infrastructure.html

Group B
RELEVANT ANIOMA PROVERB FOR GROUP B:
Wa si mbekwu ma”kii egbu i?; o si, ‘elo’; wa asi a ma kii azo i?, o si ‘elo’

English translation: When our people asked the tortoise: ‘What is harmful to your well-being?’?, it said, ‘Mushroom’; when they also asked it: ‘What keeps you alive?’ it says, ‘Mushroom’!

•Gullible Nigerian masses who exercised their constitutional right to protest peacefully and do not support oil subsidy removal:

Click on web links below to read more about some of those ordinary Nigerians who came out to protest oil subsidy removal:

http://www.causes.com/causes/526754-150-million-nigerians-to-support-goodluck-jonathan-on-the-2011-race

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vote-Goodluck-Ebele-Jonathan-for-President-come-2011/162332140459382

Group C
RELEVANT ANIOMA PROVERB FOR GROUP C:
Maka wa asi na olia new afa, o new ekene
English translation: Because our people say that it is when you can diagnose a given ailment that you can sympathize with the patient.

•Mallam Nasir El Rufai, Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and a leader of the Opposition CPC political party.

Click on web links below to read more about Mallam Nasir El Rufai:

•Professor Patrick Utomi, Proprietor/Professor of Economics at Lagos Business School and Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party.

Click on web links below to read more about Professor Patrick Utomi

•Pastor Tunde Bakare, Leader of the Latter Rain Assembly, Vice Presidential Candidate of the CPC Party, Convener of the Save Nigeria Group [SNG]

Click on web links below to read more about Pastor Tunde Bakare:

http://saharareporters.com/news-page/president-jonathan-offered-us-50000-bribe-we-returned-it-pastor-tunde-bakare-confirms

http://surprisebaba.blogspot.com/2011/07/dictator-is-coming-pastor-bakare.html

I choose all along to call this fuel subsidy removal debacle a “crisis” knowing fully well that due to the chronically corrupt nature of our citizens it is not a “crisis”

Nigerians will eventually learn that a crisis that can be resolved with money is not in the true sense a “crisis” So also a “revolution” that can be resolved with money is not a revolution. The “Occupy Nigeria” protest is not the revolution that we need and MUST have.

Coming up in the discussion part of my submission, I will touch on each of the groups above and roles the major actors in the group have played leading up to this oil subsidy removal debacle.

Umu Anioma, trust me, nobody else will tell you this in the manner I have chosen to tell it to you.

To be continued…..
Prince Emmanuel O. Ohai, is the leader of Umu Anioma Worldwide and he writes from Atlanta, GA

[email protected]
+1-404-210-1822

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