Ebora: The Letter Man of Owu


The propriety or otherwise of the 13-paged missive is still under contention. In less than 24 hours of the release of the ‘love letter’ from former President Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammad Buhari, you could expect the usual polarization of the Nigerian polity along the lines of pros and antis. That is the way of Nigeria.

But whether Obasanjo should have sought audience with Buhari and delivered his message or gone public in what some would consider another show off and playing to the gallery, the way he has done is another matter entirely. What is more important is that another subject to fill our void has been brewed successfully and you could be sure that for the next few weeks, the reverberations are going to keep our tweeting and facebooking youths busy while the political elite go back to their chessboards staring at where the pendulum of fortunes swings eventually. No one wants to be caught on the wrong side of the divide by the time the dust settles.

But back to the possible reason for the letter, the Buhari administration, in the eyes of the public at the moment, is at its lowest ebb. Indeed, shouldn’t the president expect discerning Nigerians themselves to rise up to the glaring incompetences that are playing themselves out either at the level of the President himself or at that of those he surrounds himself with.

Too many unpardonable hitches have been recorded in the last few weeks and most especially at a time that Buhari has been putting on an “I am now Strong” kind of mien across the country.

For instance, what does the Buhari administration think Nigerians think about it after the appointment of so many dead people by the President into the boards of federal agencies? What has been the reputation of the presidency since Garba Shehu told the world that rodents have taken over the office Mr. President while he was away for medicals in the United Kingdom? What is it that Nigerians have been thinking about since the Presidency has developed clay feet and watched helplessly as mindless criminals massacred Nigerians in Benue state in the name of protecting the lives of their cows? Hasn’t the presidency worsened its public perception index when Femi Adesina said the number of killings under Buhari has not leveled up with those under Buhari? 

For more than two months, Nigerians have had to spend more times at fuel stations than in their homes or offices and other places of work. The discordant tunes among the Directorate of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Petroleum, Independent Marketers and other stakeholders have reached such a deafening crescendo that Nigerians appear to have lost confidence in the ability of this government to solve the energy challenge. 

All weighed together, there is a heavy burden of delivery deficit hanging around the neck of this government that it would be strange really should no one rise up to hit the polity even if that would cause some heat.

Interestingly, Buhari’s current Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh comes to mind in the Nigerian letter culture.  As the then chairman of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Ogbeh’s December 6, 2004 letter to Obasanjo changed so many things. 

In a portion of the letter, Ogbeh had said “I am afraid we are drifting in the same direction again. In life, perception is reality and today, we are perceived in the worst light by an angry, scornful Nigerian Public for reasons which are absolutely unnecessary.”

Yes! This is the point in Obasanjo’s own letter to Buhari today. The Buhari administration is beset by an “angry, scornful Nigerian Public” that is strong enough to have killed all emotions about a second term dream. 

Perhaps, had the Rochas Okorochas of this world not stoked the fire of “Buhari-for-Second-term” campaigns, had the leaders of the All Progressives Congress in the South-East geo-political zone not gone to massage the ego of the President in the Villa few days ago, Nigerians could still have endured some time hoping that Buhari is indeed in search for manna from heaven. 

But a rising chorus of Buhari’s second term could be nothing but irritating. What it translates to again is that the government feels nothing of the many woes that have chained Nigerians down. A government facing challenges of performance should be the least thinking of a mandate renewal. 

Looks like the seeming insensitivity of the administration is what has brought this odium unto it. 


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