My Dear President,
Ramadan Kareem with hope that you are enjoying your weekend break at Daura. The Almighty God will continue to replenish your vigor to pilot the affairs of this great nation to the desired destination. Your dream of a country that “our children and grand children will be proud of” will be achieved in our lifetime.
Mr. President, most of your supporters, including me, never saw you as infallible before rooting for you during the election. We were aware of your humanity and like any mortal, you are capable of making mistakes. What we saw was your integrity and discipline, both of which are scarce in our clime especially among the ruling elites. We recognized that our country was drifting fast into oblivion and a strong character was needed to bring it back to the path of progress. I can, like many of your ardent supporters, say that our decision was right and you have not betrayed our confidence. With various revelations of official profligacy and effort for restitution from various quarters, even your most vicious critics will give you credit in their closets. Your effort to bring back sanity into the completely insane society that ours was turning to is laudable. This brings back the memory of ‘War against Indiscipline’ during your first coming.
It’s important to note that most of the ills attributed to you during campaigns and after about your previous public services was most often not about your personal conduct but about the conducts of your close aides and associates. Many of your close aides and associates were on record to have acted in manners that contradicted your character. Your silence in most cases on this atrocities was interpreted as tacit approval. This may not be the case, but your trust in allies is sometimes godlike. You tend to give unfettered freedom to trusted aides to point of ridiculousness. This weakness of yours is coming to fore once more. Some of your aides and trusted associates may have been taking advantage of this weakness. It’s true that your adversaries may target your aides and associates when they can’t get to you and that’s why your aides would have to live above board.
Various allegations have been labeled against your aides in recent past, some against your closest associates. Many of these allegations may not be true but your ability to address this issues in open and transparent manner will go a long way to reinforce the fact that it’s no longer business as usual under your leadership.
The issue of illegal employment was first labeled against the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Children of the high and mighty were alleged to have been employed illegally. Despite the cry by Nigerians, nobody has been punished and there is no record that the employment has been terminated. The CBN case was yet to died down when the case of Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) came up. This issue also fizzle out without anybody brought to book. Because these first two cases were not punished, the Prison service also have the audacity to do the same thing. If recruitment into Nigerian Police and the Npower program can be advertised and every eligible Nigerian allowed to compete, what stops employment into these seemingly lucrative agencies from been made open? Your dream of an egalitarian society cannot be achieved if everybody cannot aspire to be whatever he/she aspires to be. The Late Malam Aminu Kano said “Nigerian will know no peace until the son of a nobody, can become somebody, without knowing anybody”.
One of your major achievement since your assumption of office is your unrelenting onslaught against corruption. You rightly said in different forums that “If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us”. This is the reason corruption allegation against your aides and associates should be closely looked into and treated in a prompt and transparent manner. It started with the allegation that the Minister of Information sought thirteen million naira loan from an agency under him for foreign trip, then came the allegation that your Chief of Staff (CoS) and the Director DSS are shielding some companies and individuals from been investigated for corruption charges. The issue of your CoS was said to almost cost the Chairman of EFCC his job. As this issues were dying down, one of the member of the arm probe committee was said to be arrested by DSS based on your directives for corruption charges. This arrest almost smeared the EFCC chairman who openly confessed that some of his friends and relatives are using his name to defraud members of the public. The expectation is that there would have been public announcement of the arrest and prosecution of these “friends and relatives”. While Nigerians are still grappling with these allegations came the accusation that the Chief of Army Staff (CAS) seemingly owns properties and assets that cannot be explain by his legitimate income. The latest is accusation that EFCC Chairman rented a forty million apartment which was furnished with forty three million by FCDA. This is obviously beyond the means of a public servant. Moreover it was widely reported some months ago when you refused to approve twenty million for your ministers for accommodation. The issues raised here if not properly handled may dent your anti-corruption campaign.
Let me conclude with a quotation from the Holy Bible “Whenever a sentence for a crime is not carried out swiftly, the human mind becomes determined to commit evil” Ecclesiastes 8:11(International standard version). This verse should guide you in taking decision against crime. Human mind is terrible and there is no bad rulers except where there are evil courtiers.
Thank you Sir,
Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (PhD)