Dear Uncle Donald

 In CNM BLOG

I guess the time has come for me to tell you how I feel about our nation, Uncle Donald, since you opened the communication channel – with the letter you (or your team) sent to me at the weekend. In the letter, Uncle Donald, you addressed me as ‘dear friend’. I really felt flattered. Me, Olukorede Yishau, a struggling journalist and about-to-be-published novelist, described as a friend by the one-and-only Donald Duke, who was two-term governor of Cross River State at an age many of your peers were not sure of their purpose in life. But on a second thought, I felt Uncle was only borrowing a leaf from politicians in advanced democracies. After all, I still get letters regularly from politicians in the United States who obviously got my email in their pool because of the privilege of once covering the American presidential election on the bill of the Department of State’s Foreign Press Centre.

In your letter, Uncle, you sounded so much troubled by the state of our nation. You lamented. You cried. You screamed. You acknowledged the discontentment in the land. You foresaw a ‘bleaker, riskier and dangerous future’ if something drastic was not done.

After the lamentation, Uncle, you asked questions: “What are we doing about it?” “Are we prepared to do something or whine about it as we have been doing for years without end?”

Uncle, you also referred to the daily migration of Nigerians through the Sahara desert, a development you considered as people walking with their eyes open into enslavement, unlike what obtained in the past when people were forced into slavery.

With the right phraseology, you did not forget to prick our conscience. You reminded me that we must be ‘soulless and inhumane’ if we are pleased with the Animal Farm we currently inhabit.

“The fact that this is happening in an age of enlightenment by relatively enlightened young men and women is even more telling.  If this does not set off alarm bells among us, then we are soulless and inhumane: the very essence of a human being!

“Enough of whining let us together take up the gauntlet and demand the course of action that would ennoble our society and her people. And if this is not done now, when? And if not by us, whom? In every struggle, there is a result. If you try, you may succeed, but if you don’t, you are definitely bound to fail.  I choose to join others and with every breadth in me, be in the vanguard for a better society, ksnowing that together we can make the difference,” you said.

You did not end the letter without welcoming me aboard the flight to end our woes. But something was missing, you never told me in what capacity you were welcoming me. I, however, guess that having been governor twice, you will only be looking forward to leading our country as President.

Uncle, I share your sentiment. Our dear nation is in trouble. At a time when we were expecting the remaining Chibok girls to return, Dapchi girls were snatched. Their parents are inconsolable. Their relatives are in tatters. Their school mates are daily expecting them to return and wondering if their wish would ever be a reality.

Many out there are looking for jobs that are not available. Not a few have died this week all because what we call medical centres are consulting rooms that they have been since military era. Even the private clinics where we pay through our noses cannot compete outside of our shores.

Uncle, there is graveyard silence in the Niger Delta. Boys have become used to free cash and they use every available excuse to demand cash from contractors handling developmental projects and so on. There is an interesting drama in Bonny and Bodo as I write. The Federal Government and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited contributed N120 billion and gave it to Julius Berger to build a road that will see people being able to drive from Port Harcourt to Bodo and finally to Bonny, the amazing Island where Nigeria gets billions regularly. But no thanks to internal wrangling between communities and what I suspect to be the give-us-cash syndrome, the project is on hold. What this shows is that the fault is not always in our leaders!

Uncle, officially, we are out of recession but many in their private lives cannot feel this. In fact, millions are in depression.

While I admit, Uncle that things are bad, I must also point out that the party under whose platform you governed for eight years, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was callous in its management of our resources for the bulk of the time it was in charge. Of course, I am the first to admit that this is no excuse for the current government not to change our fortunes like it promised.

Uncle, in Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s award-winning novel Season of Crimson Blossom, a woman was well over 50 before she got her groove and experienced what it really means to be a woman! It is not too late for Nigeria. We can experience the much-desired orgasm even at this age!

And this brings me to what you have to offer. There is no doubt that you have got age on your side. I also believe that you have got the intellect. It is also my opinion that human support should not be a challenge for a man of your caliber.

I certainly have no advice about how you can surmount the obvious challenges and realise your ambition but I certainly have a Nigeria of my dream to share with you.

I want a Nigeria where nepotism is a thing of the past. I want a Nigeria where no one feels left out because of which part of the country he or she comes from.

I seek a Nigeria where epileptic supply of electricity will become a thing of the past. I will be glad that day when our electricity generating sets will only be useful for picnics at beaches and such places where temporary source of power is required.

I want a Nigeria where members of the National Assembly will truly legislate in the interest of the people and not out of any pecuniary interest. I am sick and tired of the current situation where everything but national interest seems to take the first position.

Uncle, I also want a Nigeria where our schools can compete with others in the advanced world. I long for a Nigeria that will cease being a Third World. What is wrong with being a First World?

Importantly too, Uncle, I look forward to a Nigeria where we can reap from medical tourism instead of the current situation where we are the major loser to this trend.

I certainly want a Nigerian whose economy is so robust that we can hold our head high anywhere in the world and our green passport will command respect and not scorn.

Uncle, let me also tell you this; I look forward to a Nigeria where oil takes the back seat and agriculture and tourism take the front seat and contribute more to our foreign exchange earnings and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Oil equals power,” wrote Alain Mabanckou, a Congolese novelist listed as a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2015, in his book Lights of Pointe-Noire. He also importantly pointed out that ‘where there is oil, there is war’.

Mabanckou also said: “Oil has screwed up everything between the north and the south.”

I am sure you cannot fault this, given our experience as a nation. Oil should no longer equal power. Enough of the pain of oil. Enough of the silent oily wars. Enough.

Now, we need new songs, not songs of sorrow, not songs of despair, not songs of lamentations, but songs of joy, songs of a country, which experiences orgasm at old age and hold on to it forever!

Can you give me this Nigeria? If yes, so help you God!

Sincerely yours, Olukorede.

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Showing 9 comments
  • TYOAKAA SAMUEL AONDOASEER

    This is also a Nigeria of my dreams. But, I also want a country where there will no religious and ethnic cleansing, where you cannot be denied access to any position or job because of ethnic and religious affiliation!
    This is a Nigeria that we all want and I meant progressive Nigerians!

  • ADESANWO OLUWAGBEMIGA

    Uncle Donald, having become memeber of CNM: how doi involved practically at all level

    • Gbenga shobowale

      If you reside in ogun state, you can contact the state secretariat of the CNM at Agbeloba complex,quary road Abeokuta. Meeting has commenced in all the 20 local Government Area of the state. or contact Mr Shobowale on 08033112669.

  • Chukwuebuka

    Hello Sir,
    Upon becoming a Member of this great movement…… What is the next step? Any form of meeting in ones state of residence?
    Kindly respond.
    Thanks.

  • Taiwo

    Having witness the great development and achievements in cross river. I strongly recommend Donald duke as Nigeria next president, I believe in his dream and vision. I support you.I am ready to work for you. And by God grace u will win. I want to be involved

  • Taiwo

    Let all come out of fear and take what rightfully belong to us, Ghana did that Nigeria can do more. Get involved and get registered. Your vote will count

  • Opakunle Olamide Olusegun

    I believe this with this movement, we are on the cutting edge of rescuing our dear country. I have a good idea of gathering youths from each state. We have done it before and we can do it again. Let’s work together to give Nigeria whom and what she deserves.
    Thanks..

  • Chinedu

    I’m of the opinion that, as frequent as we preach for people to get their PVC’s we should simultaneously preach they identify credibility in the candidates…!

    If Uncle Donald Duke is out for the presidential election, that’s a plus for the movement. As I see in home a certain level of credibility those is possessed by none other I’ve seen so far.

    I have suggestions, I have ideas, I know few things the movement can apply and take over the seat of power for the good and benefits of the people of Nigeria.

    God bless us all as we join aim, goals and ideas to shape the Nigeria that we all desire for ourselves and our generations.

    My name is Chinedu,
    I’m a member, Coalition For Nigeria Movement.

  • Stephen Edemba

    Dear Mr. Duke, i joined this movement because of you, because i believe in you sir, because i know you mean well for the ordinary Nigerians and Nigeria, i believe with you, this country will soar high and achieve her dreams and take her place in Africa and in the International committee as a whole and because i believe in Nigeria.

    I use to be afraid of politics, but we cannot continue to be suffering and smiling, something has to be done, someone/somebody has to make things change, i refuse to sit and and continue to console myself that things will be better, when infact it gets worse day-in day-out. Here i am sir, willing to actively participate in this movement to change things, to say NO to bad governance, to say NO to impunity in government, corruption, discrimination and amongst other ill-treatments in the country and ready to take the bull by the horn.

    Please, i would respectfully like to know the way forward been a member of this great movement, thank you sir for the opportunity to serve you, the movement and Nigeria.

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