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The ideal president Nigeria may never have

,
Our dear country, on account of its tremendous potentials in human and
natural resources, was the envy of the Third World including neighbours Ghana,
South Africa and the Asian Tigers, when you were born 72 years ago. As you grew
up, you must have watched with high-tension indignation, like other zealous
patriots, how those less-endowed competitors gradually but steadily overtook the
fearsome-looking

Nigeria,

ultimately

establishing

a

commanding,

near-

unassailable lead in the marathon race of national development. Such indignation
has caused you to seek, on different platforms, the opportunity to put in your
patriotic quota in reversing the ugly trend, typified, for example, by the callous
manner Second Republic politicians compounded the nation’s woes between 1979
and 1983. But the agents and promoters of rot in uniform, agbada and babariga,
pampered by intellectual gangsters, have always conspired to prevent you from
doing for Nigeria what Jerry Rawlings, armed with your brand of zealous
patriotism, courage, sincerity and discipline, did for Ghana.
In a similar letter of mine (Lamentations to Jeremiah of May, 2011)
forwarded to “the best president Nigeria never had” in the great beyond, I lamented
about how the woes of the country which he laboured hard for an opportunity to fix
had worsened since he departed. You will recall that after his yet unsuccessful
attempt at the opportunity in 1983, he told the nation he would not personally press
for it again. Rather, “when Nigerians need me, they will call for me,” he had
closed. Unfortunately, by the time Nigerians realized he was the best president they
could have had, it was too late!

You will recall, also, the desperate attempts, before then, by those whose
very essence and livelihood depended solely on profiting from the woes of their
nation, to ensure he never smelt that opportunity to do for Nigeria what he did for
the Western Region. Then, raw falsehood competed violently with pure treachery.
If River Kaduna overflew its banks, sweeping away Aliyu’s hut, Emeka’s car failed
to start in Abakaliki, or Aremu’s wife in Ogbomoso went into prolonged labour,
Awolowo surely had a case to answer!
This is why I did not start by congratulating you on your overwhelming
endorsement by your party for the 2015 presidential election. Already, you have
become, more than ever, the object of similar mischief, falsehood and treachery
coming from your opponents and those who provide the intellectual fillip on the
opinion and other pages of newspapers. You are such an intimidating and fearsome
“semi-illiterate” that the super literates in the land have had to go on grueling
academic research in yet futile attempts to rubbish you.
They accuse you of once threatening to “make the country ungovernable,”
even though those who actually made the particular statement at the time of a
tragicomic internal succession war belonged to the camp of you opponents. You
are desperately labeled sponsor of Boko Haram, even when those who have been
able to capture evil resources large enough to sponsor terror are as close to them as
they are distant from you. They describe you, with several Christians on your
intimate personal staff, as “unrepentant religious bigot, Northern irredentist and
political demagogue.” Yet the political heavyweight your military government
packaged in a crate from London en-route Nigeria to answer for economic mutiny
against the country was a fellow Northerner and fellow Muslim.

In other such attempts, they have found it a “visible fact” that you are not
abreast of some imaginary “global issues of today and tomorrow.” Ordinary
Nigerians on the streets however, know the global issues you are allergic to such as
mindless looting of the treasury, insensitive cornering of people’s commonwealth
and “gluttonous accumulation of wealth.”
You are described as one to whom “there are blue bloods and talakawas
whose place in life is hewing wood and drawing water”! If you who have refused
to steal from the rich, the not-so-rich and the talakawas could be so described, how
then do we describe the demonic gluttons who gleefully corner talakawas’ pension
funds in hundreds of billions while they watch, callously, as the poor souls perish
on the queues waiting for their rightful entitlements?
In fact, dear General, some plots have been about sheer trivialities, some so
ridiculous they begin to border on intellectual idiocy. That it took you seven days
to announce the identity of your running mate has become an issue of campaign of
calumny, as if the time taken in making a choice is of greater significance than
making a right choice. They say the firmness and activeness of your military
government could only be credited to your Second-In-Command as he was actually
in charge. But if your Deputy was actually the one in charge, why then was he
Number Two? The truth of the matter, however, was that you were such a liberal
and selfless leader who believed in sharing service and limelight with your Deputy.
Hence you chose a man with similar sterling attributes, as you have done again, to
do more of the interaction with the public.
To your detractors, you are by far the oldest human being ever to aspire to
lead a nation. The global icon, Nelson Mandela, fresh from 27 years in prison,
became South Africa’s president at 76. Americans who elected John Kennedy

president at 41 were the same people that made Ronald Reagan president at 70.
Tunisians, progenitors of the recent Arab Spring, have just elected an 88-year old
uncle of yours as president in continuation of their revolution.
Unlike most Nigerian political leaders, past and present, you have not been
moving in and out of hospitals on account of ill health. Yet they accuse you of lack
of vibrancy. At 99, your mother (her first three children are all older than you),
Yeye Oodua, Mama HID Awolowo, still bubbles with such inspiring vibrancy that
she still coordinates the affairs of the descendants of Oduduwa.
General, your haters are not relenting. And they are not expected to relent
even though, as fresh as their focus had been presented to be, they still have not
been able to clear the cobwebs of economic rascality, institutional lawlessness and
political brigandage in which the Nigerian nation has been entangled for decades.
You should expect them to become even more desperate, dangerous and deadly in
coming weeks. They will do all in their political and intellectual capacity to cajole
and instigate the Nigerian people against you. But it is left for the people to decide
not yours but their fate.
However as you go into this last attempt, just keep faith with the “best
president Nigeria never had.” If Nigerians still decide they do not want you, either
by fair or foul means, just walk away quietly into your deserved peaceful
retirement. When Nigerians need you, they will call for you, hoping only that,
unlike in the case of the late sage, by then, it will not be too late.
Have a fruitful, glorious campaign, General, and a Happy New Year.

Published

 Saturday Independent Newspaper, January, 03, 2015 –
Viewpoints
 The Nation Newspaper, Monday, January 05, 2015 –
Comments
 Vanguard Newspaper, Wednesday, January 07, 2015 –
Opinion

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