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Dear President Buhari, your voice note is a quit notice

Dear President Buhari, your voice note is a quit notice
June 27
09:09 2017
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On February 1, 2017, after a series of deliberations with a friend of mine, who is a consultant with one of the largest consulting firms in the world, we decided we would draw up a solution to the Nigerian problem, however feeble our ideas would be.

We went through virtually all development roadmaps employed by Nigeria in her endless journey to becoming a world power. We rigorously explored the latest plan: The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Consciously or otherwise, we began to explore the possibility of a Nigeria where every region was a strength and not a weakness.

We decided that education in the southwest could return to what it was in the days when expatriates sought to drink from our wells of knowledge. We planned for self-sufficient agriculture in the north. In our heads and drafted plans, we built irrigation systems in many northern states. Our vision boards and data sheets set up enviable refineries in the southsouth. We created complimentary competition between Lagos and Aba, to lead the country’s commercial revolution. We literally spent months building a new Nigeria.

This work is far from done, but one thing we’ve acknowledged and planned consciously and unconsciously is a day when Nigeria will no longer be Nigeria. When the old Nigeria would have become Biafra, Oduduwa Republic, Arewa Caliphate — or what have you. But we knew that Nigeria as Nigeria, but working as a federal system with proper devolution of power was better. We hope that day never comes, however, we planned for a Nigeria where we can work as one and also work as 10 different countries.

Today, I’m not a development expert, but based on the number of researches I have read, the volumes of development plans I have consumed, the tonnes of PDF files that have taken sleep off my blood-shot eyes, I know for sure that Nigeria is better together, but may survive apart — after a bloody separation process. This is the only reason why I do not join on the secession debates, and I have avoided the temptation of making any statements about it. The events of the past few weeks could also not break my resolve, but President Muhammadu Buhari broke it.

As the Arewa youth issued quit notice to my southern brothers, and the Niger Delta militants called on my Hausa/Fulani siblings to leave the south, we all knew danger was in the offing.

I watched Acting President Yemi Osinbajo with admiration and pity as he tried to reinforce the threads that hold the fabric of our nation together. From meeting with regional elders, to canvassing support from governors, to the writing and delivery of inspirational speeches.

At the height of it all, the professor of law said we all must build a Nigeria “where the state knows every Nigerian by name and can find and locate each one of us, a Nigeria where the Ibo or Ijaw man can live peacefully in Sokoto, and the Fulani man can live peacefully in the Niger Delta”. The vice-president admitted that this Nigeria will be built on compromise.

He said “but building is an act of the human will.  It is a practical, routine, sometimes dirty, sometimes frustrating enterprise”. This enterprise was made more frustrating for Osinbajo, when his principal, via Shaaban Sharada, the president’s special assistant on broadcast media, sent a voice note to BBC and many local radio stations wishing a nation of over 500 languages, happy celebrations in Hausa.

“I am immensely grateful to God for his mercy in guiding us successfully to conclude another Ramadan fast. My greetings to all Nigerian Muslims and our brother Christians on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr,” the president was interpreted to have said

“May the lessons of Ramadan namely; piety, self-denial, prayers and generosity to the poor and needy be with us for all time.

“I, again, appeal to all Nigerians to avoid reckless statements or actions against our fellow countrymen. We should all resolve to live in peace and unity in our great country, which is the envy of many less endowed nations.”

This message to Nigerians would have been apt if delivered in English language. Though addressing the nation, the Hausa delivery says it loudly, that the constituency who gave the president the famous “97 percent of their votes” are favoured in the scheme of things.

For a president who had been mum for over 45 days, and did not as much as send a statement to Nigerians on the May 29, 2017 democracy day, there was no need sending an Eid message in the first place. Perhaps Buhari’s handlers were out to dislodge all rumours concerning the critical state of the president’s health. Maybe they only sought to prove to Nigerians that the president has no hearing and speaking impairment and memory loss, as being reported in some quarters.

But this tactic failed. Today, Nigerians are more convinced than ever before that the king is not well. They are also convinced that when push comes to shove, and any of the agitating groups make good its promises, the president has taken a side. It is for him to prove otherwise.

Dear President Buhari, you may not mean it, but your voice note to us has reinforced the resolve of the Hausa that Nigeria belongs to them more than it belongs to the rest of us. It backs the position of Arewa youth that other ethnic groups, especially the Igbo, are less relevant in this Nigeria. It is in itself a mental quit notice of sort.

As president sir, the next time you want to send us a message, you may want to take the Rotarian four way test: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

If no sir, silence might be a better message. God bless the president!

You can reach Tijani across major social media platforms @OluwamayowaTJ

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9 Comments

  1. Omoluabi
    Omoluabi June 27, 09:55

    Oluwamayowa:You analysis on the ‘state of nation’ is frought with wisdoms and correct. You are one of the right thinking nigerians.

    Reply to this comment
  2. oladee2
    oladee2 June 27, 15:36

    Reuben Abati recently wrote that when they plan activities or messages in the Aso Rock and roll it out to Nigerians, that the delivery is always received negatively. I think this instance will be a good example.
    In reading the translated version of Mr President’s message, the significant message in my opinion is “I, again, appeal to all Nigerians to avoid reckless statements or actions against our fellow countrymen. We should all resolve to live in peace and unity in our great country, which is the envy of many less endowed nations.”
    This message is instructively to the Northern youth leaders that are making reckless statements in recent times and to the generality of Almajiri youths that they hope to incite. Bearing in mind that majority of these idle and vulnerable hands don’t understand English language, it is apt that the President delivered the message in Hausa for maximum penetration and effectiveness.
    In my opinion, this effort compliments the Acting President’s effort in addressing the generality of educated Nigerians. The vulnerable youth in the North are not reachable in English nor by Acting President’s truth and motivational speeches.

    Reply to this comment
  3. ekollere@yahoo.com
    [email protected] June 27, 16:15

    Surprisingly the issue of Buhari sending his sallah massage in Hausa becomes an issue now while a similar message was sent at the beginning of Ramadan!!!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Dele
    Dele June 28, 09:42

    Mayowa Tijani, I strongly concur with you on this. I was disappointed to hear that voice note in Hausa and it was purported to be the President’s message to Nigerians.
    I disagree with the position of Oladee2 saying that it was to the Arewa youths to have the message sink down their heart. I should think that if this is the intention, the President’s message should have been in English and then interpreted to them just as it was interpreted for us. Better still, he would have given the English voice note then do the Hausa own thereafter if the thought would be that his voice would be the magic wand.
    Nigeria’s President’s message to Nigeria is supposed to be an official communication. Nigeria’s official language is English. Hence, everything is wrong with the President addressing us in another language.
    We all know the issue of ethnicity and religion is very sensitive and we would not expect our leaders to tilt the unbalanced setting in a dangerous way.
    Mayowa, you spoke my mind.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Chidi
    Chidi June 29, 04:34

    Hmmmm… No past development roadmap appears to have included the Core East – Ndi Igbo.

    Reply to this comment
  6. adama Joseph
    adama Joseph July 13, 20:35

    Those that issued the President quit notice are not God, they could have quit him from the world either.

    Reply to this comment

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