7 Tulip Dr Apt. 1 K
Fords, NJ 08863
His Excellency, Umaru Yaradua,
President and commander – in – chief
Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Aso Rock Presidential Villa,
Abuja , Federal Capital Territory,
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your victory at the last election, I pray that your tenure will be peaceful and prosperous in God’s name. The grace of God has given you this position. It probably was not your life goal to one day find yourself as the President of Nigeria. But the Almighty God has a way of bringing about His plans. He only enthrones and dethrones; He chooses whoever He wants to fill a position of authority on earth. There is no King, President or any ruler who is elected or selected, even those who got to power by force that God is not aware of. Therefore, your victory, either by election or by selection, God knows about it, and He expects great performance.
Almighty God expects a high standard of exercises from anybody in the position of authority to rule over a nation such as Nigeria, the most blessed and the most complex nation in the world. The nation has had 12 Nigerians who have occupied presidency since independence; some spent their term, some over stayed their term, while others short lived their term. Many of these Heads of state are today hailed as heroes, because there was peace during their reign; while some, out of shame cannot show themselves in the public, because the evil they perpetrated follows and chases them around. It is evident that the King who reigned when there was peace and that which reigned when there was no peace; both will have their names written in the book of reckoning.
I have my conviction that your time will be peaceful and prosperous in the country by the special grace of God.
Your Excellency, I have these few suggestions for you which I believed that the spirit of the Almighty God inspired them in my mind. You are a leader, of one of the most populous countries in the world that is characterized with so many evils. It is not going to be an easy task as you already know, but it could be easy if you will take the advice in this missive.
The Holy Book declares that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. For any ruler to be successful in ruling over this nation, the first thing to do is to govern with the fear of God. It is through the fear of God that you will be endowed with the spirit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. These three virtues are a necessity to rule a country that is multi-cultural, multi-customed, multi-traditional; educated, semi-educated; people of religious sects; and the rich and the poor.
Sir, I don’t care what people may think of you now, or whatever may be your strength or weakness, the standard of God for any body to rule is not based on human standard. But your ability to seek and listen to God’s lead and instructions matter most. Now that you have been chosen, you are to serve the flock ( Nigeria citizens) that God has committed to your care: To serve, not to be served. You are to lead the nation to green pasture and to protect them from “man beasts” that will eat and would not allow others to eat. Most of the presidents that we’ve had recently did enslave the masses! How? The nation’s wealth that should have been enjoyed by all and to develop the country, was hoarded by them and their subordinates to build an empire of slave owners.
AREAS THAT MUST RECEIVE YOUR ATTENTION
As a wise leader, who has credible credentials, you need to X-ray the performance of past Presidents and find out what was/were responsible for their failure to move the country forward. As a wise President, it is not enough to formulate policies, sign bills, and dish out money to execute projects, but most importantly, ensuring the standard compliance and successful execution. For most of my life, I lived around people at the grass root and I know how they live and what they lack. Most past Presidents did not know the needs of the people, while some did, but they still failed to respond to these needs, or probably they responded and did not monitor proper execution of relevant initiatives.
Sir, I know you are not ignorant of these areas of need, but as a reminder, I will discuss fully on one and briefly mention others. They are in 3 categories.
- Better living standard for the citizens
- Technological development
- Internal security of the nation
BETTER LIVING STANDARD FOR THE CITIZENS
Transportation system of a country is one of the most important factors that help to boost internal trade and commerce. The smallest village in our country should not be deprived of a tarred road. The good economy of a country starts from the farm. The food we consume, the tree crops for the industries and exports come from the farm. Why should this vital source of our economy be neglected? Why should we discouraging people from engaging in farming?
Most roads in the country are in deplorable conditions. Also, most road contracts are either not properly done or are not done at all. At this point in time in Nigeria, there should not be any surface dressing of road with tar and sand which many state Governors claimed to be road constructions in many states. Asphalting is the modern way of constructing road and it should not be less than 6 inches in thickness. This is the only way that a road constructed would last for a long time. An example of good road construction is the type constructed under the administration of Brigadier – General Samuel Ogbemodia in the defunct Mid-Western state.
Whether a road is well constructed or poorly built, one major problem with our road today is lack of maintenance. I have travelled far and wide in Nigeria; one problem I saw constantly is poor maintenance of these roads. There are many roads that are half covered with brushes on the two sides of the road. Many gouges on our roads would have been prevented if they were maintained when it was still a pothole, before it degenerated to the state of utter disrepair. My question now is this, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ROAD MAINTENANCE?
The role of maintenance after construction must be clearly delineated. The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) is a lame duck establishment whose work is invisible. This department has to be probed, let the management explain what happens to the money that has been voted for maintenance of roads all these years. Somehow, the money voted for road maintenance, how has it been spending its budget? Why should the country, be spending unending huge amount on these roads when something smaller and manageable could have done.
“Save the penny, the pound will take care of itself”
Railroad should be seriously looked into as it is one of the cheapest forms of transportation system. It should connect all major cities, especially, the state capitals. It saddening to note that there has not been any expansion neither has there been any improvement on what was handed over to us by the colonial master.
It is also distressing to note that Nigeria as the leading nation in Africa is unable to maintain an air carrier. Trade and commerce of any nation would only flourish well when the transportation network system is in place and effective. Again, the major problem with us is poor maintenance culture and this is the time to tackle it once and for all.
The only way our people can be content with the present standard of living is for them to feed well. For a person to be healthy is to feed well. I know the government is encouraging our farmers to produce more food crops, but their output is way below the consumption rate. Nigeria population is on the rise every day, while the numbers of farmers is reducing. Many people can not afford a tin of rice talk less of a loaf of bread. I would therefore advise that your government should not ban the importation of staple food like rice, wheat, chicken, turkey and fish. Do not stop importation of these common foods which our farmers cannot produce enough to feed our people.
Your administration should continue to encourage the present farmers and assist new graduates from schools of agriculture to engage in mechanized farming in order to boost food crop locally. Gradually we will reduce importation until we are self-sufficient. Do not restrict importation to giant merchants only, whereby they exploit the masses and charged them exorbitant prices for which they cannot afford. But under strict monitoring and inspection, let the importation be opened to who ever can afford the importation.
On health, I congratulate the NDLEA on their recent raid of fake drugs at Onitsha market; that was a good start and should continue all over Nigeria. Fake drugs and goods are not only produced at Onitsha, but they are all the country. Nigeria has become a “fertile” dumping ground for unscrupulous Asian fake drug manufacturers, e.g. China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia etc. they dump fake drugs on Nigeria thereby causing weakening of the productive capacity of our work force. Life expectancy is ever shortening in Nigeria. As a responsible Leader, you can not afford to do nothing about this sabotage.
Mr. President, our hospitals are still technologically under developed. Many obsolete machines and equipment are still in use. If only for the sake of preventing loss of lives, our hospitals must be equipped and stuffed with genuine drugs at an affordable cost for the masses.
If Nigeria wants to move with the pace of the upward trend at which technology is all over the world, electricity, next to better living of the people, should be a priority. Electricity has to run 24 hours every day without interruption. Those countries which manufacture generator or generator merchants would always stand to discourage any attempt to improve on this. The love of our country should be our foremost interest, without 24 hours of electricity on daily basis it will be difficult to move along with the world.
Sir, retrieve all our refineries that are sold and repair them. It will pay us better. Nigeria can sell refined oil too, why should we buy? Those who bought these refineries are the enemies of the country and the slave masters who have been hampering the progress of the country Nigeria.
INTERNAL SECURITY OF THE NATION
My comment will not be complete without raising with you the internal security of our nation. As big as the United States of America is today, the internal security of that nation lies mostly in the hands of the Police, FBI and the Homeland security. Much of the problems we have in the country today are caused by the inefficiency and corrupt practices of the police and SSS. The police department needs overhauling. Somehow, somewhere, something is wrong with the structure, whether it is the centralized system that needs to be decentralized; is it that the salary of the police is too small; or something has to be done so the department would not pull down Nigeria to the bottom. We need men of integrity, good working and brilliant corps.
I cannot imagine any salary scale that will prevent the police from being corrupt; however, I have the following recommendations
- The minimum salary of a private should not be lees than that of a fresh university graduate, which I believe is reasonable enough.
- Let them be paid promptly, at least on or before the 25 th of every month.
- The department needs to be equipped to measure up to today’s world police sophisticated gadgets; this will enable them to perform effectively.
- Federal government to be responsible for their uniform, this commands respect.
Nigeria is full of many law breakers, effective performance of the department will finance itself through fines realized from the offenders. The department must be tasked to find a lasting solution to the crime rate, especially the armed robbery syndrome that has captivated the masses from freedom of movement either by day or by night. The police officers know the bases and the robbery barons, give them ultimatum to fish them out.
Internal security will not be complete without mentioning the judiciary department. A nation where the judiciary is deprived of its responsibilities can never settle or have peace. The Bible says that righteousness exalts a nation. Where injustice, unrighteousness, dishonesty, corruption, diverse frauds, armed robbery, and among many other social evils reigned; and the judiciary is deprived or failed to dispense justice to rid the land of these beasts, there would never be progress and peace.
Judiciary must be independent, it is an arm of the government and it is an institution to check all the excesses of the other arms. But because of corruption, the department became a prey to the presidency and the legislature.
Mr. President, for your administration to be effective and productive, it is necessary to have a special monitoring unit directly under the presidency which will be monitoring effectiveness and thorough execution of all projects contracted out. This monitoring unit will have branches in all the states and local government. The head of this unit shall be responsible to you alone and not to be placed under any ministry or supervised by any ministry. As I said earlier, poor infrastructural maintenance culture is one of our problems in Nigeria. I would advise that ministry workers should not be involved in this department. My recommendation will be teachers whose cadre should be between level 12 to 14, not a principal. Those who have tasted embezzlement would not function well in this effort.
I am not trying to teach you on what to do but this is a piece of advice, because I believe that you have the capability to run the affairs of this country if you rule with the fear of God. Lay the foundation for a legacy that is based on the fear of God, justice and accountability. Let the laws and the constitution of the land respects no person, be an example for the present and future generations to emulate. The situation now is not to see yourself as a politician, but an administrator who is chosen by God who has the affairs of this country in his hands to run. Avoid being misdirected by people, who seek their own interest, the interest of every citizen should consume you.
Do not overwhelm yourself with too many things at a time but focus on the essentials enumerated above. Assuming you are spending only one term, let people remember you for one good thing that improves the living standard of every citizen. If you focus on uninterrupted electricity, if that is what you can achieve for that four years, please do so, you will be remembered for that.
The nation is looking up to you as a God sent repairer to repair the damages that have been done to this nation by our past leaders and their entourage. Lay a good foundation upon which the future can be built.
Do not think of yourself your party or that a former President has put you there, they are human beings, believe me or not, they can undo you. But if you rely and rule in the fear of God, no man will be able to dethrone you and success shall be yours
I wish Mr. President God’s guidance and directive.
Long live Nigeria
God bless Nigeria.
With utmost regards,
Elder Lawrence B Abitogun.