D ear President Muhammadu Buhari,
I write this letter in response to the growing anxieties and pains stalking the land, especially the unintended fire storm which my comments elicited on the social blogosphere some few days back. Candidly, I only wanted to express my frustrations at the shape and turn of things in the country and take you to task on previously given assurances that you feel the pains which Nigerians are grappling with. While thanking you most profusely for feeling our pains, we would be better off if there were immediate remedial steps which could bail us from further hardships. The pains for want of a better word are unimaginable and any hint of its continuing will not augur well for us as a people.
To be sure, it is such a good thing for you to give us assurances of feeling our pains but until and unless it translates into tangible improvement of our individual and collective lives, then it means next to nothing for the vast army of despondent and hungry Nigerians who have been battered and almost swept away into oblivion by no fault of theirs. Under these circumstances, nothing can resonate and revive them as a change of fortune. Only a drastic change in the economic situation will make living any meaningful in today’s Nigeria.
The truth of the matter, sir, is that never have we witnessed on this scale the excruciating pains and feelings of hopelessness now pervasive, not even the hardship of the second republic comes any close. Never have we sunken to this depths of despair with prospects of further decline. We feel captured, vanquished, obviously betrayed and worried as citizens of this country. Every Nigerian is worried and it is not unusual to hear tales of lamentations when two or more of our country men and women congregate these days. The tales are so frightening and mind-wrecking that even the rich are not immune. These are indeed perilous times.
As we stagger under the weight of spiralling inflation, reversed and dashed opportunities, continued decline in crude oil prices, massive unemployment, recession and increasing blame game, where lies the much needed salvation? Mr. President, I’m afraid that nothing but the reversal of this painful experience will do. Perhaps, you are trying your best but it only becomes meaningful when Nigerians can feed and experience a new lease of life.
We are paying for the sins of the past, mainly of running a mono-cultural economy which is mainly oil based but only creative imagination is required to bail us out at the moment. As the current President, history will summon you to its judgement room to answer some certain questions. What immediate steps did you put in place to stem the slide would be one of such questions? History beckons and nobody but you would be put on the spot.
I recall that you rode into office on the popular assumption that having spent a dozen years chasing the Presidency because of a well articulated plan to reform, revamp and revitalise our national economy. You are a little into your mid-term cycle and before long, another cycle of electioneering campaigns will commence. What are your achievements in the interim? I ask because it is not yet certain that much has changed in the experience of the ordinary Nigerian.
The task of rebooting the economy is entirely yours and no amount of excuses or tepidity will do the needful. What is required is a clear understanding and necessary intervention to take us out of the woods. Nothing short of that will suffice. We are hungry. We want access to cheap food. We want opportunities. We want jobs and security. We want the state to respond to threats before they blow out of proportions. In other words, the rhapsody of change, which you promised is yet to be fully or even partially fulfilled. Before long, there would be need for us to compare and contrast notes. It would be done with the best of intentions and in the overall interest of the Nigerian people.
Courage and purposeful leadership is required to steer our national ship into an oasis of plenty from this long trek in the wilderness of want and lack. Offset the debt of promises you freely made to us during the last campaign. The tide of history will not permit for an inexorable march in the direction of failed promises. I can assure you that the Nigerian youth would score you objectively and reasonable before long.
I recall that you promised to jettison the odious practices of the past by building a more equitable and egalitarian Nigeria during the campaigns. The poetry of electioneering is over and you are now faced and confronted with the daunting task of governance, which is not easy but it is your call. You must make needed sacrifices, your famed integrity will be called to question, decisions must be made with the consequences in mind and finally, it is expected of you to bequeath a value system that will take us forward into the future.
As a retired soldier, I leave you with the Cadet Prayer at West Point Military Academy in the United States: “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole truth can be won”. Embrace the whole truth and do not let people within your immediate circle deceive or delude you into believing otherwise-Nigerians are tired and pained at heart. Come to our rescue. Fix our country and our lives, that’s all we ask for by voting you into office.
Thank you for your time and do have a wonderful experience fixing the Nigerian situation.