Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari — By Ussiju Medaner
Dear Mr. President and the leader of the All Progressives Congress, the exigencies of time and season have made it mandatory for me to write this letter to you at this material time, and I do hope it would receive the urgent attention it so deserves.
It has been obvious overtime, right from the days preceding the APC party presidential primary election that produces the current party flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the February 2023 presidential election, that there were forces represented by influential persons that enjoy proximity to your Excellency and who have become desperate to work against the emergence of the APC presidential flag bearer. We are all witnesses to the high end manipulations till the last hours to stop his emergence and foist on the party what will be rightly call in popular parlance, a stooge, but for the stubbornness of the candidate and his supporters, mostly in the Northern governors within APC and of course, Your Excellency’s refusal to aberrate from your well-earned and well-known integrity against the party.
We had expected that with the primaries over and a party presidential flag bearer having emerged, the heightened internal divisions before the primaries would be over and the party would then congregate to a united house towards winning the coming elections. That is however far from the reality currently obtainable. This is not to sound as an alarmist, but Mr. President, the All Progressives Congress is currently the definition of a house divided against itself; as we have in high places and corridors of power, people and forces who are bent on working against the party interest and have been increasingly camping with the opposition PDP candidate in order to further sustain their self interest in a post-Buhari era.
Your Excellency Mr. President, there are forces currently at play and while you may not be aware, perhaps, understandably due to your ever tight schedules over governance matters, you are apparently at the middle of a complex, destructive antics that may tarnish if not outrightly destroy your name and the impeccable reputation you have built overtime.
The current machination against APC and its presidential flag bearer which I am bringing to Your Excellency’s attention involves agents and players across various political turfs; and Atiku Abubakar is at the centre of it all and some of your close lieutenants and allies who are already colluding with the opposition PDP to deny APC another deserving successive presidential victory.
For one, these individuals and forces are largely not involved since the historic ascension of APC to the presidency in 2015 and in the consolidation of power in 2019 but have gained entrance to the Presidency through the privilege of proximity to Your Excellency; and for another, is the outright abuse of such privilege by these individuals who by virtue of their common personal interests can be rightly regarded as a cohort whose manipulation of events, actions and responses is against the APC’s chances in the coming presidential election. Permit me Mr. President to ask a rhetorical question: why is this treacherous cohort colluding with the foremost opposition and rival of the ruling party, APC at this material time? Simply because they want to further preserve their personal businesses and spheres of influence which they have amassed particularly in the past eight years as Your Excellency steadfastly demonstrate just leadership and the tenets of democracy including delegation of authority without any encumbrances, the rule of law and trust for subordinates. And as it is likely that the cohort may not enjoy such disposition of primitive accumulation in the event of another APC victory, they have therefore chosen to collude with a political party and a candidate that can play quid pro quo that allows them to preserve and possibly grow their personal businesses at the expense of the ruling party and its deserving perpetuation at the presidency; which is necessary for the continuity of the laudable projects of Your Excellency’s Administration.
Suffice to say that the interests of the aforementioned treacherous cohort does not align with that of APC which is pro-masses; and they do not care if APC loses as long as their interests are protected by whoever is in power. And surely, they have found an ally in PDP and have taken up the position to work for the interest of the opposition party from within. Their actions, including close contact with Your Excellency, offering of advice, ostensible help to shore up Your Excellency’s performance are questionable as they collusively project manipulative policies aimed at shrinking the chances of the ruling party at the coming polls.
How else does one explain the appointment of a core PDP figure to be in charge of deciding the mobilisation of police leadership across the states close to an election year? How does one address the suddenness and eagerness to see the redesign and circulation of several Naira notes and the withdrawal of the old ones to a conclusion at the rate we are all witnessing – which is contrary to what is obtainable in enviable democracies – and to add, coming from a PDP appointee? And more worrisome, how does a ruling party that spent six years making sure there was no fuel scarcity suddenly lose touch and the same is reappearing in filling stations across the country? These seemingly innocuous concerns affect the masses the most and who may turn their policy-induced provocation and wrath against APC at the polls; except if the recent committee being chaired by Your Excellency can reverse the fuel scarcity well before the general elections.
Mr President Sir, the decision to appoint a core PDP member as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission is not understandable to many concerned APC stalwarts. It is well-known in the public that he is a card carrying member of the opposition party, who chaired the Security Committee of PDP’s last convention (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/486477-pdp-inaugurates-15-national-convention-subcommittees-expects-6000-delegates.html), yet he has been given the responsibility of heading such a sensitive national commission under the ruling party and during an electioneering period. And of course, we have started seeing the restructuring of police leadership across the states weeks to the election. Where does the recommendation for the appointment come from? Who advised the president on such an appointment? What is their end game?
The naira redesign, no doubt, is a great project, but the timing and the hastiness to get it done apparently exposes the real intentions of the promoters behind it. Currency has been changed in the country before, for instance, the present N100 note under the Jonathan administration without desperation of the present CBN regime. Who is the CBN governor? An appointee of PDP that was retained by Your Excellency’s commitment to integrity; and, who also was a presidential candidate not long ago and undeniably a partisan. His loyalty is arguably to PDP and the naira redesign is one of their many political tools hiding behind economic policies to sink APC in the coming elections. Otherwise, why the confusion? Why set a date for the mopping of old naira notes which is not possible within three months due to myriads of peculiar local factors. Announcing the date for the expiration of the old notes as legal tender is well in order and his rightful mandate, but insisting that all old notes must be deposited in the manner he goes about it can only elicit one undesirable response which is the wrath of the general public. Thankfully, the CBN governor has reportedly issued another statement allowing the old notes deposit to continue after the deadline; a position the House of Representatives, for instance, has maintained in accordance with Section 20 of the CBN Act which allows for an extension of up to five months. Again, why the hastiness by Mr. CBN Governor? Has he not done adequate consultations and due diligence or could there be something else?
Mr. President, for six good consecutive years, the country was on top of fuel availability because you wanted to keep that record. What suddenly changed? Why has the government suddenly become careless about fuel scarcity across the country and the effects it would have on the chances of the ruling party at the polls? In 2015, months to the presidential election, the Jonathan presidency geared up its response to the Boko Haram insurgency just to shore up public support and win the then dicy election; why then should the APC Administration that has been doing quite well regarding the availability of the products suddenly stop months to a crucial election? Could this be a case of a party planning to fail or not having in place, plans to win?
With the culmination of these ominous events towards a crucial round of election, are we not considering the possibility of severe crises across the country that may trigger radical political change, such as a coup? The Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, for instance has reportedly complained that if the fuel crisis persists, it may affect its logistical operations. Now, add the scarcity of the new naira cash which is important to facilitate logistics, especially at the grassroots where cash use is prevalent. Any losing party may decide to trigger crises on the basis of an alleged sabotage due to the policies in question. This may spiral into bothersome uncertainty Mr. President.
If the purpose of the naira redesign is to stop politicians from using cash to influence the general elections, I am afraid it will be difficult to achieve because politicians belong to a class of elite who can always find their ways to achieve their aims. We have seen how dollars was used in the last presidential primaries, what then will stop them to not stack foreign currency to influence the election as an option if local currency in cash is not obtainable? It is the low income earners, the middle class and the underclasses that will be most affected and for the worse by these questionable policies. The likely consequence is that the electorate, largely the undecided and a chunk of the APC support base will vote against APC as a strong response. The opposition will seize every inch of the opportunity to campaign against the ruling party as the election draws near to which it cannot muster any potent response. By then, Your sworn enemies would have a higher chance of coming back to power which, this time, will be to smear all your achievements and APC’s future prospects.
What the earlier mentioned cohort within the ruling party and the corridors of power fail to factor in is what an Atiku Abubakar presidency portends in a post-Buhari era. If there is anything, both PDP and Atiku would not stop at anything to achieve their aims, if they find their way by any chance to the Presidency again; and this will include sustained attacks on your well-earned and well-known reputation, including your integrity and other worthy legacies. They will destroy APC as a party and restate the old order of a single national party. They will use the same cohort, their allies of necessity in question as scapegoats against the ruling party; they will hound all your appointees, they will create the most rehearsed and propagated rhetoric of a corrupt Buhari Administration for as long as they are in power until your name is completely soiled. They will do everything possible to show the world that you ran a corrupt government and they are likely to succeed because they have all the weapons at their disposal, including treacherous insiders. It may not be an Atiku, for instance, that will spearhead the onslaught but a dedicated PDP machine for the mission.
The majority of Nigerians know Your Excellency as a man of integrity and I too have no doubt you will leave no stone unturned to keep it before you exit power. Over the last eight years, you have redefined leadership, and selflessness, and set the stage for patriotism in the position of authority. You have carved your name in the annals of history for responsible governance. You fought corruption with a sustained tempo despite corruption fighting back, you reinvigorated the national infrastructural map of the country and you have stood tall above ridicule and stains that marred others before you. That job, Mr. President, you must conclude; you can only enjoy the continuation of your good work by ensuring another APC presidency succeeds you.
I am sure Your Excellency will do what is right to ensure the ruling party, APC emerges as a cohesive unit for the coming elections; and will emerge as he won yet again. Thank you, Mr. President.
GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA!
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