Dear Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola,
I feel constrained to join issues with you on the fallacies contained in your address to the 38th Annual Conference of the United States National Conference of Black Mayors in June 2012 in the United States.
It is share fallacy and hypocrisy for you to stand before such an auspicious body and eulogise falsehood as the basis of your unfounded optimism on the future of our ill-fated federation. The basis of this erroneous optimism as contained in your address was the so-called transformation agenda of the present federal government. A transformation agenda that is littered with non-performance, deceit, corruption and a disturbing catch-phrase termed “irreversible”. If you had not been noticing, Jonathan’s government has assumed a pseudo-military toga where decisions made, no matter how unpopular or unacceptable it is to the citizenry, are often “irreversible”. Hike in pump price of fuel was “irreversible”, likewise the unceremonious re-christening of the University of Lagos. Alas, this is the transformation agenda that inspired so much confidence in you.
Dear Prince Oyinlola, whilst it is clear that you have no other option but to blow the trumpet of those who have provided succour and enrichment to your life, having actively sustained you throughout your years in military service and even through your deceitful participation in democratic experiments in Nigeria. Nevertheless, considering your age and the present facts in Nigeria which stares at all and sundry daily, it is unpardonable for you to continue to eulogise falsehood. In some circumstances, silence has been remarkably noted to be golden.
All through your years in the government house in Osun State, I had reasons to wonder at the type of leadership you provided for the ill-fated state. My concerns also stemmed from the experience of your lacklustre performance in Lagos State. No doubt you have been more than priviledged in life, the basis of which remains innocuous and very doubtful. The abundance priviledge conferred on personalities like your dear self can only be possible in an endemically infested country like Nigeria where corruption is the reigning king and truth has taken flight. All through the years, you have persistently failed to learn from history and endeavour to turn the stones in cognisance of posterity. By this I mean that you appreciated the aberration in your selection for priviledge by an abysmal system but rather chose to roll along rather than make amends for posterity. Despite attaining a very senior position in a military command, you lack bravery and valour in detaching yourself from the appendages of a heinous and condemnable political order, one whose tenure in history is very ephemeral.
Your address to the assembly of black mayors reeked of unbridled sentiments, a sentiment that would have been otherwise normal but for the jungle called Nigeria. You fantasised on the soon to occur emergence of Nigeria as an industrialised nation. You premised this forlorn fantasy on the “non-negotiable values of commitment, dedication and patriotism on the part of our leaders” It is either that you are living a complete lie, completely disconnected in the richness of your cloak of deceit or totally dishonest even in the face of reality. We as Nigerians are yet to be able to point to a leader with such captivating devotional qualities to nationhood (as you falsely informed the mayors) amongst the present crop of vagabonds and upstarts in power. You stressed on the fact that Nigerians “have not lost hope for a better tomorrow” Nothing can be further from the truth.
It is very sad that it would take eons for average Nigerians to impress on their leaders the extent of their agonies as a people and the forlornness of what tomorrow has in stock. It is a sign of the seriousness of the situation when after almost five decades of maladministration, mounting and embarrassing corruption and extreme socio-economic decadence and neglect, a member of our eternal ruling class like your self can go on a global stage to mount obscenities in the name of hope. As it seems not to have really sunk in for your ilk, we need to repeat that hope is a strange bed fellow to the average Nigerian. It is a word which connotes precious little to us. Hope was murdered when the basis of our federation was entrenched in falsehood and deceit. Hope was murdered when Nigerians with vision and grace were persistently denied the mantle of leadership. Dear Olagunsoye, hope was murdered, for example, when the winner of a popular and clean election was denied his mandate, clamped into prison and murdered even as a prisoner. Indeed, hope was murdered on many platforms in our unfortunate federation. It was murdered when Dele Giwa received a fatal present of a parcel bomb, it was murdered when Bola Ige (a serving Attorney General) was killed and his assassins still walk freely amongst us. Hope was killed when Goodluck Jonathan assumed the presidency and unleashed untold hardship on the citizenry. Hope was finally buried when the institution of the presidency was dragged in the mud on the questionable involvement of the Nigerian President in incidents of graft.
The Nigerian situation is akin to a cataclysm and hovers between insanity and depravity. It exhibits severe traits of throw-back on human civilisation by the sheer ingenuity of greed and corruption on the part of our leaders, immature and barbaric qualities that are probably found only amongst our ape cousins. One remains in awe at the capacity of human beings, nay Nigerian leaders, for greed and material acquisition. We pay the price daily for their unalloyed disloyalty and profound lack of patriotism. Nigerian leaders have made a mockery of everything honourable and good. The consequence is that we now stand the risk of bequeathing rubbish and depravity to generations yet unborn. We are actively laying the foundation of poverty and physical, mental and psychological retardation for millions of unborn Nigerian children.
Not too long ago, our national embarrassment was taken to other low heights when Reuben Abati redefined the concept of corporate social responsibility in the light of an act of presidential graft. I need to hasten to make clear, taking cognisance of your eternal rivalry and enmity with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that I write as an average Nigerian with absolutely no political affinity or loyalty. I am not a cliff-hanger and neither do I hang on the fringes of political loyalty. Like millions of poor and struggling Nigerians whose hope has been compromised by the evil acts of leaders like your dear self, I will continue to condemn and castigate our obnoxious and odious brand of leadership which cuts across all political parties. The present Nigerian president has encapsulated all the nefarious qualities of his predecessor. Why this became possible would be left to students of history but the fact remains that in Goodluck Jonathan, imbecility has triumphed and docility has bred stagnation, massive corruption and other unpardonable shenanigans. Jonathan would go down in history as the most unprepared president Nigeria ever had, an unmitigated disaster. I await the ferocity of his legion of paid foot soldiers on this.
Perhaps it is an act of providence that Goodluck Jonathan deemed it fit to make an unforced and spontaneous confession of an impeachable act of graft. He has never denied openly soliciting from a contracting firm “a befitting church” for his sleepy rural village of Otuoke. The company willingly obliged and constructed a gargantuan edifice for a village whose population is in hundreds. Reuben Abati with his doctoral knowledge interpreted this as “corporate social responsibility”. This was just one in what is becoming a tradition of the Jonathan administration. Another was even more scandalous and we still await Reuben’s analysis of this. In April 2011, executive pressure forced two o
il companies (Agip and Shell) to pay the federal government $1.1 billion in settlement fee over what is now known as the Malabu oil block OPL 245 case. Four months later, Goodluck Joanthan ordered Yerima Ngama and a visibly corrupt Mohammed Adoke (the Attorney General) to make an immediate transfer of the paid sum to the account of Mr Dan Etete, a former oil minister and a convicted fraudster. Thereafter, the slush fund was variously distributed with hundreds of millions of dollars going to the president’s business associates, his cronies, and ministers. $523 million went to one Abubakar Aliyu, a businessman introduced to President Jonathan by the convicted former Governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreiye Alamiesegha. Both Dan Etete and Abubakar Aliyu are fronts for Mr Jonathan. Abubakar Aliyu in particular was the same man who bought NITEL property in Abuja for less than N1billion and sold it for over N20 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria in a deal that saw the palms of several government officials greased.
Dear Olagunsoye, these are merely few in the long list of the many sins of Goodluck Jonathan against Nigeria and Nigerians and against posterity. They demonstrate the filtering of hope and the enthronement of eternal despair. It is unpardonable that one that should have shown more understanding and sympathy, having been once “shoeless” now stands at the peak of national despoliation and shame. I am not reporting Goodluck Jonathan to you; as such an exercise is fruitless since you equally left many skeletons in the cupboard of the government house at Ilesha. It is thus baffling that you could still stand and speak about hope at the international conference. It is even more mystifying when you couched Jonathan’s government is such superlative terms as a government that strives to “maximise the benefits derivable by the citizenry from governance through more effective and efficient use of public resources, proper financial management and fiscal prudence”. Come on, Olagunsoye!
It is practically impossible for Nigeria to emerge stronger in the midst of this avalanche of attacks on its foundation, integrity and progress by those entrusted with the responsibilities for its well being. It is difficult to see Nigeria emerge stronger with its persistent violation by day light robbers camouflaging as rulers. Nigeria cannot survive when imbeciles and sycophants dictate the tune of governance and above all, make economic decisions for millions of citizens. Dear Olagunsoye, your honest message to the assembly of black mayors should have been an expression of despair and a call for urgent help. We are tired of the eternal pauperization of our land. In your callousness, you only succeeded in glorifying mismanagement, irresponsible governance, poverty, despair and suffering with your unfortunate address.
While I may go on for days on the grievous sins of Nigerian leaders of which you are an inseparable part, yet wisdom dictate that I end this discourse. It is now apparent that we the enslaved Nigerians have to use every opportunity to drum it into the deaf ears of our imperious leaders our rejection of their brand of leadership. We are committed to use every opportunity and forum to make our voice heard. In the light of this, we hasten to dissociate ourselves from your deceitful stand that Nigeria will emerge stronger. A nation that breeds disgust and treachery on a permanent basis will always put hope asunder. It is very difficult for Nigeria to emerge stronger from all this mess unless there is a change of heart and change of leadership.
Dear Olagunsoye Oyinlola, I will leave you with the immortal words of Othman Dan Fodio. Truth is an open wound, only conscience can heal it. May the good lord save Nigeria.