My dear president, forgive my unfounded arrogance in addressing this note to you. I am only taking advantage of the example set by one of your predecessors who threw decorum to the wind and wrote you an open letter from the pit of hell. Sir, find solace in the fact that mine is from mansions of heaven and I am not bound by same rules that makes it impudent, careless and irresponsible for a former President to write a sitting president using media houses as means of delivery. I am just a common citizen of Lord Luggard’s Nigeria and your supporter, since 2011.
I traveled from my base in the Niger Delta to Awka in Anambra State then to Asaba and returned via Enugu-PH expressway in the course of looking for my daily bread. On my way to Owerri from PH I noticed that immediately after the signpost that says “welcome to Imo State, the road became unmotorable as Arab Contractors where no way to be found. From Assumpta roundabout in Owerri to Onitsha is probably the finest road in the South East currently. Obasanjo’s government constructed it. But from Onitsha to Enugu can best be described as a death trap set by enemies of the people to devour them. Onitsha to Asaba is a beauty to behold and I heard it was Governor Peter Obi that constructed that masterpiece of a road with your support, And then there is the Niger Bridge.
It was while on that Bridge for more than 45 minutes that I remembered this article published 31/8/12 with the caption: “I will go on exile if I don’t build Second Niger Bridge —President Jonathan”. Permit me to come back to this later sir.
Let me introduce myself sir. I am a tax paying citizen from South Eastern Nigeria. Ivoted for you in 2011 and also ensured that you got thousands of other votes from my ward in Abia State. Since then, I have come to admire your humility, focus and peaceful disposition. Many feel that I am “one of Jonathan’s vuvuzela” on facebook and in the media. But I doubt if that characterization is true because I am only a common man observing and relating events and policies to the past, present and future. That the preponderance of those observations favour you might well be the reason why they say what they say. I will live with it and allow history to judge.
Your Excellency, I have a problem only you can solve.
In the course of campaigning for you, I told my people that you are from a neighboring state, married to our daughter and know most of the problems in our area. I told them you have promised to build second Niger Bridge to ease access to the south east as well as dredge the River Niger to allow goods bearing ships to sail into Igboland. I told them you promised to make Akanu Ibiam Airport an international airport and Owerri Airport an international cargo airport. I told them you promised to fix Aba-Ikot Ekpene Highway, Port Harcourt Road in Aba, Enugu-PH highway, Umuahia-Ohafia highway, Enugu-Onitsha highway, Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Highway and Enugu-Abakiliki highway. I promised them that all Igbo will be protected wherever found in Nigeria and that you have assured of steady power supply latest 2014.
Everything I told them I heard from you in the course of your 2011 campaign to become Nigeria’s President.
Your Excellency Sir, of all the things I told them you will do, only Akanu Ibiam international Airport has been realized, albeit partially, because there is yet no completed new terminal building befitting an international airport and there is only one runway. Enugu-PH highway is currently undergoing rehabilitation (patching) especially within the Abia stretch while Ikot-Ekpene Road and others remain death traps. From opobo junction at Aba travelers must take a dangerous detour through unpaved rural roads before emerging at the akwa Ibom end of the highway. The Abia end of the Aba-Ikot Ekpene highway is simply an eye sore and communities have been cut off.
No single bag of cement has been mixed for construction of second Niger Bridge and given the 2015 deadline you gave above, it appears your enemies are finally going to send you on exile. While I pray that doesn’t happen, I don’t see how that bridge will be ready in less than 15 months to the end of your tenure. Please don’t let your opponents suggest Afghanistan as your new home in exile. They are counting months for you already.
My real reason for typing this letter is not to criticize your administration but rather to alert you on what is likely to happen within the next 12 months. I have heard the rumors of your intention to contest 2015 election and I have nothing against that given that you have the constitutional right to do so. Moreover, I do not think you have fared worse than your predecessors and actually believe you have out performed most of them. But I am aware of plots by those who believe the Presidency is their birthright to shove you aside “by all means possible” and regain their presidential birthright and prove to us that they reserve the right to decide who occupies that seat.
Yes, I know of all the booby traps they laid for you from day one including supporting a terrorist group to unleash mayhem on the country and force your government to spend valuable resources on a war on terror that non of your predecessors prepared the country for. I know about the heavily funded propaganda of lies against your government including attacks on key performers in your administration. They seem to be succeeding in rubbishing you before the people while tagging your pro-democracy intuition as “cluelessness”. They have even partially succeeded in dividing your home base by ensuring that you fail to diligently attend to issues that are important to your people like the East-West road and implementation of UNEP report on Ogoniland. Obviously you don’t want to be tagged a Niger Delta president and hence you have shown reluctance in dealing with genuine issues of concern to your own people. Thatn in my view, is a GROSS ERROR.
What I know is enough to make me vote for you in 2015 if you decide to run. My real headache is what I will tell my people that I convinced to vote for you in 2011. Most of your promises to them appears unfulfilled and inside presidential political voice mail..
Knowing how busy you are sir, I do not expect you to respond to this note. It will be enough to just ask Reuben Abati or any of your aides from the southeast to help list out for me what Ndigbo have benefited from your presidency vis-à-vis the massive support we gave you in the last election. Just a simple itemized lists of roads, bridges, power projects, seaports, airports etc completed in the east by the federal government will be enough. Completed projects only. I will simply copy and paste them in my brain and “vomit” to my people. If I can find 10 substansive things you have done for them, we will deliver minimum of 95% of Igbo votes in the South East and pan Nigeria to you.
As you are aware sir, the gang of political goons in the opposition APC consider breaking your backbone in the east a key task. I need not remind you that if they succeed your 2015 dreams will simply become a mirage, if truly you have such dreams. To achieve that task, they are ready to deceive my people with claims of “Azikiwe your brother has abandoned you and he did nothing for you”. They are even dangling a deceptive VP carrot to Ndigbo to induce us into abandoning you for them. Even when we suspect they have no intention of actualizing it and they continue to support and defend terrorists that are ever too happy to target our people all over Nigeria. We are now faced with making a decision of either dining with the devil we know or following the angels we know are devils.
If you examine the performance of your regime in the south east sir, you will certainly come to the conclusion that a lot is left undone and must be done before October 2014. The best time to start the second Niger Bridge is NOW. The best time to start reconstructing the above listed roads is YESTERDAY.
Fulfill your 2011 promises and you will not need to give money to any Igbo leader or group as alleged by a certain Joe Igbokwe of Lagos State. The N1.6b allegedly deployed to induce our leaders in 2011 is enough to fix Aba-Ikot Ekpene Highway and make it better than Owerri-Onitsha Highway. The money reserved for pacification Massob can also construct Enugu-Onitsha highway and make it a campaign promise fulfilled. We, ordinary Ndigbo, will back you to success if we see that your government has fulfilled it’s promises to us. Just like I personally mobilized thousands of voters for you in 2011, many of us will do same in 2015 if you do the needful.
If you don’t, I will simply walk alone to the polling booth like a Liverpool fan and cast my solitary vote for you and return home to watch Chelsea maul their opponents that saturday.
At the moment, we your supporters in the southeast do not know how to convince our people to vote for you in 2015 because of those unfulfilled promises. Tell us what to tell them by simply doing what you promised. We sure don’t wish for you to go on exile as a result of a failed promise made without any gun pointing at your head.
If you don’t respond quickly awusa will enter Awka through Owerri o.
Ya gazie, Mr President.