I greet you Mr. President, compliment of the season to you and you family. I want to believe that all is well with you and that you are in a wonderful state of mind and health, as to other member of your family. How is madam sir? We have not been seeing her in public glare but of cause we have been feeling her finger prints on so many crucial state issues, like the emergence of the APC governorship candidate that stepped into the late political sage of Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu. It is my prayers that you will end well in Jesus name. Without wasting time, let me go straight to why I am writing you sir
Ordinarily, it will be very difficult for an ordinary citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria like me to gain access to you for your very tight schedule, there are very disturbing issues that I and other Nigerians of like minds and opinions will need urgent clarification on and that is what has necessitated this open letter to you. In the layman’s language, the pidgin English, I apologies by saying, make you no vex! If you find this medium of communication annoying. This is the only medium through which I think your media assistants will see and likely brief you.
Mr. President sir, when you won your party’s primary election, it was celebration galore. Severally, I change my Facebook cover page to the broom revolution picture which I consistently alternated with your picture. Your coming climaxed with hardship that the people have been experiencing, thus the spark generated with both events was enormous, engulfing and encapsulating. The change mantra became the new national anthem. The election came and it was thrilling. No thanks to PHCN, only God knows if they wanted to frustrate the people or join enemies of change to sabotage the process by aiding and abetting them. They decided to switch off their power. This led people to rush for fuel which was also another wahala, (before I forget sir, this fuel palaver is getting out of hand o). In the process of managing the fuel consumption rate of my generator set, I switched off all other appliances, except my television sets and a laptop I was charging. The bang I heard next made me and my family scamper for safety, thinking it’s a boko haram attack, my television sets and laptop all got blown due to power surge! Without waiting time, I boarded the next available okada I saw and took off to my sister’s place so that I can follow up with results at the collation center. As we watched along, one character almost gave me hypertension; his name is orubaba or is it orubebe?, with his class act. Anyway, it was when I came back that I remembered I had lost some hardware and the pain sunk in, but I didn’t care. Call it sacrifice for change.
We all clamored and rotted for you sir but now, we do not understand what is actually happening, I then asked myself, is this the change we all clamored for? I put it to you Mr. President, what is happening? There is an adage in my place that says “It is in the morning that one will know the food that will sustain him through to the night” Our enemies have been laughing at us, when I say our enemies; I hope you know the people I am talking about. They have been making jest of us at the slightest opportunity. I even saw one picture where people were taking off with full speed and the caption read thus “this is what will happen in 2019 when people hear change”. All we do is hide our faces when they make fun of us, we have no direct replies for them, because we also are confused at what is happening. Please sir, you have to enlighten us o. I will discus the issues bothering in the ensuing paragraphs.
I was one of the persons who vehemently told people that they should not worry, you will crush boko haram in few months, because of the way you finished the dreaded maitasene group in Kano in the early 80’s. I told them that, if you could finish a maitasene that killed thousands of people in just about a week revolt, haba, boko haram is “moimoi’. But it’s like I goofed o! Instead of depleting, these monsters have not just increased but intensified on their rascality and have been bombing whatever is boombable such that, each time I see an innocent Muslim sister with hijab, I systematically take off and give her a hundred meters gap. What is happening sir? I thought you have plans now? I thought you have discussed with neighboring countries for a joint operation and you said boko haram would be crushed in no time. This is the 7th month sir and they are getting stronger and more daring! Not forgetting out lovely children “THE CHIBOK GIRLS” any news about them sir? shey na like dis we go they go? I know that terror is a global problem, like it just happened in France but our own is virtually every hour of everyday, you hear gbam, gbom! Dem go kill us finish fa!
Another very critical issue that has been bothering me is your constant traveling overseas. Tooor, all these people have labeled you “African president of transport” . Must you travel to every meeting sir? Can one put fire on the roof of his house and sleep comfortably? Charity they say begins at home, if our home is not settled or in peace then we will be the laughing stock of the whole world. One worrisome thing here is the cost of these your trips, we are of the opinion that it negates the change mantra we all fought for. Cutting off some unnecessary trip will save the country some cash. This is from experience where many governors and government functionaries, make united kingdom or the united state the headquarters of their respective states and local governments, avenues for siphoning and stealing their state or council resources, tucking them away in undisclosed foreign lands. And if my memory serves me correctly, you said you will not condole such, that your government will redefine the relationship between state and the government at the central. How come you are traveling at the slightest opportunity? This is not the change that we expect sir. We know you are baba maigaskiya (the one who says the truth) and that’s why I am telling you this very hard truth. The country is not broke! We only need to set our priorities right and cut some slacks.
If there must be change, the late Amaru Shakur says, we will have to change the way we eat, we must change the way we live, we must change the way we treat each other, since the old ways are not working … else he see no change! I see no change sir when I wake up and there is no light and lokoja heat is almost making me go berserk, I see no change sir, when every morning my stomach hurts, I see no change when every second I hear of bomb blast, I see no change sir when I have to go and queue up in filling stations to get fuel for my generator and at the end, the attendants fling my canister away, I see no change sir, when a university graduate of six years does not have a job still. I see no change. I see no change when salaries are not paid civil servant on and as when due, I see no change when I pick my purse and there is no coins in it. I see no change sir and I begin to wonder what it takes to make that change! So far so good, all these people you picked as ministers, we haven’t felt their presence o. you have to task them to hit the ground running so that we can start seeing the much needed change.
Another annoying thing is the 18,000 minimum wage issue sir. I heard it like everybody that all APC governors are saying they cannot pay their staff. It is no problem; we would love you to compel them to bring their children and family members to work in the civil service too, so that they too can feel the pinch of suffering the people are going through. If they want to review the minimum wage, I ask that all governors, ministers and those burce lees and jakie changs at the national assembly should also live by the minimum wage. The civil servants are not servants per say but the catalyst of the government, so woe betide who ever tries to touch their minimum and I say Holy Ghost fire will burn who ever tries to review downwards the 18,000 minimum wage of the people in Jesus Name, when there are other wasteful avenues the monies of the country is being depleted and pilfered. Mr. President sir, I will like you to advice them accordingly so as not to incur the wrath of God!
I want you sir to look at my state briefly. Kogi state is one of its kind in Nigeria, the amount of mineral deposit in Kogi state can make Nigeria break forth. Specifically, I will want to ask you sir, do you have the Ajaokuta steel company at heart? This is the biggest in sub Saharan African, it has been neglected by almost every administration, probably because it is not situated in the core west or core north! Do we have to politicize everything to our determent? The price of crude is going down drastically and its affecting allocations to state terribly, because virtually everybody is producing now. It is only a foolish man that will be repeating the same thing and expect a different result. What we ought to do is diversify our oil dependent economy to other areas like steel, agriculture, tourism and so many others, I like to say sir, with all sense of responsibility that Kogi state can feed the whole of Nigeria if properly utilized, please sir resuscitate the Ajaokuta steel company. Lastly, the people are suffering sir, help them to make sure that the bailout fund that has been held by the central bank unceremoniously for political reasons is released, so that it is disbursed to the people. This will inject fund into the main stream of Kogi state economy and then the people will pray for you.
We need change baba, we need change and we know you can do it, I believe in you more than ever, to whom much is given, much is expected. We will have the last laugh in Jesus name and we shall celebrate together. Wishing you all the best. God bless you sir.
Williams Charles Oluwatoyin
Social Commentator & Political Critique
Writes from Lokoja, Kogi State