Dear Public Officer Nigeriana
I am compelled to reach you through this marketplace channel, since you have become so immune to and from criticism and complaints. By making yourself so unreachable and so unfeeling, you force the very people -you are meant to serve- into frustration, desperation, and depression. I need you today to understand that time is running out for you. Also, that you are the major reason for the state of this country and only some selfless fine-tuning on your part could reset and return it to the path of sanity, progress and glory.
You cannot convincingly deny the clear correlation between governmental corruption and the perennial spike in societal criminalities like armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, etc. Ditto, the tragedy in such sectors as health, education, name them. In most parts of the country, our people die of basic causes just because you, a so-called powerful person, were weak enough to steal funds meant to build healthcare facilities and purchase medicine. School infrastructure and personnel are at a criminal low not because budgets were not passed and released, but that you in a vantage position of trust mistrusted that trust.
In a country notorious for complexifying simple things and impossibilifying complexities, you may dismiss change as a herculean task that cannot and therefore must not be done. Still, it is in your own greater interest than that of the people to change your ways. The reason for that is not far-fetched nor does it need to be over emphasised. If political office holders like you are not smart or fast enough to engender the transformation that is now a national clarion call, there will be no other way to stop our society that is already approaching a very dangerous bend from getting rid of politics and politicians.
That might sound harsh, but it is the truth -all of it. An alarming majority of Nigerians (plus including most of your team members) don’t respect let alone love an alarming majority of public officers like you because of the ungodly way you carry yourselves, flaunt your ill-gotten wealth and generally pretend to be who and what you are not and may never be. However, a tiny minority of us cannot deny that we have also had the honour of encountering an even tinier minority of you men and women of power who continue to remain human, who know what you are doing and who are genuine agents of change, peace and development. I have a book, in the works, on these sweet souls which should be ready on my next birthday.
Back to the message of the day. Speaking for myself, I really am desperate for public office holders, like you, to succeed and succeed big. I believe that your in-office success will be our collective victory; the same way your colossal failure -all these decades- has left our country and race in this hellhole. You have everything in you required to bring about the elusive reality.
Here’s how to start. Number one, accept that you have been truthful neither to yourself nor to your political family (read cabal) not to talk of your compatriots. Number two, rewire your mindset; you know, your belief system, your thought pattern, your greedy tendencies; think more about legacy, about posterity. Number three, the most difficult, swear to who or what you fear most that you shall no longer play the capitalist politics that has strangulated our country and people since 1960!
That’s the crux of the matter, and the best proof of your readiness to cross the rubicon. Once you crosstitute to the popular party, that is the side of the people, you should begin by humbly presenting yourself for the three-in-one debriefing process of unlearning, learning and relearning. This stage will not only purify you vis-a-vis your old ways and habits but will also teach you modern styles and techniques to prepare you for the future that Nigeria craves. Are you ready?
This is your to-do list. Going forward, you must necessarily start by deworming yourself: no more inaccessibility, no more hypocrisy, no more deception, no more selfishness, no more corruption, no more mediocrity, no more all those anti-people things you have been fond of. Now clean, understand that loyalty, truth and conscience apart from being excellent concepts of humanity are wonderful pillars and drivers of leadership, management and governance. For people in your jurisdiction, learn and relearn how to love them and show it; how to reward their confidence and satisfactorily; how to be open and transparent in your dealings; how to listen to them when they speak rather than you always seizing the conversation as if political office confers sense on you alone or honey on your voice only.
Stop thinking the people fools; that we know nothing. Realise that even the fools among your followers see through your lies. They only wait to extract their pound of flesh when the time is nigh and the tide is high; which explains why some former these and former those are so despised by own people. Desist today or continue feeding that malignant cancer-type hate.
Again, time is running out for you to build legacy. Remember, yours is tenured not a (monarchical) life office. Dear President, Dear Governor, Dear Chairman, Dear Lawmaker, Dear Appointee, Dear Political Office Holder’s Spouse, the time to reconcile with posterity is now. Exactly what enduring legacy would you leave behind?
Be honest to God and yourself, have you done your good-enough best? As you launch into the last lap of your official race, would you say hereafter and would it be unanimously accepted that you touched both the landscape and the people, positively? Specifically, our President, when you leave office soon after all of 96 months, would the remnants of your support base have enough verifiable supporting data to defend you (say, millions of projects and achievements plus thousands of Nigerian businessmen and contractors whom you made trillionaires genuinely)? The People’s Governor, to maintain this popular tag hereafter, will your final report card after nearly 100 months in office bear thousands of tangible and intangible marks of greatness as well as hundreds of clean billionaires you made from among your people?
As time and space connive to stop this sermon, please, remind yourself to start counting down. For me though, a befitting end to this piece is saluting Messrs. Itoro Columba, Ekanem Brown and Elder Imoh Williams (a lawyer) who step down in December after their Grade A stint as chairmen of their native local governments of Ikono, Mkpat Enin and Abak in Akwa Ibom State. With their individual stories, these three gentlemen remind me in many ways of 13-year-old Wyatt Tofte of Lyons, Oregon, USA, killed in a car by the wildfire from which he was determined to drive his grandmother, Peggy Mosso, 71, and his dog away to safety. This is the leadership that Nigerians want you to emulate, willy-nilly.
God bless Nigeria!
Yours in service,