Don’t know whether to address you as General, Alhaji, or simply Mr Buhari. In any case, I have often wondered what business you retired Army Generals have with politics in Nigeria, as it is obvious you are more accustomed to giving orders than taking orders.
The reason I am writing you this letter is to nudge your conscience, while assuming you have one. First of all, may I ask if you have been reading the national newspapers? Have you read or heard about the sickeningChristmasDayChurchbombing? Have you seen pictures of Mrs Dike, who lost her husband and five children in that incident??? Did you read about the recent visit of the Sultan of Sokoto to Aso Rock? Sir, I have too many instances and questions. And I mean…more than enough to bug your mind for the rest of your life.
Now that you have lost your CPC appeal against PDP, we all hope you can now focus and pay some attention to real issues in the country you claim to love so much.
In any case why must anyone believe your sincerity when all you want to be is Mr. President, regardless of what happens toNigeria? Before the last elections, you promised not to contest the results. You also promised it was the last time you would put yourself forward as a presidential candidate. You were wrong about the former, and we do hope we will not see your face again in any future elections. From all indications, you are very lousy at keeping promises. Your enviable posture as the great Statesman has now been seriously undermined by your refusal to magnanimously accept defeat. Those that held you in high esteem are now entertaining doubts.
The Yoruba people have a saying that ‘ema fi iso kekere badije’. This can be interpreted in pidgin English to mean ‘make you no take small mess spoil yansh’. It speaks for itself. Those of us who were old enough to witness your military regime years back have enormous respect for you, more so because of your perceived high level of moral standards. Sir, what has become of all that? Why don’t you just let bye gone be bye gone? A lot of your admirers had expected you to put the pains of a lost election behind you, and concentrate on movingNigeriaforward. But instead we saw the real you. We had expected you as an elder statesman to genuinely part the winner, Jonathan, on the back and offer him the necessary supports. We all know that experience is the best teacher, and needless to say Jonathan could do with tips from an old hand like you. All we heard was boring talks of rigged elections, which has now been put to rest. Thank God. As a matter of fact if I have to be honest with you, I think you have behaved like the proverbial wounded lion.
When you lost the last election, we all know the uproar/pandemonium it stirred in the Northern part of the country. Many Nigerians were surprised to witness the level of commitments owed you by radical Northern youths. Now, who is Boko Haram? Like my late grandmother would say ‘what is the difference between coffee and tea’? To a large extent the average Nigerian would say that your political leadership tends to border on strict religious adherence. Whether this is true or not remains to be deduced from your conduct in the past months. As a result, one is made to wonder how come you have not really made a public statement categorically condemning Boko Haram? Please don’t misconstrue me. We all know you do not have any business with Boko Haram. Most of us think you are above that, even though we know how passionate you are about Islam. But what we also know is that such a public statement, coming from a man like you, would most certainly have helped to douse the present cacophony/bloodshed in our country. By so doing Nigerians, especially your admirers, will be convinced beyond doubts that your sojourn in politics is not merely for personal, selfish, sectional or religious reasons.
Oga mi, the ball is in your court o!!! You have seen the Sultan of Sokoto (a man I admire), convincingly play his own part. History will judge you according to the role you play. Don’t forget that, not many of us have the opportunity to make a visible impact in the polity of our nation. But for lucky ones like you, there couldn’t be a better time. You should consider yourself fortunate and count your blessings, because you have had it all…and seen it all. Power belongs only to God. You cannot complain, and should not complain. The bible says, ‘what does it profit a man to have the whole world, and lose his soul’. At your level, you can probably readNigerialike a book. You are the first to know that if Nigeria breaks up tomorrow because of mundane ‘religious’ issues like the present one, the scale will obviously tilt in favour of one group against the other. We all can jolly well predict the result. Extreme or fanatical religious belief/adherence does not guarantee the quality of food on a man’s table. It’s all to do with economic power.
Let’s get real. Enough of the ‘bad belle’. A word is enough for the wise. This is what my people would call, ‘had I known’!!! The face of politics has changed inNigeriasince your time. ‘Monkey don goAmerica’. Unfortunately some people are still behind time, and ignorance of a people is no excuse.Nigeriabelongs to all of us. It should not be a case of ‘master-servant’ relationship for ever. A man from the remotest creeks of Bayelsa is equally good enough to be president ofNigeria. Whether he does it proficiently should be left to posterity to adduce. People must stop shrouding their sinister intentions in religious frivolities. The Sultan has said it all. This is not a religious war. It is a war between bad and good people, and the good people are in the majority.
I will end this letter by narrating an advice an old man once gave to a newly married couple. The young groom asked him, ‘why is it that some marriages last forever’? The old man replied, ‘The early years are the most turbulent. The older a marriage, the more resilient and accommodating the parties become. The more they learn to accept each other’s shortcomings. The more they learn to realize that no one person is perfect. The more they look at the products/issues of the marriage (the children), and take consolation in God’s mercies. The more they know that life is too short for tantrums’. In other words, ‘body go fit become leather’.
Sir, as a Security Expert I know that there are tangible/viable solutions to our present insecurity…albeit expensive. However I also know that there are easier/cheaper and readily achievable solutions, one of which is for respected Statesmen like your good self to frantically appeal to disgruntled groups who see you as a biblical ‘Moses’. Please seize this opportunity, and leave your foot print in the sands of history.
P/s…. By the way, before I forget, I am also expecting to wake up one morning here in the UK (one hour behind you) to read that you have paid a condolence visit to Mr. President in Abuja, in respect of all the innocent souls lost in recent mindless outrage by the ragtag Boko Haram. I know you will do this for Nigeria, because it is easy to see that you are a good man…deep inside.
Thank you. And may God (Allah) bless you.
Charles Ebun-Amu, UK