NAIJA NEWS: Open Letter To General Buhari and Bola Tinubu

(m) at 15-08-2013 08:39AM (6 years ago)

(62 | Newbie)




Dear Sirs, I hope this letter meets you in a good, patriotic
spirit. Let me first use this opportunity to join other Nigerians
in congratulating you on the registration of the alternative
party, the All Progressives Congress. Its registration by INEC
was a significant moment for Nigerians.
It, hopefully, signals a new dawn considering that, for once, a
truly national opposition party which has been elusive in the
Fourth Republic, appears to have emerged to challenge the
ruling party in 2015 and beyond.
In many ways too, the merger of the once disparate opposition
parties under a unifying bloc represents a milestone in the
quest for the enthronement of genuine democracy. That the
union has come at a time when this democracy is under
imminent threat of annihilation by anti-democratic forces
gives Nigerians cause to cheer. Now, they hope that the ruling
party will subsequently be held accountable and its excesses
curtailed. While also admitting that your union may not be a
gathering of saints, it nonetheless, represents a starting point.
It is the recognition of the role of a credible opposition that
Nigerians anxiously anticipated the success of the merger. No
wonder also that they celebrated its registration. The
widespread euphoria is at once a show of gratitude as well as
appreciation of your commitment. That you all agreed to
dissolve your existing parties to coalesce under a broad-based
opposition is the mark of true patriots. The sacrifices your
parties have made to bury individual egos and sectional
interests may well be what our country needs to move this
democracy forward. You will also have to agree with me that
Nigerians were initially sceptical when the opposition initiated
another merger plan. Do not blame them because the
nightmare of past disappointment is still fresh. On three
occasions, you let Nigerians down. The most significant was
the 2011 merger fiasco. Your failure to unite at the time is the
reason why our country in a mess today. Now, the APC
optimistically presents us with the opportunity to right the
wrongs of the last 14 years.
Of course, Nigerians know that this may not be a perfect
union, yet, they hope you may put your house in order to
challenge the Peoples Democratic Party’s 14 years’ misrule.
And they are waiting to show the power of their votes in the
next elections. They celebrated the APC because they want to
trust you. Having been battered, bruised and left in the lurch
by this government, they look forward to a new dawn in 2015
and beyond. Nigerians want security of lives and property,
regular power supply, good roads, better schools, quality
health care, end to ethnic strife, corruption and wasteful
government. Can your party deliver? Is the APC the new
messiah? Will your party put an end to this vicious circle of
poverty and oppression that is synonymous with this
government?
That is why both of you stand on the threshold of history.
That is why it is important that you must both realise your
place in history. Will you continue to act like true patriots to
ensure that the APC becomes a genuine opposition party? Can
both of you ditch your personal ambitions for the common
good? Nigerians are still worried about the danger your
political egos pose to the survival of the new party. Indeed,
there is a widely held belief that conflicts arising from clash of
egos may yet destroy this union. Knowing that the 2011
merger collapsed for this same reason gives cause for
concern. For example, there are already speculations that you,
Muhammadu Buhari, will present yourself as candidate again
in 2015? While I do not doubt your personal integrity, it is also
within your constitutional right to seek election.
But will your candidacy be politically wise in 2015? Rather
than fuel speculations about your possible candidacy, I will
suggest that your party begins a search for a younger
candidate with national appeal. This means that you must
accept to ditch your ambitions for the common good. That is
the mark of true patriots. The opposition cannot afford to
repeat the mistakes of the past. Nigerians have waited for this
moment. They yearn for better life in 2015. They hope to be
liberated from hunger, poverty and misery that have become
their lot with the ruling party. They want to see improvement in
their quality of life. They want to remove the horrible stigma of
a people living on less than one dollar a day. They also hope
that your party will save this country from hurtling down the
precipice plotted for it by the ruling party.
The APC can put an end to this circle of impunity in 2015. But
the road ahead will not be easy. In the words of the great Tai
Solarin, may your road be rough! There are still fundamental
issues your party has not resolved. These issues are the heart
of putting in place an enduring opposition that will outlive both
of you. First, Nigerians want to see an agenda that is different
from the PDP. They want to see how you intend to govern.
Thus, apart from shopping for credible candidates, your next
objective will be to show Nigerians how you intend to govern
differently. They do not want business as usual. Even while
they cannot wait to kick out the PDP in 2015, they do not want
a party that is a clone of the ruling party.
Now you have to figure out how you intend to resolve the
ideological differences you brought into this alliance. How
does your party intend to rule? How will the APC be different
in ideology? Will you continue the looting of our
commonwealth? Will you concentrate the wealth into the
hands of a few at the expense of the suffering masses? Will
you retain this expensive contraption called democracy or will
you cut down on the size of government? Our lawmakers are
said to be the highest paid globally. How do you intend to deal
with a wasteful National Assembly that is a clear burden on
the resources of this nation? What is your vision of the
economic development that will ensure no Nigerian is left
behind? Nigerians hope the APC will not continue this reckless
waste of public funds at all levels by the PDP. They are also
eager to see how you will address the age-long lopsided
federal structure that concentrates too much power at the
centre. If your party shows a clear path for nationhood,
Nigerians are ready to give you the benefit of the doubt.
The starting point will be to engage Nigerians in a continuous
debate about your manifesto. They want to see the APC’s road
map for the future. They are waiting to be convinced. It is not
enough to just assume you want to replace the ruling party.
Both of you have shown that you can make a difference. The
defunct Action Congress has demonstrated this in the South-
West. If the opposition party gets its act together, perhaps, our
country will be saved from this gradual descent into a state of
anomie. The judgment of history will be more than too harsh if
your generation fails to seize this moment.


By Bayo Olupohunda
([email protected])

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