Memo to late presidents of Nigeria

I am not sure how to address the late presidents of Nigeria as the formal courtesy of your excellency is of no use to them since they are in eternity.

However, this open memo has become necessary to intimate you on the state of the nation after 61 years of statehood. I am having an imaginary conversation with late Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Major General Aguiyi Ironsi, General Murtala Mohammed, Chief Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe, General Sani Abacha
Umaru Musa Yar’adua and Shehu Shagari, all of blessed memory.

For your information, your dreams for born and unborn citizens to have a united and peaceful country with full potential of being among the leading developing nations, categorically, these dreams have been shattered. You left this world with unaccomplished dreams for citizens to have a country that they can call theirs.
Unfortunately, today citizens in the country are divided and their living standard is moving from bad to worse. Three square meals are beyond the reach of millions of home. At 61, citizens don’t have security because the country is facing great challenge of insecurity.

It is dispiriting to tell you that Mr President comparison of the challenges and sufferings being faced by Nigerians under the present administration to the agony of the civil war, underscores the horrible situation in the country today. I know both Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Major General Aguiyi Ironsi did not witness the ugly images of the killings, lawlessness, violence, human rights violations, poverty, hunger, starvation and other horrible situations as also witnessed during civil war.

You will be shocked to know that in self glorifying statements, the present administration boastfully claimed that NO government since 1999 has done what they have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track. Really, the Muhammadu Buhari government has recorded relative success, especially, in infrastructure but it has underperformed in the management of the economy, security, education, and health.

Your excellencies, this administration’s anti-corruption campaign has not fared any better than its predecessors. Nigeria has more poor people now than before, now the country is more indebted than before the administration has mortgaged the future of the born and unborn citizens with debt skyrocketed to N33.107 trillion (about $87.239 billion) as at March 31, 2021, according to the Debt Management Office, DMO. Governance continues to be dogged by inefficiency and waste.

Nigerians recall that all the previous loans had not led to Nigeria’s economic growth except hardship due to lack of sound economic policies. In spite of these mountainous

debts, the present administration is seeking another approval for additional borrowing of more than $4 billion from international lenders for infrastructure projects for 2018-2021 medium term (rolling) external borrowing plan.

It is disheartening to let know you that we had a great opportunity for the country to regain its lost glory when we had a change of government in 2015 with unwavering hope that the administration will set an agenda for national rebirth and put the economy on reset. But in the past six years, the administration has failed to create the basis for improved economic prosperity because of absence of economists in the cabinet.

The Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial policies are also killing the country’s economy. The naira has continued to suffer devaluation against the US dollar and other African countries’ currencies. Kai, Ghanaian and Nigerien currencies are doing better in the international market than the naira in the last six years.

The greatest of all these disappointments which have shaped our country in the last six decades, almost every sector in the country is decaying due to the lack of political will of successive leaders.

At 61, Nigeria is still battling with poor economic policies, poor leadership, nepotism and mismanagement of resources. The country you left behind is not the Nigeria you wished your successors and the citizens to have. Your successors have not done the right thing in building a country with strong economy like our contemporary nations that are in the league of developing nations.

Your excellency, citizens are regretting to say that our yesterday as a nation was better than our today. There are no indices to show that citizens’ tomorrow will be better. The leaders are placing the country on the path of bankruptcy. People are not happy with the way things are, where our perceived Lion King is encircled by jackals and hyenas and even rodents who are having a field day.

I know this information might distract your peaceful rest in eternity. Continue to rest in peace.

Dukawa writes via [email protected]