By Fejiro Oliver
Until we totally change the way we elect our leaders, until we remove private money from public campaigns, lying will be the de-facto method of governance in this country-.Peter Schuyler
Dear President Jonathan, – I’m not supposed to ask how you are the way I asked my grandparents when I wrote letters to them in those days, because
I know that you are very fine. I should even be flogged if I ask such useless question from you. So the best way to phrase it is how is America? Kedu m’aka America? Oh yes, I must ask you that since I know that it’s not all the people that went there truly had it all fine. But for you, it’s very obvious that you are more than fine, even finer than the United States President, right there in his own country.
I would have even called you while you were there, but my Airtel number has been tampered with by people who obviously hate my reports and write-up, hence I cannot call or receive calls. They have made it impossible for me to stay away from the internet for a full day; hence I could not even send you a mail. I tried to even send message to your wife, who is a Facebook friend, but I have also be reported to Mark that my Facebook is a source of terror to people who feel they own Nigeria and Africa, hence I have been blocked from sending messages for some time, probably until I ‘repent’ and play ball. I tender my unreserved apology for the lack in communication.
I understand that you will be having a media chat tomorrow with selected media practitioners, who were picked by Reuben Abati, media men that will not ask you the real questions that the masses would have wished to ask you. I won’t bother to waste my megabyte in sending you questions via twitter, knowing that they won’t read it for you to answer. Please I advise you; do not try to use your signature language of “I don’t give a damn” this time around; else the real media (social media) will chew you raw and make mincemeat of you. I do know you will also deny spending 6 billion Naira for the UN trip, but please, do us a favor by accepting the blames if need be and not give excuses or defend yourself. But before you go on the ‘hot seat’, take 20 minutes of your time to read my sincere letter to you. I’m told that you read any of my reports and write up and this will be no exception.
I’m sorry for not writing this letter to you earlier, as I had been busy, just the way you are busy. I read the text of your speech delivered to the UN general assembly and I must confess, once again, you disappointed us. As I write, I cannot remember one memorable thing written in that speech, an act that leaders are known for. I cannot remember the last time that true world leaders made speeches and writers like us did not pen down one or two lines as quotes. You sure need a speech writer and if you need my services, I will gladly offer it to you pro bono.
Anyway, that’s not the essence of my letter to you. How do you find your hotel room in your favorite hotel, where everything is working and you did not need to call the hotel services to pump water for you? Did you also observe that when you got in, there was no special display on the hotel brochure saying, “24 hours light with standby generator and internet facilities? That is what most of us enjoy in America when we lodge in hotels, as there is a 24 hours internet service and power supply.
When you got to the Venue of the UN assembly, the streets were sealed off by security, but did you observe that there were no battalions of armored tanks with helicopters hovering over the place? Did you also notice that the residents there talked to the security men with smiles on their faces? Can you remember that there was no stop and search on any of the citizens who drove past or walked down the road? That is how it is done everywhere in America, where we don’t have gun trotting men harassing citizens because Obama is around. Don’t think it’s due to America’s age; far from it. It has been so even when they celebrated 20 years of Independence.
GEJ, how did you see the fox news you watched four days ago, where President Obama was being reported on negatively and yet there was no cry from his media aide that such stories were false or did you check International Newsdesk websites (it was even reported there on how you spent 6 billion Naira for your UN trip) were citizens frown at the few security in the UN assembly complex, which they feel intrudes on their ‘free movement’ and yet his party members did not have to cry that they were opposition voices and the Senators did not attempt to pass a law regulating the social media?
You were in America when Kenyan President delivered his heart touching speech to the country on the mall incident, but do you recall that he never blamed the insurgents on his political foes who want to make Kenya ungovernable to him. That is your fellow African President, in case you think I’m comparing you with Obama too much.
When you were driven to the New York Stock Exchange building, your multitudes of aides stayed back and you did not see vehicles clearing the way because the President of Africa most populous country is passing. You sure did not feel embarrassed as you had to drive gently without some irresponsible sets of military men driving and swinging on the road just to announce you presence. That is America for you; nobody gives a damn if you are the President.
By the way, what was that grammar you said to Obama that he must fix Nigeria? You obviously must have taken a shot of vodka to have used the word ‘must’, or don’t you know that in America, that word is forbidden? How would you expect Obama to fix Nigeria if he must fix Africa? Did we vote for Obama to lead Nigeria? If that is your language of saying that the problems of Nigeria are two big for you to handle, quietly tender your resignation letter as soon as your Presidential jet land. Obama should fix while you loot. When you budgeted 6 billion Naira for this trip, did you seek Obama consent?
Here we are; waiting for you to explain to us how many people you took to US and how many billions you budgeted, since your aides are denying the report, you are busy asking a black man like you who does not earn half the salary you earn to run your government for you.
Before I continue, I want to point out to you were you goofed in your watery speech to the UN; you kept using the word “Mr. President” while addressing them; or weren’t you told that Prime Ministers and Monarchs were in attendance? When you spoke on the Syrian issue, you condemned the continous use of chemical weapons there, but you refused to state Nigeria stand on the issue, whether the US should use the instrument of war on Syria or not. Was it part of the weakness you have in you, that you could not tell Obama that we reject his planned invasion to Syria?
You were asking for support for Nigeria seeking a non permanent seat of the UNSC in the 2014-2015. What rubbish support? Do the people back home support you, before you stood up to ask the world to support you? On what ground do you have to combat terrorism, when few members of the Boko Haram sect have grounded the North. Didn’t you hear over there that the man, Shekau who was alleged to be dead is not dead, but alive and kicking as he gets ready to make our soldiers scamper for their own safety? When next you want to ask for international support, please seek our collective consent before you embarrass us in the comity of nations.
Did we hear you right that you are offering assistance to Kenya in order to combat terrorism? Common, don’t make us laugh; you must not play April fool with everything. How can you render assistance when you have worse scenario in your birth place? What manner of assistance will you offer when Borno state burns and your soldiers kill innocent citizens in Apo and tag them “Boko Haram”? Please stop taking serious issues like jokes; we beg of you.
Do you know I forgot to ask you how the roads you were driving on is? Sorry my dear president. Did you hear any bump sound as you drove past the various buildings in New York and did you see that there were no patch roads? Those roads are over 55 years, built by ministers of works like the ones you have in Nigeria and none of the money allocated for it went into building of mansions for themselves.
You watched the CNN more often there; I hope you remember that there was no time in all the days you stayed that you saw the First Lady of America, Michelle Obama appearing and making long speeches? You didn’t see her, not because she hates publicity, but she knew that she is not an elected official who should be seen often; rather she was in the white house taking care of the home.
You wife must have learnt a great lesson seeing that nobody in America knew who she was, as you people entered the $10,000 hotel. Did you see that she was greeted casually as you entered the lift with her, with nobody falling over themselves on who will bow down first before the Jesus of Okirika? Certainly, America don’t give the f**k who you are as they go about their duties.
We have a version of the African Union First Ladies meeting, which is hosted by your wife after the African Union meeting is held, with even a proposal by her to waste our collective wealth on an African Union first ladies peace mission building. Do you think Michelle Obama cannot do a thing like that and name it United Nations first ladies anti-terrorism building? She can, but American Senators will never allow her, hence she can’t even dream of it. Who will take the land of former President George Bush wife and give to her in the first place? That is the America you stayed and enjoyed.
I forgot to ask you about your arrival and departure at John Kennedy Airport. Did you see that there was no stern looking security frisking passengers as you have in MIA? All the passengers you saw there are going to live at the exact time on their ticket and failure to do some may attract penalty from the America Government. It’s not like the Arik airline I fly to Abuja, when I leave by 10.30pm, when my ticket bears 8am, and no government official listens to me when I complain. That’s America for you and if you think I’m lying, tell your pilot to delay for five minutes when he is supposed to take off and watch for yourself how he will be arrested and queried, before he would be allowed to go after an apology from you.
I didn’t forget to ask you how it felt like to look through Pierre Hotel windows at night and there was light everywhere, without sound of generating sets deafening your ears. They are not magic o. They are electric light with some powered by solar, should you be thinking otherwise. When you got to the meeting, I’m 100 percent sure that there was no blink of light for a second; that is America for you where money is used for the right purposes.
The call you made across New York did not have to ‘cut’ as you answered as there was neither network failure, but the call you made to Nigeria I know had to ‘cut off’ annoyingly at every 2 minutes; typical of a system that don’t work, which you head. I bet you that should you have network problem America, that telecommunication network will be very sorry for themselves.
You have enjoyed America with our money and have seen the civility of governance to respond less to criticism and work hard to earn even the praises of your enemies. We do not expect you to be the best for there are no best men anywhere. The only places where best men exist are in weddings; just as there are no saints even in the temple; yet we have men who remained immortal. This you can be. Jona, Kedu m’aka America?
These little things matter…
Your humble citizen reporter
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on email@example.com and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters