Dear President Buhari,
Mr. President, I hope this letter meets you in good health and spirit. I must say Nigeria is not in good health and spirit. The country hasn’t been for a long time. Most times you people inside Aso Rock don’t know the realities out here and those masses who work inside the Villa but live outside here keep quiet and don’t talk about it because of fear of losing their job. In the end you are surrounded by people who tell you what you want to hear and not really what’s on ground.
Mr. President, I just read a report that my friend and colleague Ibrahim Dan-Halilu was arrested by the DSS on the early morning of 5th August, 2019, for supporting RevolutionNow protest. Mr. Dan Halilu just expressed his view on these things. He lives in Kaduna and not in Lagos and was never part of the protest.
Mr. President, your DSS and other security operatives are the people creating the atmosphere of fear and trying to blame it on the media, bloggers and social media users, to make them look like the enemy. People write about what they see and how what they see make them feel. No one can stop people from writing, not even the prison wall have stopped writers from writing throughout history. Arrest makes them famous, jail makes them powerful, death makes them martyrs.
Mr. President, I will advise you to focus your time on the NEXT LEVEL project if there is one, instead of worrying about criticism, protests and protesters. You have less than four more years to leave office, you will be judged by the amount of work and the efforts you put in to fix this country more than the arrests you make. Your DSS are turning into GESTAPO and they would only continue to embarrass Mr. President in the name of doing their job, targeting bloggers, the media and people who disagree with your government.
Mr. President, we still have Boko Haram on the rampage, Fulani herdsmen/bandits, kidnappings and killings on our highways that big men do not travel to Kaduna anymore driving their fancy cars but now troop into train stations so much that they have made the poor man’s train station today a big man train station. This insecurity is threatening the foundation of the country. Farmers can no longer go to farm, so many of them now live in refugee camps in their own country, yet I wonder why it is bloggers and online people that worry your people.
The economy is in shambles, unemployment rate high, people are hungry, many young people are heading to Libya to find their way out of Nigeria despite threats of slavery and death at the mercy of the Saharan desert and the Mediterranean Sea. Mr. President, try and fix these things.
Mr. President when you became President, corrupt politicians panicked all over. The masses rejoiced. An excited Hausa musician sang the song “masu gudu su gudu”, meaning “Those who want to run should run” and dedicated it to you. Today you are just an ordinary president and corruption surround and live with you, wine and dine with you. We see these things and we talk about it. How has that made us the enemy?
Mr. President, you have a daunting task ahead of you and time doesn’t wait for no man. Good name is better than gold, and I know it matters to you. You are losing that good name. I will leave this by saying the pen is still mightier than the sword. In one hundred years to come people would read some of these things we have written and they would know some people actually stood their ground and talked when many kept silent out of cowardice or benefits.
Thank you sir.
George Onmonya Daniel
For the bloggers, the media and the voices that refused to be silent.
George Onmonya Daniel writes from 1009, Anbeez Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja. 07038623939.