Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari On The Occasion of Your 100 Days In Office

buhari-office

Mr President sir, I am writing this with a true Nigerian heart, a heart that is after a better Nigeria and without any form of sentiment. As such, I would be bluntly honest with a clear conscience without fear or favour.

Mr President, I would begin by saying you have won a couple of new supporters but also you are losing some of your supporters fast, even before you got started.

I don’t want to join the charade of people saying your body language has made things better especially electricity supply, which I must say has drastically improved within the last two months but some things have given a lot of people a cause for concern.

There was the infamous goofing on the 5% and 97% issue in America. That was very “unpresidential.” Even if that was how you felt, you should never have uttered such.

Remember that jailing of corrupt persons can only be done by the law courts and not at your discretion.

Onto the Asset declaration sir, I want to believe the CCB is still doing the needful and would release the actual form containing everything in details as was done by late Umaru Musa Yaradua. (May His Soul Rest in Peace).

That statement by Alhaji Shehu Garba cannot be termed and seen as assets declaration. It beats every commonsensical idea of what assets declaration should be.

Mr President sir, there have also been the case of denial of promises from your spokesmen directing the promises to your party and your party through Alhaji Lai Mohammed also denying the different promises on which many Nigerians voted you.

Things like that make your supporters lose their trust in you. Some people voted you based on different premises. Some were based on the fact that they would be receiving 5,000 naira monthly, others were on feeding of school pupils and even a greater number on the fact that you and the APC would do things differently from the PDP, hence the APC campaign slogan was based on CHANGE.

But that CHANGE in many instances have not been seen or felt. The DSS for example still looks like a political tool to torment perceived political enemies. We saw how the DSS has operated in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

Also sir, more Nigerians voted you after noting the state of affairs under PDP. The economy, we were told, would have crashed had PDP continued in power. Nigerians have heard all these and don’t want to keep hearing them over and over. You were voted in to right the wrong.

So the almost every day blame game by members of the presidency and your party is not what Nigerians need at the moment. This is not the best time to condemn previous administrations but the time to build structures for a greater Nigeria and build on some of the achievements of the previous governments

So pull your sleeves up sir and get down to the serious work of governance. Act and stop giving excuses, make use of the resources at your disposal to bring hope to the hopeless and give the citizens an opportunity to believe in a brighter Nigeria once again.

A brighter and better Nigeria where there are jobs, social amenities are in place and economy is working. There is serious poverty in Nigeria. A recent UN study suggests that over 65% Nigerians live below $1 per day. That means a great majority of Nigerians are not sure if they would eat anything when they wake up in the morning.

All these are reasons why I want you to dedicate your efforts to working and delivering the dividends of democracy instead of the blame games that have characterised your tenure so far.

The Boko Haram menace seems to be the same. One would have thought that your experience as a retired army general would have made the issue of Boko Haram a forgotten topic by now, especially when you promised to end Boko Haram in two months. It is on record that over 1000 Nigerians have lost their lives within the last 100 days.

We cannot afford more loss of lives. You definitely need to do more to end Boko Haram. I know you have made efforts, even as far as meeting our neighbouring countries for help and assistance, which you were noted to have been against in the past before assuming office but please do more to end Boko Haram once and for all.

Still on the security issue, recent killings of farmers attributed to Fulani herdsmen is extremely troublesome. I want to implore you to take drastic actions to put an end to the killings before they degenerate into something else. Nigeria cannot afford another insurgent group at this critical point.

Mr President, I wouldn’t conclude this letter to you without touching on the issue of your appointments. To be bluntly honest with you, they have been extremely lopsided to favour a certain part of the country. Anyway we look at it, I still believe that competent and trustworthy persons can be found in all parts of the country.

You are a father to all citizens of the country whether they voted for you or not. Remember you were voted in the most divisive election ever in the history of Nigeria. It should not be a case of winner takes all. You are the president of Nigeria which encompasses all citizens irrespective of political affiliation and not the president of a section of the country.

Your policy direction has left much to be desired. A hundred days after, there have been no economic team to chart the direction the economy would go. Billions of naira are being lost daily as the economic uncertainty continues.

A hundred days after, we are yet to have ministers. I understand you may not want to be bludgeoned into making frenetic ministerial appointments but 100 days after your assumption of office is more than enough time to have selected and screen ministerial candidates .

Don’t be deceived by people around you who might be saying the country can go on without ministers, that the permanent secretaries can do the work. There is a limit to their duties and power and the constitution is very clear on that.

Mr President sir, I must commend your stand and strong commitment in the fight against corruption and prosecution of looters of our common wealth. But sir, words alone cannot fight corruption. Actions will go a longer way and not the current method of anti-corruption campaign which has been just noise on TV and radio stations and on the pages of newspapers.

But sir, please note that fighting corruption in a democratic setting is far different from that of a military government. Laid down rules and regulations must be adhered to. Instead of thinking of appointing special judges, please strengthen institutions and focus on getting the National Assembly to pass effective laws that will deter corrupt practices.

Remember that jailing of corrupt persons can only be done by the law courts and not at your discretion.

Finally sir, please beware of political sycophants who are ever ready to deceive and distract your government; who will always paint a false scene of economic progress just to gain political appointments and recognition.

At the moment, I still rate you low after 100 days but I hope that you prove me wrong with time in anticipation of a better and working Nigeria.

God Bless Nigeria

Oke Umurhohwo is the Media Assistant to Otunba Segun Adewale (Aeroland) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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