Your Excellency, it is with every sense of love and patriotism that I
have decided to write you again despite the frustration of knowing that
you may not hearken to my sincere advice to you, as I have written to
plead with you on several occasions, but my entreaties have been to no
avail. I pray this letter meets you well in the beautiful city of London
where I expect you to be resting and relaxing by now whilst waiting to
undergo your mandatory physical check-up.
self-appointed Special Adviser, I wish to reassure you that you should
stop banking on professional politicians who are merely using you to
feather their own nests.
permanently and indelibly on record that someone told you the truth
while the unrepentant liars took over your space and led you astray.
I go on, please, permit me, Sir, to take you down memory lane, from the
First Republic to the present. Practically all our leaders failed, or
fell, usually not because of only what they did wrong but ostensibly
because of what they did not do right. Let me also establish one fact.
Most of our leaders have been catapulted to power, not by their
superlative might, but by divine intervention. One day, I will chronicle
how providence has been responsible for the exalted position all our
leaders found themselves. Sadly, practically almost all of them forgot
how they reached their lofty heights and sought to personally perpetuate
themselves in power, but the celestial manner of their enthronement
also saw to their humiliating, sometimes tragic, downfall. Consequently,
virtually all, except may be General Abdulsalami Abubakar, were
disgraced, removed or retired ignominiously or controversially.
Obasanjo who was easily the most efficient, efficacious and
effervescent leader, after the brilliant and youthful General Yakubu
Gowon, ended his tenure in 2007 with the reverberating hoopla
surrounding his third term bid. Whether he was interested in it, or his
acolytes forced him into it, all his good works would always attract
that cloudy addendum.
ever succeeded in enslaving Nigerians. We can stretch this further, by
stating categorically, that no leader in the world has ever achieved
absolute authority permanently. Indeed, that is a preserve meant only
for God. If only humans reminded themselves constantly of this fact and
This is the reason I wish to appeal to you once
again to resist the temptation of wanting to take Nigeria back to those
days of oppression and suppression. In case you need to be reminded of
how much God loves you, I shall gladly oblige. When your military regime
was toppled in 1985, your enemies danced on the streets. You were
compared to the worst dictators on earth and many would have thought it
was finished and over for you. But the ways of the Almighty are not the
ways of man. 30 years later, the same Nigerians who rejoiced over the
collapse of your military junta, in their collective wisdom or stupidity
or amnesia, gave you a resounding victory at the polls against a
powerful government and incumbent President. This was after you had
tried for a record third time and had virtually given up any chance or
hope of winning a Presidential election again. You had actually wept for
Nigeria and yourself on that third inauspicious occasion.
including old age and diminishing health. Yet Nigerians at home and
abroad placed their abundant faith in you. What you have done with their
faith since then is debatable.
What more could anyone ever ask
for again in this life? Credit for that victory must go to everyone,
including saints and sinners, in case such nomenclatures exist on planet
earth. Please, let no one rewrite the history of that epic battle to
dislodge the PDP behemoth. It was thus a gross miscalculation to get
power by such default and try to change the narrative by saying you
belonged to everyone and to no one, or whichever way it was crafted by
your speechwriters. Truth is you belonged to the party that embraced
you, warts and all, and all the foot-soldiers who made it possible for
you to attain power once again. Not just that, you instantly became the
father of the nation on that fateful May 29, 2015, and could no longer
discriminate against anyone for that matter.
have treaded softly and walked gingerly towards your ultimate
destination. The war of attrition that broke out as soon as you took
power was totally unnecessary and uncalled for. Except for your most
loyal supporters, not many ever trusted the many fisticuffs were to the
benefits of Nigeria, but only for the pecuniary gains of the privileged
ones in power.
If you fight a war for over three years and you
are unable to defeat your enemies, you should realise that it is either
they are stronger than you or your strategy is abysmally faulty and
failing. I love the Yoruba adage: “ta a ba leni, ta a ba bani, iwon la a
bani sota mo…” (If we pursue an adversary and cannot catch up with him,
it is better to retreat, than continue to make enemies of such a
person). It is not an act of cowardice to retreat or even surrender. The
fight you are pursuing right now would eventually prove too costly for
you and for Nigeria, even if you manage to win it, which I seriously
doubt. By the time you reach the end of it, you will discover the
meaning of anti-climax. The victory will be a pyrrhic one or if
otherwise, a cataclysmic defeat.
politicians to goad you on and mislead you into victimising those who
have left your party and are now opposing you. The same people you met
and laughed with recently, before our very eyes, have suddenly become
enemies who must be destroyed by all means. Sir, this act is totally
unfortunate. Only God can give power and only HE can take it back. You
did not use force to take power in 2015, why do you then think you need
to retain that power by use of force and fire?
I’m not sure if
you are familiar with world history, my dear President. You may need to
ask your aides to print out some dark moments in human history for your
perusal. What often happens is that you will, inadvertently, turn those
you’re harassing now into superstars. What you are playing with is a
game of David and Goliath. It is one of the most fascinating scenes in
the Christian Bible. Goliath was so confident of his awesome strength
and stamina and so looked down on pitiable and diminutive David. The
Holy Bible recalls their fight was a classic example of a mismatch. But
Goliath suffered a crushing defeat in the hands of David. That battle is
still celebrated worldwide till today, and it is a story almost every
child knows and is taught to learn from.
and not every arsenal should be deployed. Better to keep some things
till they are absolutely needed. This cat and mouse game of using State
apparatus to witch-hunt deserters is becoming predictable, boring and
Those who have decamped from APC have only exercised
their fundamental rights. Whether they are morally right is neither
here nor there and is ultimately a verdict for the electorate to ponder
and unravel when elections, which loom large, finally arrive. Similarly,
whether they are legally justified in their defection is a matter which
your party may seek to take up in the courts, and I am certain that the
Courts will do justice to the case as they have been doing despite
terrorisation, bullying and coercion from some over-exuberant agencies
of your government.
joined our side the last time. At that time, we justified their
defection to us as being part of the democratic process. If they have
now decided to go because they believe they are not wanted by some
influential gladiators in the ruling party, my dear President, please
let them go. Your party’s point that they have done so for less than
altruistic reasons will be considered and digested by our people who are
quite politically savvy and discerning. They will make up their minds
as to the rights and wrongs of it all.
Your Excellency, I want
you to remember that you will not be in power forever. You have your
family and friends to consider. Those who have been locked up in prison
today and those being hounded could never have envisaged a day like this
would ever come when there would be a reversal of power and fortune. It
is too cheap for a Governor to decamp today, and then he and his
operatives are being terrorised tomorrow. Power should never be abused
in this manner. Who knows what would happen when tomorrow comes again?
of the reasons former President Jonathan is respected today and enjoys
some peace is because he gave you great respect though both of you
fought tooth and nail over power. He tolerated many of us who supported
you and did not make the occupation of Aso Rock a matter of life and
death. Sir, why can’t you reciprocate this wonderful gesture? It is to
his eternal credit that, in the midst of our attacks on him, I got
invited to the wedding of his daughter, and was treated with decorum.
Politics should never be a matter of brutish animosity.
like savage adversaries in Court but, whilst they are there, they still
show themselves some honour and respect. It is their attitude once they
step outside the courtroom that is even more remarkable. Then they shed
the toga of adversaries and become noble and learned friends. I wish all
of us could imbibe this kind of camaraderie in the practice of our
Furthermore, I have copious examples that
show that what you sow is what you reap. I wish to plead with you to
cool temper, Sir. I know how it feels to be abandoned in the lurch by
your own friends and supporters. But that is life. Everything can’t be
smooth all the time. When you go to the FIFA World Cup, you do so
knowing only one team can grab the much-coveted trophy. You should try
to play a good and clean game and leave the rest to Allah. You have
played your part to the best of your abilities and should be happy once
your conscience is clear that there was no better way to do things.
if you decide to keep all your opponents in the gulag, it still does
not guarantee that you will win the next election in 2019. But if you do
it in God’s way by embracing decency and fairness, your rating will go
higher. You will attract natural admiration. The love of the people
cannot be forced. You’ve been drawing sympathies to the decampees
because of the high-handedness and intolerance of some of your agents.
autobiography I read as a youth, LET MY PEOPLE GO, written by Albert
John Luthuli, the very first Black African man to receive the Nobel
Peace Prize. Luthuli led the African National Congress in South Africa
in the apartheid years for 15 agonising years and coordinated mass
resistance and non-violent crusade against the White supremacists.
Though he did not live long enough to see the end of apartheid, others
carried on the task and Nelson Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison,
came back alive to become the first President of an independent and free
Mr President, there is a moralistic lesson to
learn from the life and trajectory of the great Madiba Nelson Mandela.
He became a world Statesman for his uncommon magnanimity and spirit of
forgiveness. He had the power to exterminate his former tormentors and
jailers but instead he decided to set up a Truth and Reconciliation
Committee that tried to integrate the whites into a new black-dominated
government. Nigeria needs urgent reconciliation, healing and
unification, which has led to a strident clamouring for restructuring.
We should be tired of fighting for power for personal aggrandisement
after groping in darkness for 58 ugly years. There are no prizes for war
but there are beautiful garlands for peace.
Sir, I’m begging you in the name of God, please, let your people go, in peace.
I remain yours most sincerely…