- Posted June 19, 2012 by
Las Vegas, Nevada
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Take a stand to end slavery
Slavery In Wealth - Nigeria We Mourn Thee - Part 3
A CONCERNED CITIZEN OF NIGERIA
Unfortunately, you are heading Nigeria at a time when there is only one way to face the task: fight corruption and shun patronage! You cannot do this job the way you want, or the way your predecessors handled it. The cumulative effect of the mess your predecessors put Nigeria into has saturated our landscape, forcing people to demand serious leadership from their president. Distractions will not just do. And you must understand this, Sir.
And talking about serious leadership; did you hear, Mr President, that Mrs. Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi – an African country – sold off her country’s presidential jet and fleet of 60 limousines? President Joyce declared that she was “happy to offload” the jet and the cars, and she would be traveling on passenger airplanes like every other citizen. Mrs. Joyce Banda understands basic economics and means well for her people.
She appreciates the truth that a poor man who seeks future comfort must delay gratification. She is a living example of a serious leader. Can the same be said of you, Mr President? I will not wait for your response, Sir. I know it will never come. The same cannot be said of you. You do not mean well for Nigeria, Mr President. In 2010, you ordered 3 more presidential planes to increase an already over bloated fleet of presidential jets, underscoring your penchant for wasting public funds and downplaying the depth of poverty in our land.
You can’t mean well by having 10 presidential jets when the reality on ground demands that you travel with commercial planes. You can’t mean well with a feeding budget of almost 3 million naira per day in a country where 112 million people live on less than N300 (three hundred naira) per day. You can’t be seen to mean well with the number of cars in your presidential fleet. The British Prime Minister, who runs a civilization and economy that is light years ahead of yours, has no official jet.
You have effectively wasted the last one year, Mr President. And for a country with steady drop in life expectancy, we don’t have the luxury of time. We have the need for speed. We need a president who is ready to work, not distract us with an uninspiring campaign for cassava bread. We need Boko Haram’s onslaught on the Nigerian state to be addressed by your government. We need our people to be lifted out of poverty, not some phony statistics. We need leadership, not mediocrity. You, Mr President, have not been a leader in the last one year. But will you be in the remaining three years? I don’t think so. I only hope you prove me wrong.
Your body language tells me your eyes are fixed on 2015. But that is a tragedy on its own; for you maybe, not for me or Nigeria. Most of your moves are made with the intention of securing your seat in 2015. But I am also shocked that neither you nor your advisers understand that the surest way to winning re-election is to work and be seen to have worked. I will be glad to see you declare for re-election. The thoughts of having you as the first sitting president in Nigeria to be emphatically defeated excites me. Kindly follow your secret quest for re-election, Sir. I’d like to see the next sentiment your team will sell to the electorate.
You could see, Mr President, that I didn’t have time to pretend about the message I wanted to pass across. You already have enough praise singers to last you a lifetime. Pardon my directness, it was meant to deliver the message in a manner you will be stirred to act. Do have a great day, Sir. I hope the domestic staff will remember to not prepare imported rice for Sunday. Kindly remind them of your “resolve to always eat local rice”. Today should be for Abakaliki or Ofada. And lest I forget; happy anniversary, Mr President!
Written by: Segun a.k.a “Sokii”