Letter To Nigerians

Dear Compatriots,

I have just read the message from my brother, Ibrahim Sanyi-Sanyi, CONGRATULATING all the members of the Support Organization. It gladdens my heart that we were united in the determination to ensure victory for Nigeria. Nigerians are not fools. They know what has happened to them over the last 16 years and they did not like it. Fortunately, GMB is the person who meets their understanding of what leadership can be and should be. For that reason, it is GMB that we must congratulate. He is a rare breed. While he is not the last surviving honest one, many of the others are too afraid to come out. His tenacity inspires all of us. I thank him for this and CONGRATULATE HIM and NIGERIA for having him to lead us going forward.

The defeat of PDP is not to be credited to any one person. It was something that Allah ordained as a way of saving Nigeria, especially our women, children, the elderly, the disabled, the vulnerable, and all of us, from the rampaging destruction that is PDP. Nigeria was doomed the way it was going. It was disaster waiting to happen.

The first step in the journey has been concluded. The stage is set for May 29th, 2015. I know that all of you are still in the trenches to ensure that our states are governed by true patriots. I enjoin you all to continue to be dogged in the effort and not to relent, because at the end, APC will need all the states to be able to carry the banner of humanist approach to leadership to the grass roots, as demonstration of how progressive agenda can benefit the masses.

Now, the main goal of this message to you is this: CONGRATULATIONS. I will strongly suggest that we do not leave the transition to politicians only. Why? Politicians have a bad habit of forgetting what is critical to survival of human beings in society. They are disposed to self-conceit. In all our ancestral cultures, leadership needs conscience. Conscience must be external to leadership, but at the doorstep of leadership. For that reason, there is need to not ignore the intellectual support mechanism necessary to drive and remind the political directorate that they did not just drop from space to rule: people put them there for a purpose, and that purpose is to advance the general welfare of all who reside within the borders of their country.

I will therefore suggest that immediately after the May 29th, 2015 inauguration, a meeting be convened of those who can make it, to come together and fashion out a think tank or series of think tanks on various issues – foreign policy, trade, finance and economic, power and energy, investment, education, sports, environment, social and food security, welfare, public safety and counter-terrorism, repatriation of Nigerian wealth sequestered in various countries by looters, etc. – to continue to assist GMB. In other societies these think tanks are institutionalized. In our own immediate situation, we need all hands on deck. Note that the last one there about repatriation of wealth is not to embark on an energy dissipating witch hunt. We could make a clean break from the past on whatever Nigeria generates from May 29, 2015 and still grow Nigeria. Nigeria is that blessed. But we must encourage those who have taken billions of dollars away to bring the monies home to develop Nigeria under an amnesty arrangement.

Honestly, I do not see GMB as a politician. He is too honest to be a politician. And you can remember my suggestions earlier about how to ensure that he is economical in the way he answers questions, so that the enemies of the people will not be able to latch on to his honest opinions to paint a bad picture of his intentions. He was in the same cast as ObafemiAwolowo, MalamAminu Kano and MKO Abiola, who were never allowed to help Nigeria. And the forces of darkness have not been defeated yet, they are still up and running. Hence there is need for absolute vigilance. Yoruba proverb says Ojul’Alakan fi n so ori – the Crab uses its eyes to protect its head! We cannot relent. We have only done part of the job, the greater part is still ahead and it is more challenging.

I thank you all who have ensured that he – GMB – remained focused and attentive to core matters. But as we go on, I hope that we do not leave the constitution of the advisory team to assist him to all the political marabouts. And I hope that he listens to some of you sharing this message with me.

I may have left out people. I know that my friend Julius Ihonvbere is a person who should be involved. Let me give you a list of persons I suggest we bring together, and if there is anyone of us who has the ear of the General, away from the din of adulations occasioned by his success at the polls, I suggest that he be advised to bring together the group. If he is too busy, resources should be provided to convene this meeting. Apart from those on this list sharing this message, I suggest the following be invited for this urgent meeting:

Mr. Femi Falana

Professor Julius Ihonvbere

Professor Ayo Olukotun

General Ishola Williams (Rtd)

Dr. Johnson Ayodele Akingbade

If you want, I could elaborate on why I list these persons. I hope they are all familiar to all of us. These are individuals who are not in any way office seekers. They are persons who do not need public office to survive in any way. They are very comfortable individuals who will be able to tell the truth. And they are not compromised in any way that I know of – you can have the intelligence arm of the GMB Support group to check them out. I know that apart from Julius, the others may even be reluctant to come, but I am sure that they can be persuaded if GMB personally calls them. They are true patriots. They do not need any office. I know that each person on this forum can also think of others who can be invited. Our country needs us all to work together to ensure that what happened over the last 16 years is not – NEVER – repeated. Nigeria has too many brains for that. Nigeria has too much resource for the crippling poverty that the masses endure. Bob Marley says “In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty”! Why should this be the lot of the black man and woman? We surely can do better, and we must.

I hope you all understand the reasons for making this suggestion. It is very important that we do not leave GMB to the wolves out there angling for spoils of war. We cannot allow Nigerians to be treated again as aliens in their own countries, governed by an occupation army, totally disrespectful of their basic human dignity, disdained for being poor and abused for being hard working.

We could task groups with taking all the various studies on various sectors of the Nigerian society, and sift through to determine alternative workable paths. Take the energy and electricity sector for example. In 1999 when I passed through Accra, Ghana celebrated ONE Year of Uninterrupted Power Supply!!!!! Nigeria flares gas that could be used to power turbines to generate power daily: why don’t we get the turbines and put them on these locations and channel the gas to give our people the electricity they need to produce? It is not rocket science, it can be done in less than six weeks or maximum six months. The resources are there. The technology is already there. And Nigeria is ready for it. There are also alternative, renewable energy sources, which can be engaged to liberate ourselves from the GENERATOR mentality that pervades Nigeria today. You will be surprised how Nigerians will react to this singular achievement if it is taken seriously and done expeditiously.

Another sector is the education sector, which needs complete overhaul. We cannot continue to educate our children in the kinds of environments we have: intellectual, spatial, curricular, psychological, skills and vision. There is little that can come out of it to compete in the world of the future, as it is. We can do better and we must.

The elected persons themselves need a new direction. I am developing a proposal for workshops with each group. I do not know whether you will all agree with me, but we need to assist our elected representatives to understand what trust is about, what representation is about, what governance is about, what society is about, what being an African is about, what being a Nigerian is about. We need to help them to understand that our ancestors built civilizations, not through personal devotion to wealth, greed and gluttony but through self-sacrifice. We need to do this for our own sake, because old habits die hard, and in no time the same ills that destroyed PDP will begin to afflict APC. And if we bear in mind that there are so many from PDP who are NOW in APC, then we can imagine the anxiety that Nigerians have. On this last score, many have predicted the failure of GMB. We cannot allow this self-fulfilling prophecy of doom to come to pass. It is not that we cannot predict it. We can even monitor it ahead of time. And we must avoid it at all costs. We must not leave GMB to the WOLVES. And I hope he listens. I have been told that his patience is legendary and his ability to concentrate and listen phenomenal. We must assist him for our own sake.

I do not intend to bore you all. But I hope you get the drift of my proposal. I hope that the GMB Support System can continue to build on the trust and commitment shown over the last year. I hope that we will not just disband and forget that societies need persons in the background to ensure that focus is not lost.

For me, personally, there is nothing else am chasing. I am comfortable. And I do not need to boast. I am not wealthy, but I am not a poor person. I have been very blessed in many ways. Nigeria made me, and I can never forget that. I truly am blessed. And my retirement is secure – in case, by accident, I survive and live long. I easily could do what most people do – stand aloof. But that will not be me. So, any time you wish for us to meet – teleconference or physically – I am ready. A physical meeting will be best, where we could eyeball each other and measure each other out and speak the truth without fear or favour.

Let me thank my brother, Professor Olivet Jagusah, for his sacrifices over the years. I am not singling him out. It is only because of our previous conversation. I know that my brother Ibrahim left him out of the list he had. But I must recognize that his commitment is singular, even while recognizing that there is little I could see from afar.

I want to thank each one of you. May Allah continue to bless you all with good health, the father of wealth. Once there is life, there is hope. And we can make our destinies ourselves. The Western societies to which our children run were built by visionaries. And once we bear in mind that the labourer deserves his wages, and we do not take what does not belong to us, each Nigerian can be comfortable. There does not have to be any one going to bed without food in their stomach in Nigeria. Nigeria is too blessed for that. Our youth must be gainfully employed. When they can dream, there will be no idle hands which the sick in the head can recruit for dastardly acts against society.

I do not want this to become an epistle. So, let me end by CONGRATULATING you all. Well done. Please, convey my appreciation to GMB. I have not met him personally, because all the time I was slated to meet with him, he was rather busy. May Allah continue to grant him good health and wisdom. We all must pray for him always. May Allah continue to have mercy on us all and give us the strength to do what is right always.

Editor’s note: The identity of this writer is not disclosed for security reasons.

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