By Omoh Giwa
Commander of the Uniform and Not-Uniform Forces, Leader of the 97% and 5% electorate, Defender of the North, Exclusionist and Nepotistic General. I salute you. I have avoided addressing you directly since I began this journey because our people say a wise man knows to approach hot soup by the sides. Though I will never tout myself in the borrowed regalia of wisdom, I refuse to offend your authoritative sensibilities. Moreover, what is wisdom in the face of hunger and fear? (I do not want to give you ideas considering my name bears a strange resemblance to a certain journalist).
I must admit my scepticism of your victory at the 2015 presidential polls. How did you who had failed woefully three times (I was not counting until someone pointed it out when his ambition was threatened) become a saviour and attain victory? I am beginning to query those who had cast aspersions to your legacy and maligned your character and person only to turn around and proclaim you their hero. Such strange men which makes me wonder how a pious man as yourself could lie in bed with them?
I wonder now if history has been fair to you. Probably biased if you ask me. The things they used to say about you and your past stint as Military Leader, ‘clueless dictator that sabotages the economy to enrich his friends while impoverishing the common man’ (Is it true you asked people to queue for eggs and milk to control inflation?).
Honestly, I campaigned against you, practically blackmailed your adherents and fanatics into choosing between our friendship or you. I was baffled how they could see you as the ray of sunshine, the hope of the common man/woman, the solution to an already topsy-turvy situation especially with your brand and style of craziness.
Like Saul, on his way to Damascus, I have seen the light. And like him, I will preach your gospel and tell of your wonders. Sir, you should be commended for the depths you have attained in this short period. I wonder why you have not attempted to tweak the constitution when your African colleagues are doing it (I will not mention our octogenarian neighbour domiciled permanently in Europe).
However, like the proverbial saying: an old man does not learn to eat with his left hand in his old age so if I do not state one or two fears how would anyone believe I have arisen from my hiatus? I do not know if my previous missive to Lucifer passed by your doorway in which I helped your excellency calm the populace on your magnanimous donation to Afghanistan? Although some mischievous elements intended to misinterpret your benevolence to our brothers-in-faith (I will spare you the ramblings of the hungry) and questioned the economic benefit of a third-world nation donating funds to another when we are poor ourselves (pardon my french).
You are simply misunderstood. Where you should be commended for buying cars for our neighbours, you faced verbal attacks and queries. But what would you expect from poor ignoramuses who do not have the right sense of judgement? Can I suggest a tell-all novel? (Not a biography that requires the good, bad and ugly sides but a novel to make room for poetic licence, at least to reinvent the truth like a certain previous occupant of your present abode)
I have completely gone off-track like the trains in Nigeria are wont to do and have digressed from the point of this communiqué. I understand your schedule is filled and might not allow you take a leisurely stroll around but things have been slightly uncomfortable. Instagram might be misleading if that’s the basis for your economic performance. Do not get me started on the fuel queues. Baba your boys are selling PMS at 300 naira per litre! Even when you threatened them with DSS, they did not stop o! An aspiring Lagos big girl driving without using AC? If you think this is bad, wait till I tell you the price of one small indomie. I will not even mention food prices especially the cost of eggs. I need you to warn my neighbour or ban the use of charcoal for cooking because the smell is affecting me (considering she does not invite me to dinner anymore). Moreover, how much is 800 naira per kilogram that she has resorted to archaic cooking methods? If you ask me, she is being dramatic.
I have not roused you to burden you with the common joe’s problem (because you should not be bothered with puny complications). But I have to ask, why have you abandoned your successor? Your detractors are wondering if you truly support him (Did you two have a misunderstanding? If he offended you, I beg on his behalf. He is an old man who might forget his station but deal gently with him). I wonder if he will need assistance come May and if you would be there to help hold his hand during the swearing-in ceremony?
I hope this fight would not affect the help you are to render (holding his hand and all that) because this your absence at the campaigns is noticeable and has given the rat effrontery to strut around in the absence of the cat (if you catch my drift). One of your boy-boy claims presidential duties is the reason for your absence but you know you can confide in me to resolve any animosity between two jolly friends. My liege, I am not saying you are not busy, how else will you punish the 5% that did not vote for you in 2015?
Do not mind those that say you are president to the 102% (Can the heathen expect benevolence from the righteous? Shall pagans receive communion?) exactly sir, you do not owe them good governance. You said you have fulfilled all your campaign promises but what they do not understand is those unfulfilled ones were not made by you. Let them go and ask the person that promised that $1 to N1. If hunger was killing them as they claim, with which mouth are they using to castigate you?
I know your successor will take us to even loftier depths.
Giwa, who used to write from the University of Lagos
P.S. I hope the Shakespearean saying: Heavy is the head that wears the crown does not apply to you.