Letter to President Buhari

March 15, 2019 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS

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Abba Dukawa





The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership as there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land, climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to their responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which is the hallmark of true leadership” – Professor Achebe, lamented this in his book ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’.


Sir, four years and your first term is about to end, Nigerians renewing your mandate for the next four years. The truest thing about the president is that he is not a thief, but the fact remains that leadership requires more than that as Nigerians need a leader in every sense, a leader who will be a rallying point for the whole nation not for a few and a leader who also needs to inspire citizens to be at their best. Still I believe that the president’s well known credentials of being incorruptible and honest as he has not been found wanting in any responsibilities assigned to him.


One of the reasons Nigerians voted for PMB’s administration in the 2015 election was to sanitize the system and put an end to things like secretive employment, corruption and nepotism. The Nigerian masses that sacrificed a lot and spent hours under the sun to vote for you in 2015 election were shocked and disappointed to say the least when they heard about security, employment and others issues affecting citizens’ well-being, in addition to children of the masses not being aware of any public recruitment conducted by FIRS, NNPC, NPA NIMASA, NCC and other lucrative agencies. We have witnessed such lucrative agencies offering employment to the sons and daughters of those close to the corridors of power secretly, though in spite of this, commoners’ sons and daughters sacrificed a lot and spent hours under the sun voting for you in the 2015 election.


Sir, less than a year into your administration in 2016 it faced its first test in fighting corruption when a court of competent jurisdiction fined a South African, Nigeria base Telecommunication giant MTN, to pay billions of dollars to the government, but some invisible cabal destroyed this and did what they felt was best for themselves leaving Nigerians in the lurch. But PMB, instead of punishing them, shielded them from any wrongdoing and they went scot free.


As we have all seen, PMB is fighting corruption but more corruption has appeared; this has led to frustration amongst Nigerians who are irritated with the slow pace of progress and nature of the fight. Another demoralizing scandal that rocked the nation was the NIA safekeeping money apartment, Oke facilitating the agency’s acquisition of the swanky Ikoyi apartment where agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered more than $43 million in cash. In the wake of the EFCC’s discovery President Buhari ordered that Mr. Oke be suspended and also issue $25billion contract awarded by NNPC while Buhari was in a sick bed in faraway London without knowing the acting president’s input.


In spite of the president’s good intentions toward the country, due to what can be called indecisive action on many issues that ordinary Nigerians would expect to see him act like when he was a military Head of State, such inaction cost the nation the very best of his good intentions towards fighting the menace. All these remain history as the Nigerians renewed they confidence in you again. The wife of the president in her interview with BCC London Hausa and her outburst against the administration was a genuine concern about her straying husband as it was a personal cry for freedom from monstrously powerful people in the Presidency who were wrapping her husband around their small fingers.


Mr President, you said your second term will be harsh. I understand that you softened your language later. To be honest, I wish you had stuck with tough, because tough is what you have to be. Tough on yourself and those around you. Find people who are good and honest and knowledgeable enough to represent your vision, and who can be trusted with huge responsibilities. You need to trust more, Sir, and you have to keep trusted people under closer watch. You have to be tougher on security threats and those who fail to exercise responsibility to protect citizens. You have to be tougher on corruption, on insecurity, on secretive employments, poor health facilities, etc, which may require that you isolate this debilitating scourge from politics. Believe me, what you do from now on as leader will determine whether this nation will be strong enough to deal with challenges of the future, or whether it will go under because its cumulative problems have been left unattended by its leaders.


Sir, for the administration to achieve desirable goals there is need for them to have a clearing house for speedy prosecution of corrupt cases while faultless cooperation that is signally lacking today should be forged among EFCC, ICPC, POLICE, DSS and the Judiciary for sharing intelligent information and prosecution strengthening. There is a need for the president to allow institutions that have a similar passion for the war and ignore all sinister suggestions as a result of infighting for the supremacy between inter security agencies and those that are sheep in wolf skins within the government; a need for the administration to work with individuals that have a similar passion toward the war and other anti-graft agencies whose intend to work and scheme a positive image for the war. There is also a need for reforming the nation’s system of criminal justice, this change will deal with the current reality on the war on corruption while the nation’s judiciary needs to be strengthened in line with the administration’s derived war on corruption.


As a matter of fact, no matter how Buharists and his admirers wanted the administration to succeed in its first term in office almost every day there were stories that made them shiver with the way the administration handled critical issues that affected Nigerians. For President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve desirable goals there is a need for him to ditch some of his inner aides and other members in his cabinet that wrap their selfish interests above the administration’s interest. The action and conducts of this invisible cabal within the corridor of power are only projecting a negative image for his war at home and abroad. I know blind supporters, hailers can insult me and call me all sort of things, but in reality Nigerians are alienated, angry and fed up with the way the fight against corruption is being conducted by the administration as there is not much to convince supporting once fearful General Muhammadu Buhari achieving his war on corruption, proving too difficult for him to achieve, with as a result, Nigerians estranged, angry and fed up but in a real sense the corruption is fighting back.


Sir, northern votes secured your second term, and northerners will raise voices in their demands that your administration this time rewards their loyalty in real terms. You will need sound advice on keeping the nation united enough to address difficult issues such as political restructuring, improving national security and fairer principles of resource distribution. You will know by now that the solid northern support behind your first win has been badly ruptured. The South East and South South communities still have their backs turned to you, and the South West is at best thoroughly unsure.


I should of course first congratulate you for winning a second term.





Abba Dukawa

A Kano based media practitioner and public commentator for 13 years with many articles published by a number of online mediums and print media. Dukawa can be reached at [email protected]

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