Letter to Amina Zakari
Sir: The overarching desire of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its stakeholders is to ensure that the economy of Nigeria rebounds onto a positive track once again. I do not think that the PDP wants a return to power because its stakeholders are nursing grudges and licking some mortally-inflicted wounds, otherwise they would all have returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC) so as to have “their sins forgiven” as was pointed out unabashedly by Adams Oshiomhole.
I want a return to the PDP-era of governance, because as a keen observer of affairs of daily living and the difficulties encountered herein all over Nigeria, I have made objective judgement and I have concluded that Nigerians are better off having a government that ensured that the price of staple rice remains surprisingly stable at around N7,800 per bag over another surprisingly long spell, and, let us all admit it, businesses across the shades of categorisation of “small-scale,” “medium-scale,” “large-scale” were flourishing; in my point of view, that was good economic management.
On a personal note, I was deeply pained to read that some 6,000 students of the Benue State University could each not pay their school fees of circa N40,000 per student upon resuming at school early in 2018 for a fresh session. I fretted to no end to ask why this was the case and it was not long before I knew the reason was that assured sources of helplines for these students, in the shape of relatives who used to have paid employment at Abuja especially, have all dried up whilst the government of the day was reveling in the pronouncement that “Nigeria has entered recession” as if that was a plus; only recently Nigerians were advised to do “belt-tightening” measures because hard times are nigh.
Creating economic panic and putting mental stress on the general population isn’t quite the right way to go about governance. Madam, I think that after some 32 years or so, Nigerians have got themselves another Dele Giwa on whose analyses of national issues everyone is in agreement. Ma, I am sure you recall the Giwa effect plus that of his posse, who are still laboring it out at the Guardian et al. newspaper houses, on the national news scene in the 1980s. The young man who is now playing out the Giwaesque effect is Prof. Farooq Kperogi, who not surprisingly, has been kicked out of the pro-Establishment Daily Trust newspaper’s weekly columnists’ contributory roster. Prof. Kperogi’s back-page column in the Saturday Tribune of 19th January 2019 sums it up; whilst well-meaning Nigerians, especially Mrs. Aisha Buhari, feel that President Muhammadu Buhari (I am sure he is “Big Bro” to you, Madam) is being held prisoner against his will by a minority circle of power-hungry boss-men, Prof. Kperogi’s piece shed bright light on why this state of affairs is absolutely true and Nigerians should truly have nothing but sympathy for our president and do him a good deed by counselling him to retire to Daura and rest.
What the Atikulated Posse see as “gaffes and slips”that made them appeal to the cabal in the Presidency not to do Big Bro in by putting him under undue pressure on the campaign trail was woven into one frightening fabric by Farooq when he opined that these “gaffes and slips” that have been kept hidden from the public until this campaign season are actually symptoms of Alzheimer.
Sister Amina, take my counsel to heart: do not cook any political broth at that presidential-numbers collation centre that would subject Big Bro and the whole of Arewa to ridicule in the next four years if the word “Alzheimer” is now on the consciousness of Nigerians; in the public consciousness, Alzheimer is progressive degeneration and I am sure you do not want it being mentioned in hushed whispers sometime in the future that, “e be like say oga dey sometimes shit for ‘im trouser unconsciously.” This would only reinforce the stereotype that people of the North who are pejoratively called “gambaris” or “abokis” cannot be refined no matter their circumstances.
Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.