An Open Letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue of currency shortage occasioned by the Naira redesign written by Lanre Oyegbola
Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, I am writing this open letter to challenge your conscience and also to call your attention to what you intend to bequeath to the generations coming after you. The first thing that jumped at me is your most recent interview with a news channel suggesting that you want to leave a legacy. This raises some questions Sir, and I hope that you’ll attempt to answer them conscientiously.
Sir, can legacies with negative impact be considered a legacy? The progressive party is about to implode under your leadership, the economy is consistently struggling, the purchasing power parity is worsening by the day and the tension for dangerous revolt is at an unprecedented high; yet The President speaks of legacy. I dare say, what legacy?
Whatever Mr. President is doing, and considers to be in the best interest of Nigerians is worrisome. It is glaring that it is in the interest of those who are in the corridors of power in the Villa. To be honest, I feel that Mr. President has much he’s living for and desires to be celebrated in life and even in death, just like the late Nelson Mandela.
The challenge is that Nigeria is getting tougher by the day and this is not consistent with your claim of leaving a legacy, a positive one for that matter.
Sir, the platform you stood on to become the President has been weakened right in your very own eyes and you’re trying to be a self glorifying hero. Hero of destructive agenda or what sir? These calls for a search of conscience, Sir.
The multitude of poor people in the North of Nigeria that has led their lives believing in Buhari and celebrating him are now throwing stones at the same person on the streets of Katsina and Kano and yet Sir, you’re still speaking of legacy, which legacy?
The legacy of hardship. The legacy of betrayal. The legacy of injustice and oppression. The legacy that will make the South never to trust the North for generations to come. The legacy that reminds us all of Mr. President's first time as Military Head of State. The legacy that reminds that the same detached, nonchalant, wicked, and inhumane policies and programmes of 1984 as those we are seeing now? The legacy that has rendered the farmer poorer and the petty trader penniless?
President Buhari Sir, would you love to be remembered for these legacies? Would you allow your good works to become rubbished by some evil people around power? Your achievements in the last 7 plus years are beginning to fade away so quickly and you don’t care? Is this the kind of legacy you want to be remembered for? Sir, time is of essence to make a u-turn, swallow your pride, live by your honour, change direction in consideration of the poor people you’ve always stood and fought for.
Anything less than this would mean you’re who they have called you. It will only attest to the fears of those who had said you weren’t a good choice for Aso Rock in the first place. It will justify the convictions of your long old rivals and enemies. Sir, you’re not going to do this and make them have the last word. Nigeria can’t go down under you and Nigeria can’t return to military rule from your time. The signs are too glaring that a crisis is looming, constitutional breakdown is inevitable if things don’t abate quickly.
Again sir, permit me to ask, what would you love to be remembered for. And I’d say if this is what is intended of you, then you’re probably not your real self anymore. The Buhari we know is pro-masses, not their enemy. Mr President Sir, those who are coming with policies without fall back plans in a country where more than 80% of its population depends on cash for daily survival where the average income is less than a dollar a day, and then they’ve subjected the system to a shock they can’t handle and never really planned for are obviously not working your script.
Let’s even assume they are Sir, and seeing the reactions, seeing the way your people are suffering to get by, then is your conscience not bothered that this policy seem wrong somehow and needs a tweaking? Isn’t the realities not pointing to a crisis being masterminded in some quarters really very close to you and those whose real intentions are not exactly your script? Mr President Sir, I feel you don’t need a seer to tell you this. Mr President Sir, I feel you don’t need a security report more than what has happened in Ibadan, Benin and Osogbo. In banking halls and in banking premises, it is sad to note that violent protest worse than EndSARS looms.
The question Sir is why would you want another protest? Or rather why would you wait another 7 days to allow a bad situation to get worse before taking a decisive action? Why would you wait till Nigeria boils and we get into another violent protests and public peace, security and safety is strained before you take a position? Sir, there are endless whys. Emergencies requires rapid responses, not long winding considerations. And truth be told, Sir, those who led you here, they’re not noble enough to advise otherwise. They’ll tell you Nigerians will soon cope and move on. Ha Mr President this is not going to be a moving on matter with what has been happening in the last 3 days.
A stitch in time they say saves lives. Sir you don’t seem to have 7 or 8 days to respond to the call by those who genuinely loves you. Those governors who came to speak with you Sir are the ones who truly want you to have a legacy and a positive one for that matter. You’ve done well in infrastructural development in Nigeria, you’ve taken this to every region and haven’t stopped. This is legacy Sir, and this is time to consolidate that with a positive impact on the people of Nigeria and not to force an elitist policy on the masses and talakawas in this country.
Sir, the policy might be good in itself, but the timing isn’t, the process is fraught with many problems and risks. The champions have no mitigation plans. It’s now almost becoming like this whole brouhaha is for pecuniary gains for some, and in their own at getting back at someone or for them to make room for someone seeing that we are approaching the elections and the party you lead, the party that brought you to power is now seen as anti-people, anti-farmers, anti-students, anti-traders. Then how can you exonerate yourself Sir from the suspicion of clandestinely deliberately rupturing the goodwill of the party? The question is but why sir?