MR PRESIDENT, A SHORT RESPONSE IS THE NEW LONG

Back and Forth Open Letters: OBJ vs GEJ

Back and Forth Open Letters: OBJ vs GEJ

By Henry OLAMIJU

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out”; “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

I just read through The President’s alleged response to the ‘open letter’ purportedly written to him by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and I was disappointed. I was disappointed that a sitting president responded to an open letter openly; that he went through the pains of addressing most of the issues raised without any concrete evidence (the initial letter too had no concrete evidence); that the letter was so uninteresting to read and quite very insipid; I wonder what is going on in the corridors of power these days, do our leaders still have ‘advisers’? Aren’t the ministers, senior special and special ‘advisers’ there to help the president with issues that require his attention?

Chief Obasanjo’s letter, as controversial as it is, did not require a ‘response’. It was not intended to be a discussion, it was a landmine, you either defuse it quietly or get blown up. Alas, the cabinet helpers urged him to or could not refrain him from so puerile a response.

In my humble opinion, that letter, if it deserved a response, should have been addressed to an unspecified recipient. The response should have been short without mentioning the issues raised by the other party. The most appropriate response for those issues would have been ACTION, not another ‘open letter’. It is a very unpresidential thing to do: engage in war of words with one of the citizens of your country. It was not even a ‘robust’ response, it was a timid one; the kind of response a primary school student would write as a response to a teacher’s query.

That response should have read something like this:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Due to the rising tides of lies, unsubstantiated allegations, character assassination, betrayal, and outright fabrications that have become the order of the day in the news media, I, The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, do hereby implore all citizens to not be distracted by the efforts of unscrupulous elements who have tried and are still trying to scuttle our nascent democracy.

The work of this administration, the arduous task of nation-building and the demands of economic development cannot be abandoned for the pedestrian activity of throwing stones in the public square. Any genuine concern expressed by well-meaning citizens has been and will be duly attended to as urgently as it deserves without recourse to tribe, religion, creed or political affiliations. In reality, I know the wheels of justice and public policy do grind very slowly in our country but we will try harder to attend to the voice of the people and not the ranting of disgruntled elements.

As I close, let me remind Nigerians of two of the sayings of our people:
“No sensible neighbour adopts the antics of a mad man who chooses to dance naked in the village square.” and
“Those whose palm kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble.”

This administration still requires and craves the support of Nigerians (both at home and in Diaspora) in delivering the goals of the Transformation Agenda. We will brave all the odds and go to any length in order to bring the Nigeria of our dreams while also we search, isolate and punish anyone found wanting in fulfilling the responsibilities laid upon them as servants of the Federal Republic.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a blissful New Year.

Yours in Nigeria’s service,
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR

(c) Henry OLAMIJU
You can follow me on Twitter: @holamiju

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7 thoughts on “MR PRESIDENT, A SHORT RESPONSE IS THE NEW LONG

  1. Well you seem to have better advice for him than his advisers. Sincerely I didn’t bother reading any of the 3 letters cos I didn’t expect to learn anything new.

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  2. I see ur point henry and whilst i didn’t bother reading baba’s letter i read GEJ’s. Going by the reasons he stated i believe a reply waa necessary, if for nothing for posterity and as a reference. Nigeria is a country built on spuriousity sad to say. Baba’s letter was a landmine with sub landmines and GEJ not replying would fodder the average nigerian’s ignorant ideations. That our media was awash with baba’s rubbish in d first place tells you how serious we are. Media houses apparently fought over who published same first.
    To the issues. These men are ready to die for power, so many did under baba. Now he’s accused GEJ of equipping a killer squad. If tomorrow someone kills someone and APC who are aligning with Baba, point at GEJ, his initial silence would be too loud. Going with the average nigerian poverty of ideation, you know how news travels. Bad name to hang a dog.
    If for nothing but this reason alone he did well. He was voted in accept it or not, he was in favour then, with the way 2015 is posturing the least he can do is avoid that bad name. Cos even the riggers are jumping boat.
    Preservation nah the game my brother.
    As for bettering Nigeria, all i say is we deserve the system we currently have, slowly perhaps, change will come.

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    • Thanks for your comment, I see your point of view. It is just that his response did nothing to the issues raised by OBJ, or do you now believe there is no ‘political wacthlist’? I don’t believe the denials, not that i really believed the allegations in the first place. Anyways, let’s keep hope alive.

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  3. Unfortunately Mr Ebele has taken the bait, hook, line and sinker. He’s apparently picked up the gauntlet cast down before him by obj and must have convinced himself that those backing him can secure 2015 by any and every means necessary. It’s kind of easy to know whose nose would be bloodied and whose face left in the mud come 2014. My bet is that it wouldn’t be obj’s. The khaki boys got obj’s go before toppling shagari…gej hasn’t shown any common sense in handling this issue especially with this poorly constructed response letter to a query.
    I really hope Mr Ebele doesn’t read this O’jew… I wouldn’t want u invited to the rock villa and served the same ‘dodo’ that has purged abati of all his morals and contentment.

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  4. Bravo Henry! It appears u have a new hobby!
    Seriously though, u might have given better advice than d “Special advicer to d Senior special advicers”.
    GEJ would have had d moral edge over OBJ and even appeared more presidential if he had responded in passing to those “allegations” through a media parley. This would have given him d moral high ground n shown him to be above petty squabbles and baseless distracting issues.
    But I guess he cannot be trusted by his advicers n henchmen to give d appropriate response.
    I have not seen a president so lacking in charm n charisma like our GEJ. His mien does not allow him to be taken seriously. I think his advicers should work on his outlook n carriage but that’s beside d point anyway.
    Good brief Henry. Well done.

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