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I write you this missive with due respect to your exalted position as Nigeria’s president, and with high sense of patriotism, though with deep pain in my heart.
Sir, you will agree with me that since your second coming to the saddle of Nigeria’s politics, the country has retrogressed to its late 1960s state, when Gowon, in ignorant pursuit of narrow ends, plunged Nigeria into a genocidal war which we have not yet recovered from. Your administration is driving Nigeria to the precipice. This is not what should be in a democratic setting.
Mr. President, as someone in my age-grade, my business and duty is to tell you the truth as is the custom with Ndigbo. Regardless, I can vouch for you, to affirm that you are not in the class of kleptocrats like many of your peers are known to be, but your disposition in governance betrays your inner self as a man deep in the gulls of bitterness and guile, or else how do I explain your open display of nepotism and disdain in a multi-national constituency like Nigeria, for a major and vibrant group like Ndigbo? I hope I am wrong in my analysis, but I’m afraid I may be right, after all.
Hate is a big burden to carry. It destroys one’s immune system and destroys the nation called Nigeria. Nigeria today, is a deeply divided society being held together at gunpoint. Nigeria is like an AIDS patient, whose immune system is eroded from all angles.
During his time, your predecessors, former Presidents Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, were peaceful and portrayed progressive outlook, in spite of all the tantrums from certain persons including you, to make their administrations ungovernable.
Please Sir, bury your hurt feelings and borrow a leaf from your deputy, who held fort in your absence, whose intelligent, deft moves were able to douse tension in your absence in the Niger-Delta especially, and today, Nigeria is better off for it.
Mr. President, everything is not about crushing. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Save yourself the burden of guile and spleen so as not to crush yourself in the process of trying to crush your perceived enemies and wipe them out of existence.
On Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, Mr. President, I advise you that theirs is a just cause and I say that you cannot deny them this right because it is inalienable. More so, Nigeria is a signatory to this in the statute of all nations.
Kanu and his group from what I can see are not averse to honest and respectful, roundtable discussion to resolve issues. After all, they are fighting for the future of their unborn generations, which I suppose should be your own prayer and that of any father.
Mr. President, be told that our modern era is not that of savagery, but of round table discussion, détente and civilisation. Do well to listen to your brothers who have shown wisdom – Col. Abubakar Umar, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, etc.
Kanu and IPOB are not Nigeria’s enemies but are heroes in the making. The Yoruba leaders and elders saw the opportunity created by Kanu and his group, and intelligently pressed for restructuring to come up with one of the finest documents I have ever seen and read, often referred to as: “The Ibadan Declaration,” to which every sincere person seeking Nigeria’s peace, harmony, unity and prosperity will accede to, first to the glory of God, to the joy of the nation and to the mutual benefit of stakeholders, including Kanu and his group, and all agitating groups, and to the credit of Buhari, the National Assembly and drafters of the document. All Nigerians will be beneficiaries.
Kanu should never be seen or taken as a criminal. He merely raised the bar and added impetus to the struggle. If he is a criminal, then Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo should be so regarded, for agreeing to join hands to free themselves from the colonialists.
People like Mahatma Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Dr. Nelson Mandela should as well be criminals, but instead, history records them as one of the finest men that have helped to advance the cause of human dignity.
Nations in Africa couldn’t have gained independence from their colonial masters, based on the superior firepower of the colonialists, but these colonialists, as intelligent people, succumbed to the superior moral and soul power of their victims, because their cause was just.
Mr. President, it is up to APC to show you have wise men among you, or to continue to pursue narrow ends, thereby, continuously weakening Nigeria.
Chief Joe Okpala Ozua, writes from Lagos