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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Opinion: Open Letter To General Buhari (Retired)

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by Owusi Obumneme J

Dear General Buhari,

Today as I flip through our media and follow discussions on our past as if they were in essence our future, my heart gave way to the burden this letter.

I saw an online article that likened you to Dr Nelson Mandela & Dr Martin Luther King Jr and was deeply saddened. Saddened that our youths have excitedly gone ahead to plan a wedding before extracting a commitment /agreement from the young maiden. Sir, I know what Mandela, Dr King Jr gave their lives to achieve – this is not to say that I do not hear what the media now make of your sainthood.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Dr Nelson Mandela sold a vision of a nation to their people, one that yet speak of equal rights and access to all. These men spoke against injustice wherever they lay, even against their own kinsmen. Unlike these men, your team attempt to sell a person (Buhari) instead of a vision to our people. Consequently we now have to discuss you instead of a vision for our nation.

In the past 30 years, you have only spoken up against what you perceived to be an injustice meted out against the ‘Hausa/Fulani’ cattle rearers. In fact it was reported that you travelled quite a distance to seek a redress for them. In the same vein, you appear deaf, blind and mute to the several cases of injustice meted on other Nigerians. Sir, you said nothing when northern elders forum laid a public claim of ownership of the oil in the Niger Delta? Sir, when did you become an advocate of the larger society we called Nigeria?

Sir, I have never read, nor heard any of your discussions, paper presentations, etc  that discuss your vision for Nigeria or your grandeur interpretation of Nigeria. What is your definition of Nigeria? Is your Nigeria – the Hausa/Fulani people? Do you truly believe that we are all equal before the law? Do you believe that the Hausa/Fulani are owners/royalties of Nigeria that must be obeyed and served by other Nigerian as slaves? Sir, a literal meaning of – to corrupt is to muddle up or mess up an established pattern. Sir, do you define corruption as any attempt to redefine a Nigeria where all her people particularly the minority tribes have equal rights and access to our common wealth?

Sir, are you not aware that the present financial corruption in our country are symptoms of a most deeper problem. You will recall that General T.Y Danjuma (retired) made a bold revelation when he said that he’s got so much money that he doesn’t know what to do with them.

Sir, how did Danjuma come about such wealth? Did he invent a new technology or a product that sold across the world? Sir, please note that I have deep respect for Danjuma’s years of service to our nation however we understand that he became rich on account of oil block allocation, the same oil block allocations that is denied the people of Niger Delta.  Sir, the illegal oil bunkering is as a result of this injustice that continue to enslave the minority tribes in our country. This same principle can be traced across our civil service, i.e. our Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA).

Sir, all these would be resolved when MERITOCRACY reigns supreme in Nigeria.

I hear that a march is being organised in your favour and I wondered if you would give your blessing.

Sir, is this march against 23 million Nigerians that the insistence of 14th February 2015 election, would deny their rights to vote? Is the march for the minority Nigerian that is educationally qualified to serve our country in our civil service, e.g. Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), but the dream is repeatedly crushed because of less qualified majority tribes? Is this march against military coups in Nigeria? Is it against June 12 annulment? Is this march for a conduct of a proper census in Nigeria? Is this march for the National Youth Service Corp members that lost their lives and aspirations in our last presidential election of 2011? Is the march against the environmental degradation of Niger Delta region? Is this march against the Elders of the North that stood up to say that they own the oil in the Niger Delta region? Is this march against Boko Haram? Is this march against people fleeing their homes in droves for fear of being killed if you loose this 2015 election?

Silently, I waited to hear in affirmation that the proposed march was for a vision of a nation that must be realised. Today, I hear my own friend that supports your candidacy spew out violent words and threats of eminent violence and I yet wonder –  is that what you represent? Is that what you evoke in our people?

Dr Nelson Mandela & Dr Martin Luther King Jr, inspired faith in people and unfortunately I regret to repeat that at the moment you inspire fear. People are fleeing from their homes because they know that you would loose the election and they can not afford the repeat of 2011. However, the good-news is that you can change this narrative, by rewriting your own legacy.

Sir, the fact as at today is that your team messed up by selling you (a person – General Buhari) instead of a vision of a nation to the crowd that came out to hear your message of change. You cannot change this fatal mistake in the next 6 weeks, consequently you cannot win the 2015 presidential election but you can win something much bigger – the hearts of our people by taking on a well meaning mission. This mission would be possible if your core objective was to serve the people.

Pursue the extraction of a contract from the ruling class across the political parties – for a full unaltered adoption and implementation of the people’s vision – the national conference report. That report is the change that the people seek and desire. It will empower the people to checkmate government and politicians thereby containing corruption and I can promise you that my generation would engage that document to birth the Nigeria of our dream. Lastly, do all you can to pacify your followers to avert bloodshed after this election.

This is a vision and a purpose to live for!

Owusi Obumneme J is a freelance writer.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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