We understand your plight, Mr. President by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

NigeriaWe understand that being a leader at all is a daunting task for many persons, especially for you; we can imagine the burden of our expectations of you as the leader of Nigeria. It isn’t easy. It is just so sad that ‘we, the people’ expect you to deliver on many fronts, at least even if it’s just the promises you made to us against the 2011 elections.

Having had an opportunity to preside over the affairs of this ‘great’ country for about six full years, it’s certain you have personally had your ups and downs that usually characterize an average human life. Just that yours in the current circumstances are overblown and rapidly dying out, especially with the new vistas opening up before Nigerians and actually providing the much-needed breath of fresh air. Whichever way you have managed the affairs of this country is a good indication of how well, or poorly, you have managed your home (the perception here may be skewed, so fret not).

I have had no respite since the 19th of December, 2014 when Punch (and many other word-peddlers) published some of your words, “I get contradictory advice on issues”. Any reasonable word-consumer should know this must be some sort of propaganda for nowhere in the world would I imagine a sitting President confess to being without wisdom, tact and clue (till then, I always had issues with people who tagged this man clueless). Again, listen to yourself or to your ‘detractors’ who came up with the idea, “I get contradictory advice on issues”. Did you or your detractors say that? What were you thinking before you ascended the throne; that everyone will have a single idea about everything? I do not want to think that the people are correct, who think the only thing you don’t really need advice on is how to gulp the contents of green and black bottles, and any bottle for that matter; even the plastic kegs whose bottoms have been browned by local gin and roots.

However, judging from your background, we should plead for more understanding by Nigerians. This burden may be more than you can lift and we need to appreciate that and stop condemning you.

You had no shoes and many other necessities of life, maybe even a good toothbrush. And at that time, you never had an inkling that you’d one day become the head of a nation. Maybe if you had, you’ll have prepared for this eventuality. However, I always thought the wisdom required to manage a home is greater than sufficient to manage a nation. Hence, if you can’t manage a nation, you can never manage a home. No wonder Chief (Mrs.) goes about posing almost like your husband.

About your wife, don’t you often feel the pangs of her spiny bones stuck in your throat? She has obviously become a veritable source of public nuisance and insult to your profile as head of a country. Some of the times, she preempts your good deeds with less than discretionary acts; she makes statements on political issues sometimes that what’s left for you is damage control. While you were busy (we appreciate your overwhelming intentions to do well for Nigeria), your ‘husband’ the Dame was about trying to grasp states like Rivers and Bayelsa. You don’t really need to apologize to us, we understand your plight. Your wife never hinted that that she only needed you in Aso Rock in order to facilitate her publishing a dame-specific dictionary. There’s a doom that awaits everyone whose ways are not right before God, man and even the devil. Just a little Patience.

With regards to corruption, everyone seems to expect you to have eyes everywhere, on top of your head, at the back and even under your feet. That’s unfortunately not likely. Even the corrupt individuals who are before your very eyes, your friends and family members. How do you feel? Is it not difficult for you to order the arrest of such persons when they steal? Considering your background; being without shoes in the past makes you not to appreciate the value of so much money. It’s just another legally accepted paper that needs to be stocked for the sake of a needy future, if there ever will be any like it. So, whenever anyone personalizes government’s money (or the money belonging to ‘we, the people’) and comes forward with the flimsiest of excuses, such a person is pardoned. You have a kind heart, readily bows to superior argument, especially the arguments of rogues. No wonder you have become the unsolicited mouthpiece, Voltron (Defender of the Universe) of bad offenders, whether privately or otherwise. I am still trying hard to resolve the academic challenge you threw at the people who voted you into office to define stealing, differently from corruption, ”What many Nigerians refer to as corruption is actually stealing. Stealing is not the same thing as corruption”. You want us, like you, to wish away corruption even though it’s the number one albatross to Nigeria’s development? Well, that may also be understandable but not pardonable if you are so distant from the daily events in Nigeria. If that’s the case, are you also unaware of News reports of events in the country you are purportedly leading? If you are aware and are armed with the required will, then you’ll focus on purging the country of corruption rather than make speeches aimed at justifying it.

One wonders why the attacks of the Boko Haram boys have always been so planned to drown the accolades that may come your way whenever something good, however small, happens through you. That is sabotage, one may suggest. But the world over, there is no democracy that can survive in an atmosphere of violence and high level of insecurity especially in the face of a docile military. What do we expect of you in this circumstance? To arm yourself with a gun and go face the insurgents alone? Maybe a catapult is preferable if you must win the David’s way. But I dare say you are helpless (maybe not entirely clueless) about what to do; or rather you know what to do but won’t for reasons best known to you. Everyone has got his or her excuses but we may be right to say we don’t need a man of excuses to be our leader. You may not budge, if you care.

I thought your boys were chasing the winds on the trail of General Buhari’s education profile. In their incompetence, they forgot to remind you in your sulked periods, like now, that you never completed the PhD that you claimed you have obtained. Yet, they help in your chase after another more noble one.

And recently, you have reduced the pump price of petroleum by 10 naira per liter of fuel; how magnanimous. Your advisers must have advised you to do so, hoping that will win the hearts of many to ‘dash’ you their votes but I’m certain you know better in retrospect. Nigerians are more sophisticated than you think or can ever imagine. I wonder what sort of advisers you go around with, especially those your baggage of Special Assistants who themselves need assistance.

To the very issue I need to purge my heart over, you getting contradictory advice on issues. I believe this state of your mind is the main reason why Nigeria is currently comatose and has been for a while. In an article published in the Punch of 19th of December, 2014 with a similar heading, we can glimpse some of your statements that will afford us a peep through the fabrics of your mind, “We pray that God should give those of us who are in charge the grace to do things with the fear of God. If we begin to do what is right in our own little way, this nation will survive.” Mr. Prez., have you been sulking lately? Are you pleading with your appointees or yourself to have the fear of God and ‘begin’ to do the right thing; at this time, after almost 6 years? Why on earth, do you know? were you voted for or installed whatever way in 2011? To beg yourself and your appointees to do the right thing? Like Nigerians are beggars who have no choice, who have no one to lead them?

“God knows why we are here. Nobody will place himself in any position without God. So, God that gives all of us the opportunity will see us through.” I am sure the god in this context isn’t the same One I know (or maybe the same One I know has a different plan than we have seen so far. We’ll wait for it but not patiently).

“For me, your servant today (whose servant? Definitely not ‘we, the people’), I will continue to request for your prayers that God should give me the wisdom to do what is right in His sight”. Does that go to say if we refuse to pray for wisdom to be granted you, you will ‘continue to do what is not right in His sight?’

“Because it is quite challenging for a leader (is this news?); for every subject that you want to take a decision on, you will have multiple suggestions (again, is this news? I suppose it’s because of situations like this that about 170 million Nigerians come together every four years to vote only one man from amongst them to lead everyone else, both wise and unwise. I never knew that one man in a millennium like this will consider his being given multiple suggestions a problem. How longer do we want this type of confused leadership?). “Some contradictory, some to the left, some to the right, some to the centre. But you must take a decision (Is this some kind of whine?).

“It is only God that can guide you to take the right decision that will not bring suffering to your people (And if your decisions bring suffering to the people, as it has been for a while with the abduction of school girls, the mass murder of ‘we, the people’ by Boko Haram, the widespread hunger, the privatization of PHCH, layoffs and subsequent suffering in diverse ways, then it means God has not been guiding you to take the right decisions; then again, He didn’t put you there).

“We will try our best and we will continue to do our best (Is this necessary?). We promise that any opportunity given to us, we will use it to serve mankind (Never mind, you can always do that at home. Your wife and children need you more I suppose. Same with most of us).”

With regards to insurgency, “You will all agree with me that you rarely listen to any good news globally. Either people are killed, people are slaughtered, people are kidnapped, bomb exploded here and there.

“Of course, our country is not spared in this world ugly history. Every day, we hear ugly stories in this country. It could have been worse than this but for your prayers.” I laugh and will keep laughing for a longer time and I’m sure anyone would readily know why. Read again, “You will all agree with me that you rarely listen to any good news globally. Either people are killed, people are slaughtered, people are kidnapped, bomb exploded here and there.”

Those words must have been written for the President by one of his Special Assistants, who along with his boss, rarely makes attempts to peep out the window and really observe what is happening on the streets of the country they are supposed to be managing.

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