Welcome back Mr. President

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari addresses members of his cabinet upon his arrival at the presidency in Abuja, on March 10, 2017. President Muhammadu Buhari arrived back in Nigeria on Friday after nearly two months in London receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment. / AFP PHOTO / SUNDAY AGHAEZE

Sir, I am glad you are back. My purpose today is not to report to you what transpired while you were on medical vacation. I know some self-appointed good men and loyalists are already doing so. They are going to tell you how they prayed for your recovery and return to Nigeria and how others did not bother to say, even the simple Lord’s Prayer or its Islamic equivalent on your behalf. Some would tell you that they did pretty better than Jesus Christ and fasted and prayed for your safety for all of the 50 days that you were away.

Please, in the name of Almighty Allah, do not listen to these talebearers. What is far more important is that you have returned and safely too after all the hurly-burly. I don’t want you to begin a feverish search, spanning from Ekiti through Rivers to other states for persons who reportedly prayed and fasted for your death. You know enough to know that wishes are not horses and so nobody born of woman can wish you dead and it will be so without divine approval.

Nature and society do not allow all things to drift in a particular direction. You need enemies to define friends. Even God has an enemy in Satan, how much less mere mortal. So I do not see anything wrong if your enemies wish you dead. In fact, most times that is the prayer in some Pentecostal fold. They don’t pray for the survival of their enemies. They pray for Hooooolllllly Ghoooooost Fiiiiire to consume all their enemies! If you are in doubt, ask Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who is a Pentecostal pastor.

I wouldn’t know what the doctors in UK advised before your departure last Thursday night, but your decision to allow your deputy to continue as Acting President is a masterstroke. You are not a small boy. There is nothing about power, authority and influence that is entirely new to you. Therefore, to allow some small, small boys that have constituted themselves into a power cabal to push you hard into crisis for their own benefits is self-affliction. I would like to mention particularly those folks called DSS. Part of their training is to throw up scenarios to prove why they are indispensable in the power equation. If you allow them all the room, they will tell you when, much against expert prescription, to take the drugs given to you in London and even when to visit the other room.

I shouldn’t actually be telling you this given your service history. But these are not normal times and any piece of advice that can assist to put things under control should not be discountenanced. The thing to know is that you shall have so many advisers in the days and weeks ahead. Some will tell you not to include me if you are inviting editors to Abuja because I had detailed a reporter in London to relay something more original about your state of health, outside the staccato that was in the public space; and also said on TV that as Nigeria’s President, matters about your health could not be classified as private.

However, if be truth be told, almost all Nigerians prayed for your recovery and return. The only difference was that while some people prayed with the arrogance, exhibitionism and sanctimoniousness of Pharisees, a lot more people, including yours sincerely, prayed with the innocence and humility of gentiles. The answer came from God and it is not in my place to say here which of the petitions that God answered. Some might have even prayed to ogun, sango, obatala, mami-water, egbesu, ekene, amadioha etc. In the end, a prayer was answered and that is what is important. I thank my God for that. Others can also go ahead to thank their own gods. That is also the beauty of democracy.

Mr. President, I must confess that the timing of your return was perfect. It coincided with the closure of the Abuja airport. No other time could have been better. If some privileged well-wishers could jet in and out of London with the same ease that I would go from my office to Oshodi and return just to shake hands with you, now that you are back home, I am trying to imagine the magnitude of the pilgrimage to and from the Aso Rock Villa on a daily basis, just to say hi to you.

I am seeing every autonomous community in Igbo land and Kingdom in Yoruba land mobilizing their Igwes and Kabiyesis to pay you a get-well visit in Aso Rock. In the North, it could pass for treason for any Emir not to visit you. Fortunately, with closure of the Abuja airport mid-night on Wednesday, going to the Federal Capital for at least the next six weeks is not going to be as easy and as straightforward as it was before the closure. I may be wrong but I am so hopeful that the imposed logistics of reaching Abuja from especially the Southern part of the country shall force down the number of visitors to Aso Rock to see you. You need rest this moment and not to be playing chief host to some aimless lackeys.

Even as I say this, people who don’t wish you well but pretending to be your core loyalists will be thinking differently. They are going to open an attendance register to capture those who will brave the odds to visit you, as if visitations were recommended by the UK doctors as part of the things to completely heal you. These are the same people pushing your candidacy for the 2019 presidential election. But people can be wicked sha! What they are doing to you is tantamount to asking a man who has an elephant on his head to hunt for cricket with his foot. Similar people had pushed Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007 to breach the constitution and ask for a third tenure as president.

Sir, for now, it shall do you a world of good to resist the lure to be superhuman and live within your objective circumstances. I am saying this because the signals are becoming confusing. While I heard you sharp and clear say on Friday that you would rest while Prof. Osinbajo would continue acting, there were subsequent reports same day that you did not say so again and that you had actually transmitted a letter to the National Assembly indicating your readiness to resume duty tomorrow.

I wish you luck. But sir, remember that Nigeria did not die in your absence and it is not going to die if you or anybody for that matter is permanently out of the scene. And so, if there is need to return to London for vital follow-ups, do not hesitate to do so. Just go and nothing will happen. Prof Osinbajo, by popular rating, is representing you well. If you follow the cabal and insist on your role under the current circumstances, people will think you did not come to serve but to exercise power solely for your benefit and a few others.

You shall be inundated with briefs of what transpired in your absence but remember to stick to the point. Listen only to Prof Osinbajo to whom you had handed power before leaving. Anything outside his report is gossip, which could put your government in real trouble. Thanks and stay blessed sir.

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  • Ademola Onitiju

    Timely and exact advice Unilag El Kanemi Hall mate. We are proud of you. Keep up the good work

  • Gold Ruyondo

    Nigeria did not die in your absence .

  • peter archibong

    politically fair and balanced writeup…but i like to be blunt sometimes because i’m in neither ruling or opposition – just a citizen: people wonder why such an outcry since mr presido left…??? that’s because when yaradua was ill this same man urged him to either resign or be impeached by the parliament…and now any wonder he’s going through the same thing? nigerians want him to practice what he preaches – to resign if unfit and that’ll make him live longer for both his family and nigeria instead of exposing himself to the highly risky hot seat of power…what goes around comes around, whatever any man sows he reaps – shikina