Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dear President Goodluck Jonathan, I Am Not Going To Flatter You

Dear President Goodluck Jonathan,
I am not going to flatter you and I have no apologies or regrets for saying the truth whether you care about criticisms or not.
I will not join the bandwagon of sycophants who prefer to flatter you and pay you eye service and lip service to curry your favour.
I am not a member of the opposition and I am not a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
I am not a member or sympathizer of the New PDP, because I believe in one PDP, one Nigeria. Because as our Lord and Messiah Jesus Christ said: A house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:22-28, New King James Version (NKJV). So, they are just wasting their time. The sooner they reconcile with the bona fide PDP, the better instead of heating the polity.
Yes, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, CON, was once my boss, but I have not seen him since 1990 when I was an active aide in the publicity department of his presidential campaign before the June 12 crisis.

Your excellency, no human is as excellent as the Almighty God who alone is the perfect excellency. So, if anyone criticizes us mere mortals for our imperfections, we should not say we don't give a damn.
It is better to swallow a bitter pill that will heal you than eat sweet that is nothing but sugar that will do you more harm than good in the long run.
When you do good, I will commend you.
But when you err, I will also point it out to you.

Following ignorant Christians to Israel on their pilgrimage to hit your head on the Western Wall in the midst of the Old City in Jerusalem has nothing to do with Christianity, because our Messiah Jesus Christ never commanded us to do so.
As the government wastes millions of naira of public funds on sponsoring religious pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem, our beloved tourist attractions in Nigeria are neglected and left in ruins. And the best our honourable minister and director-general of tourism and culture can do is organizing costume parades called carnivals that have little or nothing to do to boost our cultural heritage. Nigeria is not Brazil.

The power reforms are fine. But no applause for you until I see those who forced Prof. Bart Nnaji to resign from your cabinet closing their generator shops and looking for more patriotic jobs to do than fishing in troubled waters like your kinsmen posing as Niger Delta militants in the polluted creeks and worsening the cases of crude of thefts and you know those who are the kingpins of illegal oil exports from our shores.
Those errand boys paraded on television and on the pages of newspapers are not the real oil thieves.
The real criminals are their paymasters and their private bank accounts in local and foreign banks are enough to catch them.
They know themselves and are members of the same club.
Of course, the importers of generators and oil thieves are partners in crime.

Your Excellency, the resolution of the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not a herculean task and lest we forget, you have also joined similar strikes when you were a lecturer and if you of all people who should know better cannot solve the recurrent problems doing collateral damage to government tertiary institutions, then millions of Nigerian students who voted to elect you have wasted their votes.
Strike or no strike, the state of government schools in general is pathetic.
Hostels on campuses are not better than urban ghettos and the horrible conditions of their toilets will make any normal person faint.
I cannot understand why there should be lack of regular supply of water on campuses when sinking boreholes is not rocket science and every hostel can sink as many boreholes as possible and solar power installations on campuses can provide power supply for the benefit of both the students and others on campuses.
Installing solar panels is a great way to save money on electricity bills. And we have more than enough sunlight in our hot climate to generate solar energy.

Your excellency, another problem giving me nightmares is the nauseating state of both the military and police barracks.
If you go on tour of these barracks, you will be heart broken, except you have no shame or scruples.
Majority of our military and police barracks are not fit for human accommodation and most of them are now overcrowded with broken down bathrooms and toilets and I weep to see what the innocent children of military and police officers are suffering in these inhuman living conditions.
The solution is simple.
The total renovation of dilapidated military and police barracks.
Give direct contacts for the renovation to Julius Berger and other proven construction firms to make them modern military and police barracks and also install solar panels in every block and on every street in the barracks.
When we improve the living conditions of our military and police officers; pay them better wages, it will boost their morale; they will be well fed; well trained and well kitted to do their best in law enforcement duties and defending the precious lives and properties of the citizens of Nigeria.

Your excellency, if you have really done well for government hospitals, then why should you and your beloved First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan spend millions of dollars on foreign medical trips with other top public officials?
The N250bn Nigeria spends annually on medical tourism is more than enough to make our own hospitals among the best in the world.
And the best way to begin is to increase the funding for our medical colleges and I want all medical students in Nigeria to be on full government scholarship, because we need more medical doctors and we have to train more and poverty should not stop any brilliant student from studying medicine locally with the best facilities.

Your excellency, you deserve more accolades for the billions of naira you have invested in Nollywood and Kannywood. But many people say you are simply pampering our actors, actresses and other practitioners in the motion picture business in Nigeria to mobilize them for your selfish political interests. Well, as far as I can see, the few beneficiaries were not asked for their memberships of the PDP. But, I would prefer you increase the N3b grant to N300b; to give grants to those who want to invest in building more cinemas or movie theaters and studios, because mass producing CDs and DVDs of our movies will not create more jobs. Only building more cinemas and film studios will create millions of jobs like the motion picture industry in America that employs more than 2.1 million workers, including costume designers to make-up artists, stuntmen to set builders, writers to actors, accountants to dry cleaners and contributes more than $175 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
Do you know that the global entertainment industry is worth more than $1. 23 trillion. And we have the largest market in Africa and so Nigeria should be making billions of dollars and not asking for your handouts.

Your excellency, that is all I have to tell you now until further notice.
I wish you the best as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And don't tell me you don't give a damn.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, prize winning writer and Author of "In the House of Dogs", "The Prophet Lied" and other books. He is also the Founder of the annual Eko International Film Festival, Publisher/Editor of Nigerians Report Online, CEO, International Digital Post Network Limited, CEO, Screen Outdoor Open Cinema, CEO, Nigeria IMAX Project, Executive Director of Screen Naija One Village, One Cinema Project and CEO, of King of Kings Books International.

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