Letter To Archbishop John Onaiyekan

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Pius Adesanmi
My Lord, the Archbishop of Abuja Diocese,
I am directed to write you this letter on behalf of the administration of his Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am writing in reaction to a recent interview you granted Daily Sun about the security situation in the country. You were misquoted as saying that “there is definitely something wrong with government” and that “nobody believes anymore the story that we are on top of the situation”.

My Lord, although you did not name names, I am responding all the same because I subscribe to the truth in this Yoruba proverb, “Olowe m’owe ara e”: the target of an uppercut proverb surely knows himself, even if he is not named in the proverb. I recognise President Jonathan as the target of your proverb, especially the little part about not being on top of the situation. I must emphasise again, my Lord, that I believe you were misquoted, given the infinite capacity of our local journalists for mischief. However, I have decided to respond all the same, just in case the journalist who interviewed you got it right this time.

Although you reside here in Abuja, I am surprised that like Professor Chinua Achebe, who has lived abroad for too long, you are displaying a perplexing lack of familiarity with realities on the ground in Nigeria. Only someone who resides on Mars would look at the security situation in Nigeria and declare that President Jonathan is not on top of it. President Jonathan was quick to recognise that terrorism has been a global threat since September 11, 2001 and had the presence of mind and sense of judgment to realise that it is now Nigeria’s turn to be attacked by terrorists.

As soon as he had that epiphany, he took a bold step that no world leader has ever taken in the history of the war on terror; he reassured the Nigerian people that Boko Haram and other manifestations of terror would end in Nigeria in June 2012. No American president boasts this remarkable achievement. No European leader has ever been able to put a definitive expiry date on terrorism. President Jonathan did it. My Lord, if that is not being on top of the situation, I don’t know what is.

My Lord, Boko Haram is not the only case of terrorism that has highlighted President Jonathan’s remarkable acumen as a leader equal to the task of assuring the security of the nation. You will recall that he took the bold step of ending the fuel subsidy regime early this year. He struck a deadly blow against corruption and freed up subsidy money for investment in infrastructure such as roads, power, electricity, and hospitals. Enemies of progress in Nigeria, aided by Nigerian loudmouths abroad, ganged up against Nigeria in the so-called Occupy Nigeria movement. The Occupy virus spread and became a terrorist takeover of Lagos. Our Commander-in-Chief acted swiftly and deployed troops to Lagos to take the city back from the terrorists. My Lord, if this is not being on top of the situation, I don’t know what is.

Despite the challenges we still face from Boko Haram, the President has spared no effort in reassuring the international community of our commitment to the war on terror. More than any other Nigerian President before him, Dr. Jonathan has assured foreign investors to continue to flock to Nigeria and inject much needed foreign direct investment into our economy. He has urged them to ignore the threat of Boko Haram and go about their business peacefully in Nigeria. No American President has been bold enough to encourage people to ignore Al Qaeda. My Lord, if this is not being on top of the situation, I don’t know what is.

It is partly in recognition of the President’s giant strides in securing Nigeria and Africa that he recently made Time Magazine’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Mr. President is humble and has not allowed all the recognition abroad to distract him from the work of the Nigerian people. As I write, seven hundred and seventy-four presidential committees are working hard on various assignments designed by the President. As you probably know, the Oronsaye committee recently submitted its report and the President swiftly promised to constitute a committee to look into the report and write a white paper on it. My Lord, if this is not being on top of the situation, I don’t know what is.

We suggest, my Lord, that you upgrade your knowledge of Nigerian realities before granting another press interview.

Yours sincerely,
Remember Ruben, PhD
Aso Rock Villa, Abuja

  1. Saater says:

    Until all Nigerians extinguish that loudmouthed praisesinger will continue to write his praisesinging about being on top of the situation. As far as I know there is grave insecurity and the Government appears not to be responsive. He talked about fuel subsidy, why has Mr President not being honourable enough to revert back to the former pump price after the Investigation by the National Assembly confirmed that after all Government was not subsidizing fuel but corruption. Let sleeping dogs lie you. Enjoy at Aso Rock and let us be, please.

  2. Chukwuedo Jude says:

    I stand to correct the many errors inherent in your write-up, and point of correction, for clarity sake, a man as learned as u can not tell me that you do not know that archbishops do not stay in a dioceses but an archdioceses, so with all due respect sir Abuja is not a diocese but an archdiocese.
    His grace, the archbishop of Abuja metropolitan see, archbishop John Onaiyekan is a non-partisan man of God hence, has the good of the masses at heart for he is the shephard who is always shepharding his sheep (the masses).
    If mr. president has had the presence of mind and sense of judgment to realise that it is now Nigeria’s turn to be attacked by terrorists after the September 11, 2001 attack what did he do so as to prevent the current terrorists’ uprising in Nigeria that has left many orphans, widows, widowers as well as wiped off families. there is definitely something wrong with the government and nobody will believe anymore the story that we are definitely on top of the situation.
    The fact that American and European leaders did not give a definitive expiry date on terrorism shows a mark of humility, Jonathan is just being mouthy by giving a deadline on it. We believe in action speaking louder than words. For it is easier said than done. Let us watch out for June is close at hand.
    It is so unfortunate that you and mr. president do not know the functions of the military. In a democratic era, the best method of curtailing what you termed “terrorist take over of Lagos” is by the use of the police and not the army. Meanwhile, what you termed “terrorist takeover of Lagos” is nothing but the exercise of human right over the insensitivity of mr. president and his cabinet, but due to the lost of the sense of democracy, you have resulted to the infringement on human right of peaceful demonstration in Lagos.
    Yes mr. president tried to remove fuel subsidy but it is so unfortunate that he and his cabinet lack the sense of judgment and calculation. Mr. Reuben, when did Nigerians endorsed the removal of fuel subsidy? Was it to come as a new year gift? Where are the roads that are constructed, is it the Abuja-Okene road that until now still serves as death trap, or the Benin-Ore road? The only road that stands to be evident here is the Zuba-Katamkpe road in Abuja, but is that the only road that needs to be constructed in Nigeria? Where is the stable power supply in Nigeria, worst still in the whole of Nigeria, Abuja happens to be experiencing the worst blackout. Also, mr. president tried to remove subsidy but the expenses in the presidential villa such as the importation of toothpick, for watering of flowers and so on are still intact.
    On the aspect of reassuring the international community of his commitment to the war on terror, this is not something new for even the former president M.A.O. Obasanjo promised the whole world that he will eradicate corruption but we all know the truth about him and his fight on corruption. president Jonathan is only being engaged in what I will call mere “verbal jingoinsm” and nothing else.
    Setting up of committees is not anything new in Nigeria for we have had many committees being set up yet nothing is working, where the question lies is what next after, if at all, they submit credible reports?
    Are all these symptoms of one who is on top of the situation? Mr. Reuben, it is better we call a spade a spade and not a garden shovel.

  3. Maxwell Ter says:

    It is a dangerous security threat Boko Haram has served the nation, nevertheless, strategic planning shall be use to overcome them, the government need to listen from the public and create medium to enable some needed ideals to be contributed. I have a very usefull to be consider ideal but who is the right man to pass it unto?

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