My President: Hearing affliction in the Villa

The Editor of the Guardian, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

The Editor of the Guardian, Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

Your Excellency, I just want to tell you that I am very loyal. I wouldn’t know what my friends, Femi Adesina and Shehu Garba are telling you about me, but you can take it from me that I am very loyal. I want you to succeed and do far better than Obasanjo and Jonathan put together. I wouldn’t have resorted to letter writing like Apostle Paul to the early Christians if I had access to the Rock. I have been there only once in the company of other colleagues to see you.

On that particular occasion, those State House photojournalists had under-performed big time. They could not capture adequately that great moment when I shook hands with you and struck a composition that made me look like a walker in the corridors of power. I was not happy at all! It was the second time I was having a handshake with a Nigerian Head of State and the photographers bungled the benefits. The first was with General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, sometime in 1987 at the convocation ceremony of the University of Calabar. IBB attended the ceremony with the late Togolese President, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who was being honoured with a doctorate degree by the University.

We filed past in a procession and shook hands with IBB. In fact, I sneaked back into the procession and repeated the ritual to make assurances doubly sure. But the extremely low definition student camera which a fellow managed on my behalf could not deliver a good job. And so after two attempts, I still have not struck a good photo pose with a Nigerian head of state. Not to worry, there is still time between now and 2019 or by God’s grace 2023 to address that matter. And I promise not to repeat past mistakes if a third chance props up.

This is just by the way sir. I am actually writing to remind you that you and General Olusegun Obasanjo are the only living and dead Nigerians that have had the opportunity to lead this country twice as military heads of state and elected presidents. It is a rare privilege. IBB did so much and perhaps still doing to enter that bracket but he has not succeeded. It is God’s making and exactly why, in doing your job, I want you to only listen to the voice of God and not some people milling around you that call themselves inner caucus members.

In case you do not recognise when God speaks and therefore cannot listen, I will offer you some tips. Although He is described as the God that answereth by fire and thunder, God is not that boisterous. That description is only metaphoric. The real God does not push His voice. In fact, His voice is still and small and most times, He speaks through the ordinary people. It is only the devil that talks big and empty and on top of the roof too. I am so glad with recent revelations by Dr. Reuben Abati. At least, you now know that there are other tenants in Aso Rock Villa called demons and who have to be effectively managed.

As a general, I expect you to be on top of this battle since Dr. Abati has most graciously offered you, at no cost, graphic descriptions of the enemies’ positions. It is left for you to do purposeful deployment and take out all the demons. I wouldn’t know which of the demons with you there in the Villa has a controlling voice, but I am tempted to suspect the one that controls sound. It is the demon that blocks the ears of every president of Nigeria from hearing properly. That is, from listening to the small still voice of God, which is spoken through the people.

On this sha, I must salute your sincerity and courage. You are the first Nigerian president to openly admit to having a hearing problem and you have gone ahead to take care of it in the best way possible. Your predecessors in office, especially the last two, had hearing problems, which they left to fester into calamities, such that, they could only hear themselves and not the people. Even when God got frustrated and switched from a still and small voice to a thunderous mode, your predecessors heard nothing and learnt nothing.

I am praying for you. In fact, in the Catholic Church, which I attend, the congregation led by the priest takes time to pray for the country and its leaders every Sunday. And I want to reiterate here that every weapon of the demons in the Villa, including hearing affliction, fashioned against you shall not prosper in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen! Inshallah, you shall continue to enjoy good hearing and listen only to the still small voice all through your stay in the Villa.

Your Excellency, for now, the people are hungry and crying for food. I have tried in my little way to explain to them that the current loud challenges could take your ears from their cries but they have refused to listen to me. They do not want to know the battles you are fighting to kill corruption in the country to free resources to take care of everybody. They say, they too, are dying! Hmmm! What do we do sir? I would suggest a kind of balancing to ensure that the people are not killed alongside corruption.

You see sir, on this war to decapitate corruption, there are too many war songs in the air. Each is trying to tilt you in a particular direction. Today, old men and women, very old that is, including ex-heads of state, accomplished law and literary professors and pastors have constituted themselves into a Buhari fans club, which cheers you up at every turn, the same way fans do to Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when both soccer stars are on the field playing. Even your missteps are easily rechristened as innovations in public administration by your fans.

Sir, these people are not helping you at all. Let me tell you, the devil manifests in many ways. Amid the staccato of cheers by your aged fans, it would be extremely difficult for you to strain and pick the small still voice of God. In other words, the devil, especially the demon of sound manipulation, is gladly achieving his purpose of blocking your ears from listening to the voice of God. I don’t want anybody – Professor, SAN or Pastor – to lead you into temptation and ultimate damnation. That is not your portion in Jesus name! Besides, it is not too good in this dispensation of change and utmost dynamism to have too many old people as fans. They will encourage you to do things the old ways and nothing will change in the end.

The only way to make Nigeria work is to work for the future generation. As I speak, Nigeria is not working at all. It is as idle as dodo. I shall explain. Out of the 36 states in the so-called Nigerian federation, less than four are in a stead to discharge their governmental obligations of paying workers’ salaries and delivering development. Most are financially comatose because their survival as federating components depends entirely on something called monthly allocations from the centre. For now, the centre has very little to give and the units are dying.

Sir, there is a path out of this. It is called restructuring. But since you do not like the term, may I suggest something else. We can actually unbundle the Federal Government into 36 federal governments of Nigeria or as the case may be, and create a new template for survival. Your Excellency, this is a masterstroke that shall speak to every malady in the Nigerian system including the eradication of corruption and insurgency for which so much resources, manpower and time have been committed to no avail. These are just my sincere views as your loyalist. If they do not sit well with you, I ask not to be crucified. You may choose, sir, to remain in your comfort zone and convert the resources of some parts of the country to a national bazaar and then wait for the pure verdict of history.

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  • Edim Asekong

    Dialogue with the deaf

  • Tunde Suleiman

    Things are really very bad, the “badness”, our inability to find a solution to our problems, comes from poor quality though among the “thinking” elite. Take this article as an example, It is of about 12 paragraphs. The first 9 say nothing but seek favour and ramble. The last 3 just jump to conclusions. So if States cannot pay salaries does that mean we should restructure the federation. Should the states not restructure themselves and find solutions to the problems. How will restructuring the federation help the states. Will it increase government revenue or just reduce cost of governance. I am completely at a loss. What a waste and this gentleman is an editorial staff of the Gaurdian.

  • A great piece for this peculiar time!