I haven’t written a letter in a long time. I have almost forgotten the art of letter writing. Don’t blame me. Blame technology. Who writes letters nowadays with mobile phones and the internet. Even in Nigeria of all places people use mobile phones now in our villages. Today I don’t need to write a letter to my dad who lives in Oturkpo to tell him why I couldn’t make it home for Christmas. All I need to do is to dial his mobile phone number. I don’t need to write a letter to tell my girlfriend how much I miss her. We talk everyday through Blackberry chat, Whassap, the social media or I could just send her a text. The art of communication has changed so much in the past two decades that some form of communication is being threatened by extinction today. We have access to each other so much and talk so much using technology that letter writing has almost gone out of fashion. When a man sits down to draft eighteen page letter to you full of warning and lamentation you definitely know something is terribly wrong somewhere somehow.
Fellow Nigeria, you have all read or heard of former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to president Goodluck Jonathan. When some people are being partisan over the letter issue, some are supporting Goodluck Jonathan and lashing Olusegun Obasanjo for writing such trash. Some are however saying what made Baba to write eighteen pages of very long letter cannot just be waved off as nothing.
Whatever school of thought you belong to I want to tell you that Baba Iyabo, Goodluck Jonathan and all those saddled with the responsibilities of handling the affairs of Nigeria don’t really care about Nigeria and Nigerians. All they care about is their personal interest(s). If they care about Nigeria you and I will know by their actions. Since 1999 there has been wantom looting of the nation’s treasury by all those who have access to it. That’s the mentality of the Nigerian politician. Grab whatever you can grab and keep grabbing. It is appalling to see Nigerian youths divided and fighting over these people on social media. Nigerians must wake up from the slumber of ignorance and stupidity. Some people think this is about religion and tribe and they do everything and look at everything from these perspectives. This is not about religion. This is about a system, about the mentality that life is all about grabbing and greedily grabbing and nothing else but grabbing for the purpose of self aggrandisement. Obasanjo, Goodluck, Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu, IBB, Atiku, G7, PDP, APC, or whatever they call themselves are the same people. Obama has said that what we need in Africa are not strong men but strong institutions, yet we continue to worship strong men.
The Nigerian government is being runned by a cartel. It reminds me of the Italian mafia. This syndicate was built on greed, blood, betrayal and maintained by absolute loyalty in its heydays. Like the Italian mafia the Nigerian government is all about money individuals can steal and not about nation building. How many standard hospitals do we have in Nigeria with all the money we have made from sale of oil from 1999 till date? If you are sick nowadays and cannot afford Europe you take off to Egypt or India. Those who stay in Nigeria are those who cannot afford it. It is only in Nigeria that a former governor would buy air-abulance to lift people who are sick overseas when his state has no hospital and the inflated price of the air-abulance could build a standard hospital. Isn’t it funny? Look at our roads. How many people die of accident each year? This is a country where N11billion is found in the accounts of governor’s children and you and I know that the case will die soon. You can go on and on and on.
Maybe we need the National Dialogue. This dialogue should just address the mismanagement in government. That’s what we should be discussing, not some tribal and religious bullshit. The problem of Nigeria is not the common man. It is the leadership. The national dialogue should be about them. It should focuse on them more than any other issue. I am not saying other issues shouldn’t be discussed but it should be more about the leadership of this nation.
This thing I am writing, is it even a letter? I cannot write eighteen pages. I am not willing to. I don’t have to write the new statement to make you understand what you already know. Until we all come together and challenge the way and manner this country’s affairs if being managed we can never have serious leaders. We cannot achieve anything by fighting over religion and tribe. We can only do it as we support Super Eagles, together, putting tribe and religion aside and thinking as one, as Nigerians, not as Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba or any other tribe. Hope you understand what I am trying to say. With this I will say Compliment of the Season.
George Onmonya Daniel