Dear President Jonathan Goodluck: Congratulations on your recent election as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Out of obscurity, and from a humble background in Otuoke, you made history, as our new President.
Your electoral feat is remarkable in a country where primordial sentiments, such as a candidate’s social background, membership in particular ethnic or religious groups, all influence the voters’ choice in general elections. You have proven that being a member of a visible minority ethnic group is not an obstacle for citizens who aspire to become President of the country. Against the odds, you were elected President of Nigeria. It must have been a dream come true for you.
Mr. President, even though you are likely still celebrating your political victory, I hope that you will take some time to reflect on the many problems facing the country. Many social commentators have already dissected the challenges requiring your attention, as you begin your four-year term of leadership. This letter; however, is to remind you of the many political assassinations that have taken place under the watch of your predecessors. In particular, the assassination of Chief James Ajibola Idowu Ige, former Attorney General and Minister of Justice is still fresh in our minds. Also troubling, is the unwillingness of your predecessors to prosecute the perpetrators of the heinous crime. Let me add, sir, that I do not wish to diminish the importance of finding and prosecuting the killers of all other Nigerians who have lost their lives by political assassinations, such as Mr. Harry Marshal. Nevertheless, the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, who was murdered in cold blood in his bedroom, while he was Minister of Justice, is a crucial case. One wonders who in Nigeria can get justice, if a Minister of Justice cannot get justice.
The late Chief Bola Ige, fondly called Uncle Bola Ige or the Cicero of Esa-Oke, by many of his admirers, needs no introduction to you, Mr. President. You will recall that you served Nigeria as a member of the youth corps, at the Community Secondary School, Iresi, Oyo State – now in Osun State, from 1981 to 1982, under Chief Ige’s watch. Chief Ige was the governor, as well as the Chief Security Officer of Oyo State, when you observed your national service. He ensured your liberty and safety at the time, and knew that you and your colleagues who were serving their fatherland, were powerless, but would be the future leaders of Nigeria. He knew that the future was in the hands of those who were serving Nigeria under his watch. And he was right. Had Chief Ige been careless with your liberty and safety at that time, you might not have been able to fulfil your destiny as President. As an example, in contrast to your current situation, the parents of the murdered youth corps members who were recently murdered in some northern states of Nigeria were robbed of their own “goodluck,” through the carelessness of the chief executives/security officers of the states while the youths were observing their national service.
Curiously, Chief Ige was murdered by hired assassins who were allegedly on the pay list of some members of your People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Critical observers exonerated you of Chief Ige’s murder, since you were the Deputy Governor to Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha in Bayelsa State, when he was assassinated. At the time of the assassination, you were not a principal figure in the volatile central politics of Nigeria, neither did any evidence suggest that you had nursed any ambition since 2001 to become Nigeria’s President. Above all, Chief Ige was never a threat to you or to your political aspirations in Bayelsa State. You came into the national limelight, as Nigeria’s Vice- President and later as President, through serendipity, and not by your ambition. Still, while Chief Ige was not a direct threat to you, he was a huge threat to your party, the PDP, especially in the southwest states of Nigeria. He was also a threat to Olusegun Obasanjo, the President of Nigeria at the time, who like Ige, hailed from southwest Nigeria, but who unlike Chief Ige, had no political base or roots at the time. Chief Ige was in control of the Yoruba southwest politics, until his assassination. Thus, it stands to reason that he was assassinated to pave the way for the rigging of elections in the southwest to your party’s advantage, and perhaps also to the advantage of Olusegun Obasanjo, the President of Nigeria who had no political base at the time of Ige’s murder. Your party (the PDP), according to Nigerian Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, is a nest of killers. From public opinion, Nigerians believe that members of your PDP, murdered chief Ige to steal the southwest states for the advantage of Chief Obasanjo, the President of Nigeria at that time.
Not surprisingly, the PDP’s theft of the people’s mandate in the southwest states lasted for almost a decade. According to Emile Zola, if you shut up the truth and bury it under the ground, it will only grow, and gather itself into an explosive power that will burst through and blow up everything in its way. The recent political events in the southwest have corroborated Zola’s view, as the progressive party, to which Chief Ige belonged, has regained the entire southwest states from the PDP, while the Labour Party controls Ondo State.
Mr. President, as the current Chief Security Officer of Nigeria, the ball is in your court to prosecute the murderers of Chief Ige. Please apprehend the guilty players. You can do it. Let them be punished to serve as deterrents for future killers that abound in the PDP. The public opinion in Nigeria suggests that Nigerians voted for you, as the candidate with personal qualities, and not for your party, PDP. The people expect that your patriotism to Nigeria will tower above your loyalty to your party. Mr. President, I urge you to reflect on the words of Henry Beecher, who says that no man rides so high and in such good company as the man who allies himself to a truth. Mr. President, please ally yourself to the truth and bring justice to those who assassinated Chief Ige, no matter who they are, or where they may be.