AWO FAMILY WITHOUT AN AWO – SAM OMATSEYE

THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN SOMETIMES AGO AND IT GENERATED SO MUCH VITUPERATIONS AGAINST SAM OMATSEYE OF THE NATIONS NEWSPAPER. DO YOU THINK SAM IS RIGHT? IS THE AWO FAMILY TRULY WITHOUT AN AWO?

The Awolowo rebirth in the Southwest has inspired gongs, songs and rhetoric of sorts. But they have missed one point. It occurred to me in Abeokuta last week amidst the big crowds and euphoria of the swearing-in of Senator Ibikunle Amosun as governor. In all the states from Lagos to Edo, where Awo has witnessed ideological resurgence, hardly a single family member has played a role. So we have an Awo family without an Awo. That is an irony. But history overwhelms us with this sort of twist. Obafemi Awolowo toiled for his reputation. His roots were lowly, he toiled to school both home and abroad, launched into careers in law, business, journalism and eventually politics. He carved a niche for himself, and became the first methodical and charismatic leftist in our history. Other leftists abounded but they did not inspire comparable drama and following. He faced tribulations, went to jail, failed in elections, won a few, but he imprinted his ideas and legacy in the country, and no single mortal has beaten him in the history of this country. His greatest achievement was in the area of ideas, and that was how he fashioned a family. Most families are born of biology but his issued from ideology. That family suffered with him. In a spoof of Jesus Christ, these were the men who followed him in his teachings, and endured with him in his temptations. So he formed a kingdom for them in the Southwest, in the old Western Region, presiding over his projects, his legacies and people. In all of these, the family he had was not his flesh and blood. In another spoof of Christ, who were his family anyway? Those who were with him must be counted as his family. So, I combed in the ambience of Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), and I found none. I went to Ogun, I frisked the crowd under Amosun’s bower, hardly any. Around Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in Osun, I could not lay a finger. With Governor Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti, where are the forbears of Awo? Yet, I can hear the chants of Awo. Hardly in any of the inaugural speeches or any of their other public intervention would you miss the philtre and filter of Awo from these gentlemen. To parody Novelist Joseph Conrad, they are the sparks from Awo’s sacred fire, the messengers of the might within the man. Already all of them are pursuing the legacy ideas of Awo: free education, free health services, infrastructural development, urban renewal and economic engineering. Lagos has posted itself as the John the Baptist. The others are putting up valiant efforts, and the world of course is watching to see how well they will perform. It will call for great work, resourcefulness and cooperation. They are the real Awoists, and Awo was a man of rigour and vigour. The Awo son that many expected to take after the father was Olusegun, who unfortunately died in a car crash. We shall never know if he could have pulled it off. But the others have not shown much of the paterfamilias’ brio and depth. In the past decade, under this republic, they have blended with the wrong crowd. Even H.I.D, hobnobbed with Alao-Akala, who brought illiteracy to governance; with Oyinlola who turned the grace of office into a hell-hole of despots; with Daniel who could not arrest his quick fall into megalomania. I wrote once that this woman whom Awo once described as the jewel of inestimable value has lost value to his cause. If he came back to life, he would have committed the extraordinary act of divorce after death. Even his newspaper, The Tribune, has so stumbled and fallen that it swims in Awo’s vomit. Groucho Max, one of the funniest satirists in American history, said of a man that he got his looks from his father. Then he quipped, “He was a plastic surgeon.” That means the son is not his real son, or he did not inherit his natural looks. Ideologically, when we talk of Awo’s family, the chief inheritor is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the leader of all the others. He was the one who stuck his neck out. He could have lost his life or ended his career in politics. The so-called real Awolowos who bear his surname cannot come up for mention. They are Awolowos but not Awoists. They stabbed their father in the back. They have committed ideological parricide. The only person that made a real try was Awolowo-Dosunmu in the early 1990s and she lost roundly. She was accused of trying to ride her father’s coattail. Political families are good for democracies. They can exemplify the high ideals of diligence, dignity, ideas, character. We have seen these in such families as the Kennedys, the Adamses, the Roosevelts, the Ghandis. They just don’t claim family. They appeal to the high ideals that endeared the families to their societies. It’s also an irony that these families are falling into twilight. Some of them have vanished. Enoch Powell, a British MP, once gave us the famous line: “All political lives, unless they are cut off midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure because that is the nature of politics and human affairs.” Columnist Ambassador Dapo Fafowora adverted to this idea in a recent outing, and I debated it with him afterwards. I don’t believe that a political life should be judged by how it ends but what it means. The quote is often missed by many who mistake “careers” for “lives.” A political life should be judged by its legacies. If we judged Awo by how he ended, we would look at him only as the loser to Shagari. That is why I see an intrinsic mischief in Enoch’s quote. But I would agree that political families end also in failure if you judge how they peter out and not the legacy. Awo’s legacy is alive and well. Members of other families in flesh and blood can carry on. Immediate families tend to suffer from what an author, Noemie Emery, describes as dynastic curse. The children tend to be intimidated by the standards set by the fathers. So they just don’t want to try. They feel they cannot match them or come even close. The problem probably comes from the fathers themselves. The Adams, who produced important presidents, later gave birth to moral vagrants and drunks. The Bush daughters showed themselves as party girls when their father was contesting the political battle of his life. But Joe Kennedy groomed his sons assiduously, and they excelled in politics. They also had a fair share of tragedies. Ted Kennedy regained his sobriety and voice in America after a season of debauchery. In Nigeria, we are seeing the Sarakis fade. A Saraki – Bukola – is wiping out the Sarakis from politics. It is a classic case of oedipal tragedy, something I predicted earlier this year on this page. It is not late though for the flesh-and-blood Awolowos to join their father’s fold. But they must be genuine. Awo was the most important Yoruba personage in history after Oduduwa. They had stellar men like Oranmiyan, Balogun Latosa, Lisabi, Sodeke, et al. None of them had the unifying vision and organisational acumen that Awolowo gave the race. The wife, children and grandchildren should not watch others glow in his jewel without them.

PRIVATE JETS AND G.Os : BISHOP OKE REPLIES

RECENTLY, the Nigerian press was awash with a deluge of criticisms about Pentecostal ministers buying jets and living in affluence. Beautiful! This is the same Pentecostal movement that started as the church of the poor, the downtrodden, the strugglers, and the dregs of the earth. We were labelled as “poor church rats”, “mushroom churches”, “SU”, and with such horrible, derogatory names. I personally remember being warned in 1975 to stop going to the church of “those who weep when they pray”. I was asked what problem I had that drove me to that kind of church. According to them, the members were poor and never-do-well. Today, the story has changed! We are being criticized for buying jets! But they forgot that before we started to buy jets, we were winning souls in thousands and millions, turning men and women from darkness to light. We were transforming lives, giving them beauty for ashes. We were empowering people, equipping them with the revelation knowledge of God’s word that lifts men out of the pit of poverty, to the pinnacle of grace and dominion! We were empowering the poor, not only giving them fish to eat but also teaching them how to fish. We were building schools that were giving quality education to the people, empowering them mentally to become prominent (these include those throwing stones at us now!). We were building universities. We were transforming our society and changing our nation, one soul at a time. Imagine what Nigeria would have been without the labours and the influence of the church, particularly the Pentecostals and the Charismatics! It would have been a living hell, if with all our positive, godly efforts; we are still in the mess that our nation is today! Our critics fail to observe that we have not stopped doing those things that brought us into relevance and prominence. Though we have climbed the ladder of grace to rise from the pit of poverty to the mountain top of affluence, we still genuinely reach the poor masses of the downtrodden daily, showing them the way to life, the way to abundance and dominion, the way to righteousness and holiness, justice and equity, the way to God and glory, not only in the world to come but also in this present life. Our critics do not understand the way of God, that when someone sows, he or she must reap; that those who sow in tears shall reap with joy. If they were to control the harvest, they would have left us to continue to labour and languish all through our lives, from generation to generation, reaping nothing out of our field of labour. They have seen a few jets. They ain’t seen nothing yet! More of us will yet buy and maintain our jets because, by the mercy of God, we have been given the wisdom to do so. And we are willing to teach the nation, if they will listen to us, rather than throw stones. However, our critics should know that the jets mean nothing to us! They are just tools to do the work that God has given us in a more effective manner. Or how can an Enoch Adeboye who has churches in over 160 nations of the earth cope with his pastoral and apostolic responsibilities without some private jets! He does not need just one. He needs some! How can an Ayo Oritsejafor, who has to minister around the globe, pastor a very large congregation in Warri, and still attend to critical national matters in Abuja cope if he has to keep waiting at the airports, in a system where nothing is predictable? Our critics should please note that more of us are following the trail of the likes of Adeboye, whose wealth and affluence has never stopped him from being a true shepherd of the poor and downtrodden, in true humility, simplicity and godly sincerity, a shining example of true Pentecostalism and Charismatic wisdom. The nation should have turned to the church for wisdom. How do you provide electricity for your massive organisations and campsites and we have not been able to power the nation? How have you been able to maintain your jets for years, and we don’t even have a national carrier? How do you make your schools, colleges and universities such first-class institutions and ours are dilapidating, riddled with cultism and violence in spite of so much money we are pumping into them again and again? How have you been able to truly live and accommodate yourselves in spite of coming from the North, South, East, and West and with such cultural diversities, whereas the nation is filled with mindless violence and hatred, based on tribal sentiments and primordial jingoism? How could you handle leadership and power in a way that makes your huge organisations so stable and peaceful whereas our own political leaders are at one another’s throats? Rather than blind, and sometimes irreverent, criticisms that flow out of a mixture of ignorance and envy, the Pentecostals should have been asked, how did you move from a people that were despised and rejected to becoming the jet owners, institution pioneers and nation-builders that you are today? We would have answered them in this manner: We are the stones that the builders rejected, which have become the heads of the house. This is the doing of the Lord and it is marvellous in our own eyes. Our only explanation is, God’s grace has lifted the poor out of the dust and the beggars out of the dunghill. I wish every Nigeria a violence-free, restful and beautiful Christmas and a glorious 2013. More Pentecostal jets are on the way, and we owe no apology about that. Come along with us, and you too will soon become a solution, a job provider, a pioneer, and no more a part of our national rot, corruption and inefficiency. You are blessed and highly favoured. • Bishop Oke is National Vice President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, South-West.

CRAZY SCAM LETTERS FROM NAIJA YAHOO BOYS

URGENT AND CONFIDENTIAL. FROM: BARRISTER M. USMAN. LAGOS – NIGERIAFAX: 234-1-7597163 Dear Sir, I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation, to write you this very urgent and confidential letter. I am BARRISTER M. USMAN the Lawyer to MRS. MARIAM ABACHA the wife of the late Nigerian Head of State General Sani Abacha who died of heart – attack on Monday, the 8th of June, 1998. Upon the sudden and tragic death of her husband, General Abacha, there has been an intensive but secret exercise by the present civilian government to close/freeze all his bank accounts both home and abroad as he was confirmed to have directed a certain percentage of oil proceeds totalling over US$ 500M (FIVE HUNDRED MILLION U. S. DOLLARS) into private bank accounts scattered in several countries of the world; accumulated during his 41/2 years of military rule. An issue that was already on press before his sudden death. Since this exercise started few month ago, my client who is still in confinement has been in a very serious agony and mental stress as the entire family have virtually lost every including landed properties and major investments both home and aborad. Luckily, there happens to be a special security account which my client deposited a sum of US$ 51, 357, 000. 00 (FIFTY ONE MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FIVE THOUSAND U. S DOLLARS). This fund in my company_s name and is lodged in a Company Security Account Deposits (CSAD) with a West African Sub- Regional Bank. The fear there is that my client is one of the directors and invariably a major shareholder in the company, there exists a possible trace of this fund when once they finish with the accounts/assets principally owned by her husband, the Late Head of State himself. It is therefore on this note that my client have taskfully delegated me to quickly source a trustworthy and reliable person/company in your country who will kindly help us to accommodate and safeguard this fund into his account to save us from the calamities of the present clamp on her husband (the ex president) bank accounts/assets all over the world. Note that we have concluded arrangements for the release of the aforementioned sum to your bank account within the shortest possible time as soon as we concluded talks. As a result of this and other higher levels of financial transaction which I would want to enter with you as made possible by the death of my client husband, I am suggesting that we schedule a meeting immediately. Please endeavour to contact me immediately through my private and confidential or Email: usman_mojo@yahoo.com whether or not this offer is acceptable to you, so as to enable me make other alternative contacts, on the contrary. I await your urgent reply while believing you do understand the confidential nature of this transaction. Best Regards, BARRISTER M.USMAN Dear Sir, URGENT BUSINESS PROPOSAL This letter may come to you as a surprise since it is coming from someone you have not met before. However, we decided to contact you based on a satisfactory information we had about your business person as regard business information concerning your country and the safety of our funds in a steady economy such as that of your country compared to our country Nigeria Africa. I am a civil adviser currently working with the monitoring committee overseeing the winding up of the petroleum trust fund(PTF).Myself and my close and trusted colleagues need your assistance in the transfer of US$25 million into any reliable Account you may nominate overseas. This fund was generated from over-invoicing of contracts executed by the PTF under the administration of the past military government. These were discovered while we were reviewing the PTF accounts. From our discoveries, these contracts have been executed and the contractors in question were all paid. The difference of US$25,000,000 being the over-invoiced amount is the funds, we want your corporate entity to help us receive. What we want from you is a good and reliable company or personal Account into which we shall transfer this fund. Details should include the following: 1. Name of Bank 2. Address of Bank with Fax & Tel. No. 3. Account Number 4. Beneficiary/Signatory to Account (Account Name) Upon the Successful crediting of your Account. The fund will be shared as follows: 1. 20% for you and your assistance 2. 75% for myself & my Colleagues 3. 5% for contingency expenses Please after your first reply through e-mail, I will want us to continue further communication by fax and telephone for confidential purpose. We wish to assure you that your involvement should you decide to assist us, will be well protected, and also, this business, proposal is 100% risk free as we have put a whole lot into it. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation while we look forward to a mutually benefiting business relationship with you. Please when replying to my e-mail kindly include your telephone, fax number and mobile telephone numbers preferably extremely private numbers where we can reach you any time of the day. Please be aware that a high level of confidentiality and trust is required in this business. Best Regards, Amhed Tijani(Dr).

CRAZY SCAM LETTERS FROM NIGERIAN YAHOO YAHOO BOYS

I READ SOME LETTERS YAHOO BOYS USE IN SCAMMING PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD AND I HAVE INCLUDED SOME OF THEM HERE. THEY ARE FUNNY THOUGH REALLY GENUINE LOOKING THE SCAMMER FAKING LATE GENERAL ABACHA’S WIFE CONFIDENTIAL Dear Sir, Good day and compliments. This letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine the future and continued existence of the entire members of my family. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dr. (Mrs.) Mariam Abacha, the wife of the late head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria who died on the 8th of June 1998. My ordeal started immediately after my husband’s death on the morning of 8th June 1998, and the subsequent take over of government by the last administration. The present democratic government is determined to portray all the good work of my late husband in a bad light and have gone as far as confiscating all my late husband’s assets, properties, freezing our accounts both within and outside Nigeria. As I am writing this letter to you, my son Mohammed Abacha is undergoing questioning with the government. All these measures taken by past/present government is just to gain international recognition. I and the entire members of my family have been held incommunicado since the death of my husband, hence I seek your indulgence to assist us in securing these funds. We are not allowed to see or discuss with anybody. Few occasions I have tired traveling abroad through alternative means all failed. It is in view of this I have mandated DR GALADIMA HASSAN, who has been assisting the family to run around on so many issues to act on behalf of the family concerning the substance of this letter. He has the full power of attorney to execute this transaction with you. My late husband had/has Eighty Million USD ($80,000,000.00) specially preserved and well packed in trunk boxes of which only my husband and I knew about. It is packed in such a way to forestall just anybody having access to it. It is this sum that I seek your assistance to get out of Nigeria as soon as possible before the present civilian government finds out about it and confiscate it just like they have done to all our assets. I implore you to please give consideration to my predicament and help a widow in need. May Allah show you mercy as you do so? Your faithfully, Dr (Mrs.) Mariam Abacha (M.O.N) N/B: Please contact Dr Galadima Hassan on this e-mail address for further briefing and modalities From the Desk of Mustapha Alfa. Union Bank of Nigeria, Lagos-Nigeria. Dear Sir, STRICTLY A PRIVATE BUSINESS PROPOSAL I am Mr Mustapha Alfa, The manager, Bills and Exchange at the Foreign Remittance Department of the Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. I am writing this letter to ask for your support and cooperation to carry out this business opportunity in my department. We discovered an abandoned sum of $15,000,000.00 (Fifteen million United States Dollars only) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers who died along with his entire family of a wife and two children in November 1997 in a Plane crash. Since we heard of his death, we have been expecting his next-of-kin to come over and put claims for his money as the heir, because we cannot release the fund from his account unless someone applies for claim as the next-of-kin to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines. Unfortunately, neither their family member nor distant relative has ever appeared to claim the said fund. Upon this discovery, I and other officials in my department have agreed to make business with you and release the total amount into your account as the heir of the fund since no one came for it or discovered he maintained account with our bank, otherwise the fund will be returned to the banks treasury as unclaimed fund. We have agreed that our ratio of sharing will be as stated thus; 20 % for you as foreign partner, 75 % for us the officials in my department and 5 % for the settlement of all local and foreign expences incurred by us and you during the course of this business. Upon the successful completion of this transfer, I and one of my colleagues will come to your country and mind our share. It is from our 75 % we intend to import Agricultural Machineries into my country as a way of recycling the fund. To commence this transaction, we require you to immediately indicate your interest by a return e-mail and enclose your private contact telephone number, fax number full name and address and your designated bank coordinates to enable us file letter of claim to the appropriate departments for necessary approvals before the transfer can be made. Note also, this transaction must be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL because of its nature. I look forward to receiving your prompt response. SCAMMER FAKING UNION BANK MD Mr Mustapha Alfa. Union Bank of Nigeria

MY KOBO ADVICE FOR MR PRESIDENT – DELE MOMODU

THIS LETTER FROM THE MAN BEHIND THE FAMOUS OVATION MAGAZINE TO PRESIDENT JONATHAN IS SIMPLY A MASTERPIECE. I HAD TO PUBLISH IT. I LOVE IT! Your Excellency, please permit me to commiserate with you on the unfortunate and untimely death of your dearly beloved brother. I sincerely join other Nigerians in mourning what must have been a sad loss for you and your family in particular. As you travel back home to your tranquil village to pay your last respects, I pray you ponder on the free advice I’m about to offer you in good faith. Even if you’ve already returned to the gilded cage of Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, I wish to plead that you find the time to read this open letter which I would have communicated directly if I had the privilege of a private meeting with you. Perhaps, I should quickly introduce myself as a journalist and politician. Though I have seen you a few times at functions, we have never properly met. The only time we ever shook hands was when I joined others to mourn the death of, and celebrate, your father in Otueke village of Bayelsa State when you were still Vice President. I also saw you briefly in South Africa in 2009 but did not approach your table because your bodyguards didn’t look like they would appreciate any lesser mortal disturbing your peace. I was amazed because I had just left the official residence of President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria and did not see more than a few guards in the house. I had spent quality time with him without any other soul than my South African friend I went with. I had gone there in a rented taxi but no one had asked us to go through metal/bomb detectors; or to drop our phones with members of the secret service. I did not see any ADC, CSO, CSD or any other security aide with similar nomenclature only known to, and made in, Nigeria. I think we just love big titles. Anyway, I saw you again when you invited Presidential candidates, of which I was one, to Aso Rock, last year to brief us on the need for peace during the elections. I doubt if you saw me, though the invitation came from your office. Most of the candidates snubbed you but I chose to attend out of respect for your person and office. I remember seeing Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, who sat close to me, and Mr John Dara and so many politicians who I believed came because it was Aso Rock but really had no roles to play. Unfortunately, that meeting was nothing but a waste of time. You came and without even shaking hands with your co-contestants delivered your homily, answered a few questions and disappeared. There were no banters or interactions with us to cement a bond of friendship even if we wanted to take over your office. I was surprised that you or your aides could not persuade most of the candidates to attend. Yet you went ahead to host an event that was obviously doomed before it began. I can only imagine how much was charged Nigeria for such hogwash. Ghana held a similar peace conference about two weeks ago and it was a star studded event. Part of great leadership quality is the ability to attract certified enemies and convince them to rise above prejudices and pettiness. I believe you have not reached out enough. Your aides have also not helped matters by their paranoia and neurotic approach to issues. They see enemies where none exist and fire all guns blazing at shadows. That is not how to build a nation. One more example should suffice. You went on an official visit to Ghana. I was invited by the then Nigeria High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, to attend the brief reception held for you at our High Commission in Accra. Again, it was impossible for most of us to have a simple handshake with you as your security aides practically treated us like common criminals unworthy of communion with the Almighty. I finally gave up. Sir, let me say emphatically that the biggest problem with Nigerian leaders is that once they attain power, they vacate this earth and migrate to another planet far away from fellow citizens. Leaders are elected to serve the people but in Nigeria we are compelled to serve our leaders and if possible starve to death in the process. We are not allowed to ask questions about how we are led or in reality, misled. This is the reason it is difficult for most of you to know what goes on in the real world. I suggest you borrow a leaf from Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola whose style fascinates me to no end. He drives through Lagos with no disruption to the lives of the people. He responds promptly to reasonable text messages and emails. I know you’re very busy, but take time to see how President Obama jogs down or sprints up the Air Force One. It demonstrates a man on a mission. Feel free to drive on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and see things for yourself. Go into a pub and mix with the boys like President Clinton once did in Ireland. Refrain from blocking the house of God because you are attending a church service. Sir, no evil shall befall you. You are too distant from the people you lead. Show them love and you shall reap bountiful adoration. No massive security is necessary, once you make God first and suffer not his people. Conversely total security is no security where there is no Godliness. The love and prayers of Nigerians will keep you going. I have decided to adopt a new approach in my column. I will take it upon myself to write this open letter as regularly as necessary and proffer solutions to different issues, in the hope that you will get to read it. I will tell you what your aides will never tell you. It is up to you to carefully read what I write and take your own decision. Let it be said that we told you but did nothing about it. I would have freed myself from the burden of “siddon-look.” I’m reasonably convinced that if you know the magnitude of problems confronting Nigerians you will work harder and change your style of governance unless you’re determined to fail spectacularly like others before you. I pray this will not be your portion. Let me state categorically that I write this letter without any malice. More importantly I expect no personal gratification other than to see change in the lives of our people. I needed to make that clear since it is now in our culture to read motives to every good intention. I have no other reason than out of patriotic fervour. I have not been to Abuja since last year because I’m dutifully engaged at home and abroad, and really have no reason to run up and down the corridors of power like the proverbial yo-yo. Every man must determine his needs in life. I know mine and I am happy and content to manage whatever God in his infinite kindness has given to me. We all have friends and families who have nowhere to go. If Nigeria becomes the country of our dream and there is a level playground for all of us, most citizens would thrive without living like pathological beggars. You’re in a position to leave Nigeria better than you met it. Look at most of the politicians and businessmen around you today. They were the same faces you saw with your predecessors. You are their new god today because of your position. Tomorrow, when you have departed, as you surely must do, they will move on again to the next person, without any qualms. I have studied men and women of power at home and abroad and have sympathy for their tragic flaws . My discovery is that most leaders often fail to remember that whatever has a beginning must have an end. Time also flies. And it waits for nobody. Who could have imagined PDP in power since 1999 with nothing tangible to show for all the trillions of naira spent by various administrations? Who would believe that President Olusegun Obasanjo’s two terms came and disappeared within a twinkle of an eye? Or that even you have spent two years already as President and Commander-in-Chief? The question that will later haunt you, as it is haunting others before you, for the rest of time is: what did you do with all your time in office and all the resources under your control? I will say without any fear of contradiction that the money at your disposal right now is enough to transform Nigeria into a true giant if frugally managed. I will now go on to demonstrate what I mean. Sir, for every one billion naira we waste on frivolous projects, the dream of a fresh thousand millionaires would have perished. If you hand me the N2.2 billion naira you are about to spend on building a new banquet suite in Aso Rock, I will instantly create 2,200 brand-new millionaire farmers from our large army of brilliant but unemployed youths. Each of them would be able to employ 10 to 20 people in production, preservation, processing and distribution. If you think I’m joking, please hand me the money and I will urgently invite applications from potential beneficiaries. I and my team pledge not to earn a kobo from the project. If I may ask, what is wrong with the banquet suite you presently have? Is it not better to spend money on providing jobs than trying to show off to visitors that we are prosperous in the midst of wanton poverty? I’m writing this letter from Cambridge University, one of the oldest surviving institutions of learning. The buildings of most Colleges here are as ancient as history, yet there is no plan to demolish them and build new ones. The problem with us is lack of a maintenance culture. You can rehabilitate the old banquet suite with less than N100 million and turn it into an architectural masterpiece. I’m sure you won’t spend your personal money the way ours is being poured away like rain water. Do you know how old Buckingham Palace is? If it was in Nigeria, we would have demolished it many times over in order to award some horrendous contracts. I gather you want to build a new home for the Vice President at over N6 billion. This is sinful in a nation with over 12 generations of unemployed, and unemployable, graduates. What is wrong with the current Vice President’s home, Akinola Aguda House and wherever Alhaji Atiku Abubakar once lived? It smacks of gross insensitivity to waste resources in this manner. Please, give us that N6 billion and I will give you 6,000 productive millionaire entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Imagine each of them employing 10 people within the first year or two, we would have taken more than 60,000 youths off the streets. We’ve done it several times through Goke Dokun’s creative Entrepreneur Series on television and can do it even bigger in real life. As President, I would rather do this than build a home for a family of less than 50 people. Mr President, Nigerians are not difficult to lead. In fact, we get carried away by little mercies. I know you have your sight on contesting elections in 2015. Let me assure you that you won’t have to campaign much, or spend billions to get re-elected if you listen to me. All you have to do is demonstrate to Nigerians that you can resist those carpetbaggers who see power only in terms of enjoyment. The world is building monuments and creating new inventions everywhere but we are busy wasting ours on flights of fancy like super jets, palaces, women and champagnes. We can do a lot better because God has endowed us with all we need to be among the greatest of the world. All it takes a little bit of vision and discipline. Sir, there is nothing you want in life that God has not given you on a platter of gold. It is time for you to reciprocate by humbling yourself like all Saints. I will tell you about them and great names in history when I write my next epistle to you. If you hearken to the voice of reason, you will etch your name in gold. Truly, like Jesus Christ (apologies to Christians), you will ride triumphantly into your own Jerusalem.