Nigeria Matters

An Open Letter from Awo, Balewa and Zik to President G. E. A. Jonathan

On behalf of all Nigerians in heaven, we are using this forum to congratulate you for winning the recently concluded general elections that will usher you in as an elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 29th of May. We are also congratulating those newly eleceted representatives and leaders to be part of the crew in making a new Nigeria a reality. This infact a new beginning of a new Nigeria of our dreams we have been waiting for. A Nigeria where the people approve to the government operating the nation. A Nigeria where all elected representatives are liable in many ways to the yearnings of the people who voted and elected them to implement those pledges and promises made before elections with much transparency, accountability and good intention. We are at the same time congratulating Nigerians and other stakeholders involved in making this year generation elections a successful exercise. They have all exhibited their good citizenship and civil responsibility with their impressive turnout to make the whole exercise free, fair and credible apart from stage managed riot from the usual naive individuals that caused loss of lives. Nigerians have spoken with their votes.

Your excellency, there is no doubt that you are having a great opportunity to make your mark in sands of time in leading a country which is complex with several diversity of two hundred and fifty ethnic groups, with four hundred distinct languages. The country with over one hundred and sixty population that makes her the most populous and largest democracy in Africa. With update information we lay our hands on in heaven, non out of the forty-seven countries that make up Europe and non of the all fifty-four African countries and a couple of disputed territories (Western Sahara and Somaliland), and South Sudan-the Africa’s newest “baby” officially born on July 9, 2011 can withstand what God have blessed this country in terms of abundant natural and human resources. With all these in place, Nigerians does not deserve to live in poverty, darkness, fear, stress, complexity, confusion and frustration, unemployment and underpaid. Even Denmark, which is regarded as the happiest country in the world according to the U.S. government-funded World Values Survey cannot boast one-quarter of Nigeria’s human and natural resources. It is now your responsiblity as the new leader of this crippling giant to make something happens to get her back to its feet.

Dear President Jonathan, in order to make something happens in this Africa’s hardest job of burden of responsibilities or scopes of duties, you need to be smart, tough, organise, vision of what you want to accomplish in four years (just 1,460 days). You should have integrity driven with more talents and specialists to effect changes that the million of Nigerians are looking for. As a lucky boy that rose from assistant school prefect to senior prefect in your secondary school days, also elevated deputy Governor of Bayelsa state to the Governor, and from Vice-President to the President of Nigeria, so you are lucky as your name implies (Goodluck) with abundant human and natural resources at your disposal to break the jinx of the past “accidental leaders”. It is now left with your ability without fear or favour to influence, motivate and provide the tools and environment to others so that they can best contribute towards the successful attainment of your goals and pledges made before the elections. You should remember the words of Prof. Chinua Achebe that the major problems of the nation “…is simply and squarely a failure of leadership…there is nothing basically wrong with the Nigeria character”

Another person that gives vivid description of the country’s past leaders is the new INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, who actually perfomed brilliantly well in the conduct of the recently concluded general elections. He said in a lecture in Abuja that; “If the truth be told, past Nigerian leaders with few exceptions were self-serving rulers, not leaders. Some were even despots… They have generaly lacked vision, focus and selflessness and even enlighted self-interest. Many in leadership positions are unimaginably corrupt, they are greedy, they are vindictive, they are reckless and in many fundamental respects,senseless. Virtualy, whoever has access to power attempts to abuse it.” This year general elections have given bith to a new Nigeria with responsible leaders with integrity, patriotism and accountability. Leadership is about getting things done, getting results and improve performances.

Your excellency, we do not say that you can change Nigeria in a day, but priority must be given to those needs of Nigerian citizens in order to have a successful term. Abraham Maslow’s needs pyramid explains the levels of human needs pshchological and physical that helps in long way for their survival and in pursuit of happiness. Nigerians need simple things, that is, the basic amenities to give the best quality of life. The very first issue we are appealing you and your Cabinet to find solution to before celebrating the next 51st independence anniversay is the problem of electricity. This problems have complicate the lives of Nigerians. Electricity has a greater share on the present problems of Nigeria. Everything on earth is interconnected with everything. If the country’s electricity is undistrupted for months, then the citizens today’s complex lifestyle will give way for necessary soci-political development and economic growth.

Mr. President, another important issue we are much particular about is the educational sector which the past regimes have not been given necessary priority. Education is the only sector that makes a successful transition from childhood to adulthood where they will become “an impresively confident, knowledgeable, charming, resourceful, problem solver”. Education according to Chris Ormell. The editor of “Prospero” journal is “…pleasant maturation suprises..the young people who emerge should occasion such pleasant suprises, because they will actually enjoy displaying the disciplined envisioning and empathetic mental powers which today’s world so urgently needs, both in relation to things and people”. Education should be made compulsory for all school age children from primary to university level as from the 1st of October, 2011. New law should be made to prohibit all the school age children from street hawking, loitering or begging for alms during the school hours of specific time. The only solution to poverty is functional and qualitative education. The more educated people are the less they are prone to illness and squalor.

Your excellence, we have been witnessing widespread abuses, corruption and insecurity of lives and property of Nigerians. The mission of Nigeria police force is “to deliver qualitative and efficient security and law enforcement services to the citizens of Nigeria” and not extort the poor citizens of hard earn money. The inefficiency of Police regarding maintaining law and order became obvious with the widespread extortion of money from motorist, riotings, kidnappings, killings, institutionalised bribery, election malpractices, frequent armed robbery, torture, harassment and loss of personal liberties and properties. All these problems can be changed if you take the bull by the horn by setting up a committee now to investigate, recommend, and implement within three months on better ways to recruit, train, motivate, renumerate and kit the police force to international standard. Then abolish all illegal road blocks or check points throughout Nigeria and that no policeman or traffic agent must extort or collect money from motorist in any way or any form as from next independence anniversary speech. Hencefort, all fines and any legal transaction of money involving them with the public must be paid to the government accredited

or designated banks with appropriate receipts. The use of mobile telephones to record voice and photographs policeman will be at great advantage. Any policeman or group of policemen collecting or found with large sum of money while on duty after all said and done will be summarily dismissed.

Dear Mr President, another area we jointly agreed for you to look into is the transportation sector. Available, accessible and effective transportation system is an improvement to the quality of life in any community regardless of size and location. Rail transportation is a colonial legacy in Nigeria which your regime have to revive and manage well. With the country’s population, the returns from effective and well managed railway transportation system can provide a free qualitative and functional education to every Nigerian children up to university level to save oil or even gas returns for other investment. Besides, your regime should embark on a National Road Safety Action Plan to be implemented over the next ten years. The aim of this safety plan should be concentrated on four “E” s: engineering, education, enforcement and emergency medical services to reduce roads accident in all our roads. Any expenditure on road safety improvement should be seen as an investment. The country’s growing population needs other new tansportation alternatives. The best ways to touch the people lives at the grass-root level in moving from one area to another is rehabilition, construction and managing of all roads. If all the seven hundred and seventy-four ( 774 ) local governments chairmen newly elected in Nigeria should embark and maintaining a genuine roads facelift in their areas, then country will be saved to all motorists.

Finally, President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe Jonathan, the history of great men are often backed by skills, experiences, intelligence, integrity, with the instincts- all combined together to achieve their goals. This last general election has finally put an end to “amala”, “tuwo” and “ogbono” politics in Nigeria. It is now the era of competent, reliable and patriotic politicians. Fighting of corruption have to start with you by declaring your assets, your new ministers and all elected representatives throughout the country. The only way to fight corruption is through transparency and accountability. A smaller, and more focused Cabinet has the possibility of minimizing cost, social complexity and human imperfection. There is also a need for a Sovereign National Conference to address the great issues facing Nigeria as a nation. You have to embark on wide scale projects on agriculture, turism, oil and gas to boost employment opportunities and find a lasting solutions to Niger-Delta imbroglio. Let all Nigerians know that with love and unity among the Kanuris, the Igbos, the Gwaris, the Yorubas, the Fulanis, the Ijaws, the Hausas, the Urhobos, the Ijaws, the Nupes, the Edos, the Tivs and the Ibibos, we can build a new Nigeria of peace, unity, progress, harmony and development with which no country of the world can withstand.
God bless you and all the people of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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