President Muhammadu Buhari
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Villa, Abuja.
Dear Mr. President,
It is appropriate and proper to congratulate you and your Vice on the presidential election which you won by the lawful declaration of INEC. Victory is clearly sweet but the challenge of nursing Nigeria to greater health in all ramification can be bitter. I wish you every need required in the seriousness demanding adventure of transforming Nigeria
Mr. President, let me briefly introduce myself to you. I first met you in President Olusegun Obasanjo’s House in OTA, Ogun State so many years ago. As I admired your legendary discipline which is exampled not only in your character, choices and desires but even in physical look, I demanded then to take a picture with you. You obliged. That picture which was taken long before you ventured into politics remains an important part of the record of my journey.
Again sometimes in 2012/2013 I think, I had the rare chance to interact with you at Nicon Hilton now Transcorp. Present at the meeting too, was Malam El-Rufai as he then was. I recall during that meeting that I participated in the important discussion of that moment strongly urging you to run for President as I laid out the compound challenges of corruption and insecurity facing our beloved nation. You listened with curious mind to a new uncommon voice and face around you.
In 2015 I was appointed – the only South Westerner – into the 8 member APC Presidential Screening Committee under Dr. Ogbonaya Onu (Chairman) and Ambassador Fatima Abubakar (Secretary). I had a good opportunity to tax your intellect with tough questions on the challenges of Nigeria. My strong defence of your education qualification during the unnecessary controversy promoted by opposition parties confirm my conclusion that you were fit in learning to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As I recall now, I had written on January 3, 2015 in Sahara Reporters “As a member of APC Screening Committee, I can affirm unequivocally that General Buhari met the education qualification prescribed by the Constitution.”
My final direct meeting with you was in Akure during your visit in 2015 at the Dome. You were curious why all the Governorship Aspirants kept calling me “The Dean”. I laughingly explained to you my fortune or misfortune of emerging as the only candidate that had ran for Governorship election twice in Ondo State and lost each time. You had during your impressive speech jokingly referred to yourself as a better “Dean” having lost election thrice. That occasion affirmed your sense of humour, a character often typifying strong, intelligent and confident leaders.
Mr. President, I have laid out the background of our various interactions as I desire to speak to you boldly on the House now called APC that we all struggled to build. In particular I established my past contacts with you so that you will see the need and reason to take me seriously.
Mr. President until two important Ondo State women invited me into politics in 2003, I was solely pre-occupied with law, human rights and social justice. The failure of political leaders who became the beneficiaries of our titanic struggle for democracy against the military order, to work well and effectively for the good of common man compelled the change in my path and my 2003 detour into politics. Since the 2003 entry, I have worked very hard with the energy of mind, strength of body and power of purse to promote and raise progressive politics in Ondo State. But it was always on principle of right and honor not the mad desire typifying our present politics to win at all cost regardless of the vileness and unworthiness means.
Mr President you can then appreciate why after I lost again in the third Governorship Contest in 2015 I stood by and with the winner Rotimi Akerelodu notwithstanding the unwarranted attempt to overturn his righteous victory by all sorts of shenanigan
He won as I saw it, fairly and honorably. I lost justly as I reviewed it. It follows that truth and character, principle and honor demanded that I support him. That I did and will continue to do. Yes, to stand for what is right in all circumstances dismissing benefit or detriment as condition for my standing.
Mr President your citizen Tunji Abayomi who since 2003, despite several tempting offers from sources we expected and corners least expected, stood immovably on the progressive path from AD to AC to ACN to APC writes to you as a candidate of AA (Action Alliance) in the ongoing elections. So why the detour, why the choice, why the change.
The recent suspension of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Governor Rochas Okorocha and the querying of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu by the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC confirms clearly the tragic leadership presiding and prevailing at the moment at APC Headquarters. I speak of a leadership thạt barely reads the Constitution of APC, a leadership that fails to regard the Constitution with the required reverence or attention or respect or binding effect. I speak of a low rated leadership that prefers to deal with effect rather than cause. A leadership that prefers rulership by the force of office instead of the force of law like the tyrant who broods no contradiction regardless of how sensible the contradiction is. APC has at the present under its corrosive Chairman a fatalistic leadership that acts as it pleases and wants. No wonder there is scarcely ever a reference to the laws or the Constitution of APC.
Mr. President the Constitution of APC mandates the people as part of their organic right to elect their representatives by open election at all levels in keeping with democratic grundnorm. In a democracy, the people are expected unalterably to govern themselves through the exercise of the right to choose.
This right to choose, by their votes, is the only equal possession the neglected, the poor, the vulnerable, the rejected, the abandoned, commonly called the Mekunnu’ have in common with the rich, the influential and the pitiless powerful.
You can appreciate why the Nigeria Constitution protects the paramountcy of this right, why the APC Constitution affirms it, why the norms of democracy demand it. You further wonder why a Political Party headed by supposedly civilised men and women in APC NWC would simply disregard it.
Mr President, I say to you even if there was no Constitution an enlightened and civilised democratic leader who cares for the right of the people should promote and work to enhance the right of the people to elect or select their leaders.
Mr President with regard to the leadership of APC it simply abandoned the Constitution. It always forgets, rather distastefully, that winning is never a justification for wrong nor victory a worthy affirmation of unconstitutionality. The Constitution of APC mandates a Primary by direct or indirect means for candidates, the NWC of APC contrary to its powers under the said Constitution promoted automatic candidates in Ondo State to contest for election to the crude detriment of co competitors. The Constitution of APC requires honest service, the NWC preferred to dishonestly collect aspirants huge monies, subject them to pretended process when in fact the same NWC had intentionally and unconstitutionally defeated their hopes in competitive democracy.
Mr President, the reason for my detour to AA should now be apparent. I made the choice on principle and on protest for the right of just and fair competition and the right guaranteed to citizens under democracy to choose who they wish to represent them. It is their exclusive right NOT that of NWC.
Mr President virtually every decision of NWC that brought APC to this sorrowful state where disorder and chaos of governance prevail violated APC Constitution. They are largely inappropriate for the development of democracy. Please take your time to read APC Constitution to see how far NWC has gone into the bush of error, disorder and unconstitutionality.
Mr President you are the leader of APC, you have won the election contest largely because, in our minds, we have separated the respected Mohammadu Buhari from the reckless leadership of APC. The time has come to do something wonderful in the life of APC.
Nigerians have voted for you to lead them in honor and in value and not merely in power, as indeed you have done most of your life and for which you now reap the benefit. You need to think of the failings of APC under its current NWC. The Constitution of APC in several sections warns against imposition because in its view imposition is likely to lead to crisis. How right! How True!
Yes, you have won Mr President. Now in addition to helping Nigeria to win, assist APC to rise from the current abyss to which the NWC has pushed her. The only thing that is supreme in a democracy is the Constitution. That is why older democracies revere the Constitution. The same is true of a political party. Its Constitution is the social contract with her members and the people at large. How then can it not have binding effect if leadership is to be respected in a primary nation like Nigeria. Mr President in the same way you cling to the Nigerian Constitution, please compel the NWC to immediately cling to APC Constitution and reverse its many unconstitutional decisions that are still reversible. Compel APC NWC to respect the Constitution of APC and avoid government of ‘as we want it’. It is only in this way you can guarantee peace, order and good government in APC today and tomorrow. It is only in this way we can assure the elective right of our people in this democracy or ensure the security and stability of the government by the people.
Your victory Mr President will not be celebrated effectively by the structures you build noteworthy as they may become but by laying appropriate framework for democracy especially through orderly intra party government in Nigeria. I suggest you need to exercise power strongly in APC to bring about lawful governance above and beyond unlawful powers.
One important and significant way to do so, is to worry about how political parties in this particular case APC is managed. Thank you and happy victory. Sir, Yours truly,
Olatunji O. Abayomi