IBADAN, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – An Ireland-based Nigerian man, ‘Lekan Agunbiade, has written an open letter to President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, advising him on the expectations of the Nigerian populace from his administration.
He wrote the lengthy letter ahead of the 29 May inauguration of the new administration of Tinubu.
Agunbiade, in an open letter dated 25 April and addressed to the President-elect, noted that the country is more polarised now compared to 2015 when Tinubu’s partyman, President Muhammadu Buhari, took over power.
According to him, the country is in urgent need of a unifier, adding that many of the citizens’ expectations on President Buhari were not met.
Read the full text below:
25th April, 2023.
AN OPEN LETTER TO ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU – THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
Please accept my congratulations on your emergence at the 25th February election. And hope you had a rejuvenating holiday. I had wanted this letter and my thoughts on the 2023 general elections to wait till at least after 29th of May. But just a few days ago, I began to understand that events may have overtaken some of the points in this letter by the end of May.
The past few months have been a historical journey in our dear nation’s democracy. Across board, we saw politics of calumny and banters, controversies and counter allegations, voters suppression and BVAS mokaruru. But then, your doggedness and focus, mastery of Nigerian politics and intrigues, your bravery and resilience are lessons for youngsters like me – albeit, within the scope of righteousness.
I realised from one of your clips online that you don’t follow social media anymore. It is understandable. But more importantly, do you follow what goes on in our communities? The palpable afflictions on our streets are the ordinary person’s experience of the eight years reign of APC. I campaigned for APC in 2015 because I desired great changes. As we all can see, it has’t worked out yet. Now that ’emi lo kan’ has come to your turn in reality, will you do your best to palliate the sufferings of our people, or will you be dismissive? Nigeria is more polarized today than in 2015, and Nigerians will not afford you the patience they once blessed “Baba go slow” with. It would be best to cut to the chase – from the first full month in office.
Are you going to be evasive by being for everybody and for nobody at the same time? Will you ensure round pegs in round holes by extoling the virtues of patriotism rather than party, ethnicity and religious populism? This utterly divided empire begs for a unifier. So, who have you marked down to form your cabinet? Can you call a meeting with all the Presidential candidates at that 25th February election and ask as many of them that honour the call to work with you? Can you do background checks on them and know where each can offer Nigeria their best? Also, can you incorporate young and innovative youths from all the nooks and crannies of our nation in your team? Your appointments will define your administration.
“You did well by bringing on board Mr Ken Akabueze as a commissioner during your time as governor of Lagos. Are you going to improve on that performance as President? Can you be as patriotic as appointing credible persons with verifiable track records from opposition parties? I might as well add this here, that the successor of Mr Lai Mohammed and your media aides should possess mastery of Martin Buber’s (the author of “I and Thou”) philosophy of communication – having respect for the dignity & intelligence of the audience.
What are you going to do about our power sector? Light (power supply) was the first task when the Creator started His work. But, unfortunately, Nigeria’s power sector has remained in unsolvable mystery; please don’t be fooled by what Mr Fashola says about our power sector. Mr Fashola is so good, but best thought of as a former Lagos state governor than leader of our power sector. So, even the best of us (including your leader – the Late Uncle Bola Ige) have failed in our power sector. What do you have in mind? Whom do you have in mind? There is a hypothesis that our power problem is related to the generator and Mikano businesses. Do you want to find out and fix the mysteries? You can; and you should.
What has been the role of the National Intelligence Agency in abating insecurity in our nation? This agency is our equivalent of CIA. Docility and ineptitude should not be tolerated from them. So, the big deal – what are you going to do about security? Not just the Boko Haram, IPOB, herders, bandits and kidnappers. While we will expect that all the mercenaries of the nation should be reorganised to fix these more significant issues swiftly, I dare say that yahoo, yahoo plus and money ritualists should be equally high on your security priorities.
What are you going to do about corruption in the land? The most embarrassing stat says weare one of the worst nations on earth in terms of corruption. Instead of assuming defensive postures, can you please try to investigate how we got here and please fix us? In restoring us, can you study the Singaporean path to recovery? But of course, bear in mind the aplomb integrity of Lee Kuan Yew. Credibility and righteousness have to flow from the top.
Our health system needs fixing. Medical tourism to India, Europe and America gulp billions of naira annually. You, of all people, know this, sir. Many hospitals in Nigeria could and should have been able to host your knee surgery without any concern whatsoever. Another distressing stat posits Nigeria as one of the worst in terms of maternal and infant mortality rates. Dr Olusegun Mimiko did something spectacular with ‘Abiye’ in Ondo State. Thank God he is still alive and agile; Nigeria could use that initiative – in partnership with other relevant programs in other parts of Nigeria. I got encouraging reports concerning Gombe state. I like to remind you that the King of Saudi Arabia once came to University College Hospital Ibadan for medical care. It will be tough, but we can be restored, if you have the will.
“Our education system is so well endowed but woefully funded and managed. Until japa forayed into our tertiary institutions, I could easily argue that we have some of the best scholars in the world. Nigerians excel in the world’s best universities. If you fix our education sector, you would have fixed half of our future ordeals. Pa Awolowo fostered this ideology.
What are you going to do about the National Orientation Agency? That agency is supposed to be the livewire of our great nation, but its comatose state explains Nigeria’s predicaments. Can you get or import Nigerians in the mould of the Late Dora Akunyili to lead that agency?
What are you to do about over-centralised power? Are you going to decentralise in any way?Will you consider the benefits of true federalism and autonomous States? Or restructure the nation to what the founding fathers used and prospered with by moderating the defunct Northern, Eastern and Western regions along our six geopolitical zones? Or will you lead us to Confederate Republic of Nigeria status – like the United Kingdom? The Nigeria of today was not what the founding fathers had in mind when they attained republic status in 1963.
“What are you going to do about brain drain? The best of us continue to be poached out of the nation by the developed countries – and it is mostly because home chased us out. Ilu oyinbo did not start paying better than Nigeria in the last few years, but some things got worse at home in the past few years, and even market women are now pursuing the japa idea too. And, eskis me, sir, before you start banning our professionals from escaping, please can you commence fool-proof efforts to fix the system? And while we are on this point, please can you visit a few Nigerian embassies across the world? Certainly, I don’t mean their 5-Star embassy offices, but the passport renewal hubs. They need literal and figurative cleansing.
What are you going to do about our economy? How do you hope to diversify our failing economy? Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi claim they have excellent ideas; can you sync with them? With a patriotic and humble approach and altruism triumphing over partisan politics, I think they will happily work with you – over time. Likewise, can you bring (beg) back Ms Kemi Adeosun, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, Dr Akinwumi Adesina and Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala? Asiwaju, who do you have in mind as the Central Bank Governor? Vital.
What do you think of our crude oil and oil theft, mineral and natural resources? Gold mining is ongoing in many rural areas by monarchs partnering with foreign groups; Nigeria has the second largest bitumen deposit in the world; we have enough blessings from the Creator to excel – are you going to be the missing link, and piece the whole fortune together?
Like John the Baptist foreran for Jesus Christ, Asiwaju, the Creator has sent someone from your camp into Aso Villa ahead of you. God works in mysterious ways. So, please do your best to reunite and sync with Prof Yemi Osinbajo. Don’t be deterred by probable initial brickwalls. I want to believe that he has loads of insights about the terrain that may be useful for your reign. And you may also plead to have his lead photographer; she’s excellent.
My ongoing academic pursuit is on SYSTEMS. I have learned that you can’t just pick a few of the above and look away from the rest. For example, if you try to fix security, the health sector and power, but corruption & injustice continue to thrive, and National Orientation Agency remains comatose, you will only have metamorphosis, mutations and metastases of the same problems. Unfortunately, mutants are deadlier than the initial wahala. That was why Treasury Single Account failed to curb corruption in our public sector.
Finally, sir, please ponder on these few personal points: the late sage and visioner – Chief Obafemi Awolowo; the late business tycoon and philanthropist – Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and many others did not merit the seat of Nigeria’s presidency less than you do. But the Creator did not grant it. He has given you the honour, please don’t fail God. Also, please surround yourself with good people, be careful of sycophants and praise singers and let the Nigerian people be your utmost priority. Nigerians don’t need you to be a nice guy; we need a good President, leading with noble examples. And, please let Pastor Remi Tinubu lead you through a Bible Study session on how Rehoboam fared after the death of King Solomon and how to avoid Rehoboam’s errors. Asiwaju, I pray that the Lord our God will grant you good health, wisdom, great team, and prosper our dear nation under your leadership. Amen.
‘Lekan Agunbiade, RN.
Just another Nigerian