Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT - 2
The Golden Future, The Promise of our New Generation, Must Start Now.
We Cannot Wait!
Permit me to ask you a simple but very important question. How badly do you need debt forgiveness for Nigeria?
For a start, I would like to summarize my first open letter to you, which was published on May 26, 2004 in the Punch.
In it, I pleaded with you to start, very quickly, the development of a very feasible but bold, imaginative, ambitious and aggressive Architectural Master Plan (AMP) for a New Nigeria for the very reason that NEEDS, though good in many aspects, is woefully inadequate for we need more of a feasible vision than just meticulous bean counting.
This AMP, I stated, would comprise of political, economic and social components that would essentially seek to clean and fumigate the current political space and pull down the current political structure, which has been impounded and occupied by a selfish political class that is corrupt and whose bane and strength are derived from being ethno-geographically exploitative; blow up the present economic foundation that is most outdated and operating under an inflexible and unwieldy Top-Down Structured Model (TDSM); spiritually heal the nation; bind us together in love and end all ethno-religious conflicts; inspire us to make very serious sacrifices; inject fresh blood into a dead political body; and prepare us to compete, by utilizing our extreme competitive and comparative advantages and the establishing of a new, flexible and efficient OODPM-based economy, in the new world economic order of financial, trade and investment liberalization that is facilitated by a nanosecond-paced ICT development.
In that letter, I thanked you for some of the strategic appointments you made and for a good but albeit incomplete and unbalanced economic management team which has economy accountants and financial managers running the economy in a mono-gig mode. The intimidating presence of the Finance Minister and the CBN Governor should at least be counterbalanced by the insertion of an Industrial maverick and an Infrastructure guru into the Economic Management Team. Again, more vision less bean counting!
I also encouraged you to be more aggressive and bold in changing the face of your cabinet. We need more alpha-technocrats not inflated airheads and drop dead weights. The role of ambassadors should change. We are not developed enough to use our strategic ambassadorial posts for political patronage purposes. I, with due respect, also warned you of the possibility of ending up with a failed leadership and a bad legacy.
Sir, you can cry, weep, howl, wail, squawk, squall to the Breton Wood Institutions (BWI), the Paris Club and the G8 till you are blue in the face; Ngozi and Charlie can reform the economic or maximize capital efficiency all they want; Bono the Irish musician could promise to compose a potential Grammy winning song in honor of all the leaders of all the Western donor and lending countries who would forgive us our debts. If the political efficiency does not improve to reach a high but sustainable threshold, Nigeria, in the immediate future, is not going to get any substantial debt forgiveness that would help pull and lift her from the abyss of poverty. Simple!
Look at it this way and I would like you to be fair. Would you forgive the debt of a country whose leading members of the political class were once treasury looters? Would you forgive the debt of a country that is the 2nd most corrupt nation on this earth? What major justification would any Western leader offer to her country for granting us a relief? May I remind you that each western leader lives in a country were there is free press, freedom of information law and where proper justification for an action such as debt relief is the norm. All it would take to end a western leader’s political career is for the opponents and an experienced media to dig up the foreign bank accounts and assets information of some of the leaders and members of Nigeria’s corrupt political class.
Hence, the Western donors and lenders are not only watching our economic reform, they are also monitoring the movement and the positioning of the members of the corrupt political class. After all, what are the embassies here for? They are reading papers like: www.dawodu.com
In all our debt woes we refuse to blame ourselves. We blame our leaders for being thieves and criminals when it was us who egged them on. Maybe we have forgotten how we use to chant and dance to the political jingles: “NPP Power; Power to the People”; “NPN – One Nation, One Destiny”. We handed the power to loot to the political elite and now they have come to make us realize, under the guise of SNC, that we cannot be one nation anymore for each tribe or nation must determine her own destiny.
Modern high-tech “sokopi” we are and must continue to be, now, listening to these miserable folks, who are seeking relevance, telling us to come to a feast called SNC at which Nigeria, our beloved country must be poisoned to death. Stopping at nothing, we call the Western nations, IMF, World Bank, Paris Club, G8, EU shylocks and shysters, forgetting they watched our leaders, inspired by us, hand down hyper-inflated meaningless contracts to their wicked cronies and recklessly loot the treasury. “Poor us”, we cry, “hapless victims in the hands of wicked tyrants and callous manipulators”. I believe the wise and godly man who stated thus:
…the rulers of the people are the expression of the life and ambition of the people. We fix on the mountain-peak characters and say they are to blame, but God holds the people themselves responsible also. The people are never exonerated for having bad rulers; the reason they have bad rulers is that they are bad people. Those who rule the people do not autocratically crush them, the people are their inspirers; they are the rulers the people deserve.
Sir, we have some serious repenting to do and we desperately need a spiritual healing of the nation before things can begin to mend for the good. At some point, we have to stop mocking God.
It is all well and good that Ngozi and Charlie are trying to out-reform the corrupt ruling class from the political stage by removing incentives that have sustained a rentier state. However, we shall be waiting real long and hard for the diehards of the ruling class to leave the political arena. By then, China would have been much further ahead in establishing a permanent and unassailable beachhead as the world’s industrial and manufacturing factory.
What is the strategy to keep NEEDS going past 2007? Who are the political backers and staunch supporters of NEEDS who are strategically placed to make sure NEEDS continues? Probably, you are counting on the BWI to force the hand of the next administration into keeping NEEDS? Do not bet on it! The only option you have, for now, is to tackle the political inefficiency head on. If you do not, those who hate you would definitely redefine and rewrite your legacy. You would not particularly like the outcome!
In addressing, in my first open letter, the political inefficiency that plagues us, I requested that you have to begin to inform your colleagues – military, customs, police and political hogs, hacks and goons of the old order (retired, ex, First, Second, Third and Fourth Republics) – to understand that it is time for most of them to vacate the political space and honorably and sacrificially, for the good of the country, walk out into the twilight night of political old age and retirement.
All you did after that was request to resign if that would facilitate debt forgiveness. You are missing the point for God appointed and mandated you to get us out of Egypt and you are yet to, while dithering, present yourself before Pharaoh – your colleagues – to make a case for the people of Nigeria to go (Exodus 1 – 12:36) serve the nation without fear in holiness and uprightness. In the Council of Jehovah, this is not a laughing matter! God’s patience and longsuffering has a limit too!
Sir, the Spirit of God will not strive with you for very long. Remember, there is a heavenly mandate waiting to initiate action. The weeping and wailing of the suffering poor faithful in innumerable night vigils is weighing on God’s patience. You have not as much as given them anything symbolic to hold on to while they wait for your economy accountant’s bean-counting miracle. Meanwhile, Oshiomhole is having a field day thumping his nose at you while you are miserably complaining about Labor to other AU leaders. A strategist that he is, Oshiomhole played the international card by calling his comrades in the US, while your advisers did not have any geopolitical answer for him. With your tail between your legs you beat a retreat. How humiliating for a gallant soldier like you! Get rid of a lot of your ministers and harem of barren advisers, most of whom are airheads and deadweights and bring in the alpha-technocrats who have a better world view and more than anything else can deliver and not just “tiok”. That is one symbolic move that would send a message that things are changing.
It seems your advisers do not know much about the concept of news cycle. Dominate the news by one symbolic move, move immediately on fuel price increase and give yourself a breather for the next move, while you confuse your opponents. It is not deception. It is called strategy of triangulation.
Please, I beg you by the mercies of God to move very quickly before you end up worse than worst of your predecessors. If you doubt me then seek a true council prophet and not a court prophet. There is a big difference: Those who are privileged to attend and listen-in in the council of God like Micaiah (1 Kings 22:19-22, Jeremiah 23:18,22) and those who just only hear what a voice is telling them.
Again, in my previous open letter to you, I called for the immediate selection of 144 SMART (Simple, Moral, Articulate, Responsible and Transparent) All-Nigerians who would be tasked with the responsibility for coming up with the AMP, which would have a political component. These SMART All-Nigerians and more like them would be tagged to replace the old order politicians who would definitely retire. That should be your game plan and strategy!
Love him or hate him, King Nebuchadnezzar was one of the master-strategists in the Bible. I am most certain that he had his own old political hogs, hacks and goons. However, when it came to unlocking the mystery of his vision he turned to the SMART Hebrew kids. Please learn and employ that strategy.
In the book of Daniel, he called on one of his advisers …to introduce into the palace some of the Israelites who belonged to the royal family and the nobility, youths who had no bodily blemish, who were good-looking, intelligent in all branches of knowledge, adepts in learning, accomplished scholars, and competent to take their place in the king’s palace; they were to be taught the literature and the language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily share of the delicacies he ate and of the wine he drank. For three years they were to be trained, and at the end of that period they were to attend upon the king. …Daniel, however, did not intend to be contaminated with the king’s food or with the wine he drank..
Note the highlighted phrases. This is the wisdom of a master administrator and it paid off in Daniel, a man with an excellent spirit, who later became Prime Minister. What should you get out of the above: These 144 SMART All-Nigerians must be political virgins whom you would have to groom, within the three years that is left of your divine mandate, to assume political command of Nigeria.
That is how you are going to inject fresh blood into a dead and corrupt political body. These 144 SMART All-Nigerians, who would be taught the language and gospel of the New Nigeria, would turn around to spread this gospel and make more SMART disciples of their fellows. That is how you back up any economic reform such as NEEDS politically and for the long haul. That is also how you show the world at large that Nigeria is on the mend and deserves debt forgiveness.
You have been looking for an answer to the on-going SNC agitation. I have just given it to you without saying much. Very good strategy! Think hard about it. Just triangulate.
I find it very irritating when some of your advisers call the SNC advocates stupid without offering a compelling reason against or an alternative solution to the SNC. Worse still, telling us to accept the current constitution with some future amendments is suicidal. What we have is not a constitution but an unworkable agreement on how to share the national cake at the discretion of the political elite and looters.
Every constitution must be judged by the quality of people who wrote it and whether it fits the times in which it is operating. Old order politicians and ethno-geographic entrepreneurs who are definitely ignorant of the new world economic order wrote the current constitution. All their thinking then was: How does my tribe or nation get an equitable portion of the national cake? Their goal being: to bring the potential loot nearer home!
Their kind of thinking, to borrow a NASS lingo, is what one would term as a primitive-local-analog-economic-thinking. They are not alone in that deep funk listening to that old-order but notorious and seductive jazz, called decentralized and loose federation, which has deceived and stagnated nations. A good case in point, they love to cite, is Venezuela that is now on her 26th constitution and counting.
Please, Sir, call a day of National Prayer and Fasting so that we can bind and cast out this spirit that has put many of our fine minds, whom I deeply respect and love very much, in such a deep funk. God have mercy!
One sure counterargument is that the day, and it must surely come, the North or Middle Belt finds oil we shall be back at the table to argue on another brand new constitution. These SNC advocates must understand that they are walking us into a minefield trap of an endless cycle of constitutional review, reconstruction and rewrite.
I stand with you in your resistance to the SNC but for very different reasons. I just want your advisers to start debating these SNC advocates on issues. However, you all are handicapped because you do not have a game plan than silence and reacting which is very dangerous because all it does is to overheat the body politic. You need more than NEEDS! You need to be armed with an AMP!
Yet again, I find it difficult to understand why you insist that any political restructuring and realignment must be done through NASS. While the SNC advocates are caught up in a deep funk listening to the old jazz, NASS is in no better shape as many of her members have seemingly been in a long and heavy rhythmic “ajasco” comic dance listening to Uwaifo’s “Joromi”. What we have is not a National Assembly but a Joromi Assembly (JASS). God have mercy on us! How many times have they changed leadership because of corruption, lies and indecency? Bad people with bad values deserve bad leadership! Can there any good thing come out of JASS?
Sir, what I am also advocating for is a political restructuring and realignment, within the context of an AMP, that would de-emphasize nations’ or states’ rights and privileges but enthrone a charter of each citizen’s rights, seek to spiritually heal the land and nation, bind us together in love for each other and country and end all ethnic and religious conflicts as we know them, inspire us to make serious sacrifices and prepare us to compete, while extracting and utilizing our extreme competitive and comparative advantages and maximizing our essential efficiencies, in a new world economic order.
You have to give the new generation All-Nigerians a chance to chart the future course of Nigeria. Our salvation would not come from the traditional chiefs and the so-called leaders of thought serving in the committee on national conference you constituted some time ago. I mean no offence and with due respect I state: they have no clue of the world we live in. It is no longer about Tribal or Nation Developmental Economics. Those days are past. We live in a new world economic order.
While decentralized and loose federation has always been very fashionable, I am calling for, at the very risk of being misunderstood, a very strong center under the elected leadership of a New All-Nigerian generation armed with successive e-SMART (electronic - Simple, Moral, Accountable, Responsive, Transparent) governments that would last for a period of 10 – 15 years, while we build the needed basic macro infrastructure for an OODPM-based industrial economy. After this period we can begin to formally but slowly decentralize. Nobody would understand this model till it is completely and thoroughly explained. It is just simply the best and will work only with a SMART leadership.
In my previous letter, I promised the following dividend as part of an AMP:
The above dividend is the big difference between the AMP and any other plan or strategy. Therein lies my mark and seal as the apostle of the Gospel of a New Nigeria.
Finally, I would point out to you once again: the window of opportunity is fast closing! Be strong and of a good courage! It is the man who has stuck true to God in doing the right thing and damned the consequences who will come out the best. Please start moving quickly and with a very strident beat too, for
The Golden Future, The Promise of Our New Generation, Must Start Now. We Cannot Wait!
Ohakwe Akwiwu Economy Research Institute (OHAERI)
(The Foundation: Colossians 2 vs 3)
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.