Dear President Muhammad Buhari,
Mr. President Sir, many months ago tens of millions of Nigerians trouped out by the thousands to hear and support your message of repentance and hope. Your repentance because you appeared to have come around from your previous sin against the collective will of the people to champion the cause of democracy. To put it mildly, your disruptive military coup of December 31, 1983 and your subsequent short lived and extremely cruel and destructive dictatorship was an egregious sin against democracy and against the conscience of the nation. Your message of hope, because your story of redemption convinced people that you can be the positive change the yearned for. You also appeared ready to remedy your many mid 80’s sins and missteps.
Mr. President Sir, not too long ago, you promised Nigerians to expect rapid change within 180 days of your presidency. Although some of us did not support or see any good in your candidacy, we prayed for your success once elected President. At your swearing in, you promised Nigeria to defend her unity, integrity, and honor. You affirmed your willingness to protect the civil liberties of all Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. You promised to help the downtrodden find their footing once again by rooting out corruption. You stated your resolve to make life easy for the masses by ensuring the wealth of the nation is properly projected to the masses.
Fast forward to today Sir, it is very disheartening to watch your gradual course reversal. Instead of making life easy for the masses your economic minimalist and fiscal isolationist policies are a death sentence to the masses whose votes you rode to the Presidency. Your cruel choke down policies has put Nigerians in extreme difficulty to the extent that they are no longer able to enjoy their hard earned money the way they want it. First and foremost, you limited the amount of money Nigerians can withdraw from their bank accounts to $300 per day. Mr. President, why dollars, if fiscal conservative nationalism is your ultimate goal? Secondly, you prohibit Nigerians from using their credit and debit cards while abroad. You have also taken away people’s rights to deposit foreign currency into their home bank accounts.
May I remind you Mr. President that these rights are enshrined in, and guaranteed by, the Nigerian constitution? Your minimalist and isolationist fiscal measures will only promote a devastating capital flight, extreme and uncontrollable parallel devaluation of the currency, and unbearable inflation. By all means, it will execute your undisclosed agenda to destroy businesses, terminate entrepreneurship, and crush the masses once and for all. Perhaps, your true intent is install and execute Almejerism in Nigeria. Your policies amounts to absolute government overreach into peoples’ private lives, tortuous interference in people’s personal affairs, a breach of civil liberties, and breach of the fundamental tenets of democracy. it is now apparent that you and your party the APC neither believe in democracy nor understand what it means to run a democratic civil society.
Mr. President, you have also reneged on your promise to protect Nigerians from harm and ensure issues are properly resolved through dialogue as is expected of every civil society. The lack of civility in your approach to peoples agitation is perturbing. Your nascent government is enmeshed in extra judicial killing of Nigerians! The killing of MASSOB/IPOB demonstrators and the recent merciless slaughter of defenseless Shia muslim procession by your loyal military is a testimony to your reversal to brutal and destructive dictatorship. This is only fitting indictment of a merciless emperor, not an elected President. President Buhari Sir, It is very disgusting, pathetic, and fearsome to watch you unleash the full force of the nation against peace loving Nigerians for what you should have considered extremely insignificant misdemeanors and resolved with simple dialogue.
Mr. President, you promised to manage Nigeria without incurring any debts. Nigerians are disappointed at your proposition to borrow a record $11 billion to fund slightly over 34% of your budget over the next twelve months. At this rate, your government will amass more than $55 Billion dollars in four years. This is a clear sign of lack of foresight and acute impotence by every economic and fiscal yardsticks. No finger pointing and blame shifting games will cure your ineptitude, wanton plunging of the nation into debt, and enslavement of generations yet unborn into an unnecessary debt. Instead of borrowing, why don’t you reduce the senseless consumption, greed, and corruption in congress and Abuja in general. Why don’t you cut the nations coat according to its resources. Why don’t you just do what is right for the nation, at least for once in your new rebirth. What is even more depressing is that you have no actionable loan repayment plan. This is only reminiscent of the decisions of a man who couldn’t pass or successfully complete grammar school arithmetic.
Finally Mr. President, constructive civil disobedience is an appropriate response whenever a government chooses to run a nation by alternative despotic rules. Consequently, I ask that you please return to your pre-election fake humility and actualize your empty campaign promises. I ask that you please run an egalitarian Nigeria where the citizenry is empowered to contribute to national growth, protected from government brutality, and are not fearful of their government to the point they cannot express their opinions. Right now, you have earned yourself another failing grade, this is not what you promised Nigerians, it is extremely different from the collective expectations of Nigerians.
By Olusegun Philip Alonge