Dear, Son of Man.
I am excited as ever to get your timely correspondence. It was a timely balm that soothes the strained joints of our daily struggles. More so, it was an insight into a higher mind that proffers pragmatic panacea to our constant societal problems from a distant world, while opening a vista for dialectical discourse on our continued existence as humans and as citizens of a highly soldiered sovereign alliance.
Like you rightly asked in your last correspondence, what is the furore about BBN? I am least surprised that it piques your interest too, knowing full well that many critics would have inundated you with their puritanical chastising of the organisers, the participants and the viewers. You would wonder why a reality show staged somewhere remotely from Nigeria would generate much debate in Nigeria. It reeks of our lack of national priority. We hide our ineptitude in the shadows of irrelevancies, and leave the substance to a divine intervention that never comes. One relevant question to ask ourselves is, what depravity do we have on display in the BBN show that we do not have in our national show of shame to warrant such pious stance against it? Oyekan Adeolu, a philosopher and a lecturer of high cerebral standing wrote in his reaction to the much ado generated about the BBN show,”Perhaps the reason why the programme was considered commercially viable is the high hedonistic taste of the present generation”, he wrote further, “We may shudder at the grim possibility of resolving our existential problems, if in spite of their seriousness, we have chosen to prioritize leisure and pleasure”. It could not have been better stated. In spite of our many challenges, a show, where adults are held in social hostage by consent under the prying eyes of cameras and televised live into more than a million homes, holds our attention more than the many burning issues currently on our hands. It is this reality that threw up the present cold war between the House of Representatives and the senate over delegates on diplomatic mission to South Africa to resolve the xenophobic rifts between the two nations. Does this not show a house divided against itself? To a large extent, a synchrony is expected between the upper and lower chambers on burning issues that border on the safety, security and welfare of the citizens, not taking the rancour about delegation in isolation, but also in all ramifications concerning passing of bills that would make positive impacts in the lives of the governed, into laws. While a teleguided and herd-mentality legislative arm is hardly a viable element in a government balanced on the fulcrum of checks and balances, the recent opprobrium emanating from our supposed hallowed chambers, collectively proves that it is rarely a veritable institution to provide the executive arm with a direction it ought to go in alleviating the many sufferings of the masses. It is high time the mockery of our revered institutions be stopped in order to salvage what is left of honour as a nation. I have always contended that strengthening our institutions will bring out the vibrancy as well as pragmatism needed to actualise government policies and would in turn consolidate our position as a nation. It is a well-known fact that our legal, law enforcement, civil, religious, political and economic institutions need repositioning, and that the rots in these institutions are best cleaned starting from the hallowed chambers, where laws should be made to reflect this new national orientation, not preoccupying ourselves with puerile squabbles that do the nation more harm than good.
This brings to mind the need for a vibrant and articulate opposition to keep the incumbent power on its toes. When opposition in a system like ours is reduced to a shambolic rag-tag army of attention-seekers and sycophantic office holders, then the best we could have is Fayose, a self-appointed spokesman of the opposition who hides under the cloak of the immunity his incumbency bestowed on him to comment just about everything and just about nothing. Interestingly, the job of governing a state had never seemed so easy until Fayose assumed office in his second coming and made us understand that with his Buhari-obsession and his pedestrian opposition, all one needs to do is run a verbal governance and maintain high visibility in public opinion polls. Opposition in a democracy such as ours should be palatable enough to attract intellectual activists who mean well for the country, as well as elicits reactions from the incumbent, as to be positively inclined to borrow a leaf from them towards the attainment of a better society. However, men who threw themselves into this fray had hardly justified such definition. They only speak when it is convenient or when they have an axe to grind and rarely out of patriotism.
I must not forget to tell you that the much awaited return of the President came at the wee hours of the second Friday in March and this put all doubters in a hush mood for a while. His homecoming had laid to rest the purported mystery shrouding his alleged death as wished for by his detractors, as it would no longer be necessary for the vociferous one from the hilly state to embark on a wild goose chase with state funds to UK in order to prove the death or otherwise of the President. The several visits by party stalwarts and loyalists to convince us with several photobombs would also no longer be necessary. What would be necessary however is to know the real medical situation of the President and his level of readiness to push through his campaign promises. While the health of the president should not be a necessary attention grabber for now, his sincerity of purpose and tact at allowing his vice to continue in his acting role, though for a few days before taking over, should. It is commendable, the trust Buhari reposed in the ability of his vice to deliver on their party manifestoes, and this must be commended and taken as a lesson for other political rivals. The symbolic ordinance of such a gesture shows intra party cohesion much more than the opposition party may want us to believe and it pries them open for more public scrutiny as to their seriousness to wrestle control in 2019. Henceforth, we could expect to see the inputs of the president in every policy that would be churned out by his administration while his vice articulates these policies and orchestrates them in the most appropriate ways, akin to the hands of Esau and the voice of Jacob, even when he is away. There would be so many behind the curtain power plays too, as some have started insinuating the stability brought about by his vice during his absence. This intrigue has a way of undermining his administration if he plays to the gallery to outbid his vice in the public opinion court. He should know that he enjoys an almost untainted goodwill due to his Spartan lifestyle and the world is watching to see if he overbears on the issue of power.
In another achievement, and a great chance for EFCC to disprove the tag of ”edentate dog”, just few days ago, Ngilari the former governor of Adamawa State was sentenced to five years in prison. He was convicted of corruption and embezzlement of public funds while in office. Finally, you would say, the EFFC successfully prosecuted an accused as against the so much taunts that up till now none of the indicted had been convicted. While the indictment of Ngilari would serve as an impetus to spur the chains of awaiting fraud and corruption cases in the case file of EFCC from its inertia state to state of judicial motion, it should also send a signal that the wantonness enjoyed in the past administration, where not a single person was successfully sent to jail despite the massive pillage of public funds that took place, is over. The immunity conferred on our serving public officers is a reinforcement of the negative vices we want expunged out of our national life. Nigeria as a nation should have evolved by now to that state where public office holders are aware of what awaits them after their terms in office. They should not only be sent to jail, attempts should be made to recover the loots, reimbursement made back to the public purse and they should be barred from holding any political or public position for life. Such convicts should be a repository museum for citizens to learn how not to betray public trusts. Talking about betrayal of public trust, the recent tribulations of the fiery tongued Apostle Suleiman, is also in the offing. He was accused of having extra marital affairs with a lady who revealed their sexcapades to the public for reasons best known to her. She also said the “man of God” threatened her life with policemen. Though, the Apostle denied the allegations but his antecedents as a vicious preacher does his reputation no good. He was supposed to be a moral epitome by the virtue of his calling but recent drama unraveling in the so called houses of God, is more demoralizing than the thought of not making the rapture. Though we should not be too quick to condemn the accused till proven beyond all doubts, but his social media acolytes are already whipping up sentiments on how his ordeals were orchestrated by El-Rufai and Buhari. Is it not risible how we ascribe every little trouble of ours to the machinations of opponents even when they are self-inflicted? It is now a common knowledge the carnality our religious houses have become; need we look any further for enemies, when the real enemies are within?
Lest I take more of your time, let me leave you now to witness the court proceedings against the 23 INEC officials who allegedly collected N360 million from Gov. Nyesom Wike to pervert the will of the people in the Rivers State rerun elections held in December last year. The prosecutor had lined up 14 policemen as potential witnesses against the INEC officials. We may be in for another can of worms, who knows?
I am sending this letter through Shomzy, an air force officer who was shot at point blank by her lover, also an officer in the air force, in a case of apparent crime of passion. It calls to mind what a lot of our girls and women go through in institutions basically patriarchal in set up, where they are subjected to emotional tortures when they refuse to dance to the tunes or overtures made by men who are mostly higher in rank or who hold positions of authority. While we may argue that the victims cannot be totally exonerated of culpability in most of these scandals, but the chivalrous nature of men should always come to the fore in such situations.
Till I hear from you again
Yours in correspondence