IBB Appointment: An open letter to Prof. Isa Odidi

My dear professor Odidi:

It is with great pains that I came to the conclusion to put these few thoughts of mine in writing in regards to the recent announcement of your appointment as the diaspora co-ordinator for the presidential campaign of the discredited former military RULER and DICTATOR, General Ibrahim Babangida.

I, unfortunately, do not happen to be one of those who have your ears, which is why I decided to use this medium to try conveying to you the feelings of myself and, I think, that of the vast majority of Nigerians both here in Canada and in the other diaspora countries that you are now supposed to co-ordinate.

Without being garrulous, please let me state from the very onset, my profound disappointment on hearing the news this morning. It left me in a state of disbelief and stupor such that I could not even contemplate what reasons where behind your thinking about and finally accepting such a position, assuming you have already done so. The reason for this head-scratcher is and remains a mystery to me, my dear professor, because I want to think that you as an individual has more credibility and acceptance within the Nigerian community worldwide than this man you are now working for and helping to achieve his goal of RULING and LORDING it over Nigeria and Nigerians once more.

Sir, is your action a testament to the fact that some of us who hold you in high regards where being sold a bill of goods by you, or where we just bad judges of intergrity and character? I have reason to believe that you are sensitive to the plight of Nigerians because at the occassion of Mallam Ribadu’s visit to Toronto late last year where some Nigerians, myself included, had the opportunity to meet with him at your palatial home of all places, you had waxed lyrical about populist themes and enjoined us all to join in the struggle. I also recalled that your honourable self are or where a member of the Change Nigeria Project, which is different from the Change Nigeria Movement of which I happen to be a member.

Being in different pressure groups notwithstanding, I came away with the impression that the primary reason members of the Change Nigeria Movement were invited to this meeting was because there was a meeting of minds in terms of our goals and objectives, which is to herald a new dawn for our oppressed country and people. However, this mind-boggling decision of yours runs counter to these objectives. It smacks squarely in the face of those of us who had hopes that maybe, just maybe, we are now starting to have Nigerians of some repute and means such as yourself bring their know-how and experience to the table as opposed to the former veneration that we had for miscreants, thieves, murderers and to put it bluntly, UNCIVILIZED people such as this man you are now committed to working for.

Sir, I surely want to believe that you have not forgotten the pains and horrors that Nigeria and Nigerians went through under the misguided, dictatorial and greedy leadership of this man. What in the 8 years of misrule by IBB convinced you prof, that he deserves another opportunity to RULE Nigeria again? Is it his annulment of the famous June 12 election? What democratic credentials does Babangida have that trumps your own?

Are you aware that Nigerians DESPISE and LOATHE this man? Are there some subterreneous moves to which you are privy that caused you to cast your lot with a thoroughly discredited and corrupt person like IBB? Or is this a play for political influence and relevance on your part?

Sir, you can do a heck of a lot better by betting on the side of the Nigerian people with whom you had pledged to stand at that august event at your house!!!

Whatever now happened to the political causes and aspirations that you so eloquently espoused in your house that day? What about your nascent political baby, the New Democratic Party of which you were their presidential flagbearer? Did you abandon those ideals and abandon your own political party? Or have you morphed from being a populist to being a member of the problem RULING class in Nigeria? In other words, have you gone from potentially being a part of the solution to now being a part of the problem class of thieving kleptomaniacs who have caused us to be the backward nation that we are today?

Sir, I am almost scratching my head to the point of scarring myself with questions aplenty, but I can’t seem to find one resonating answer in your defence against my disappointment with this course of action on your part. Babangida??? Babangida??? Haba!!!!!!

So what happened to your stated admiration for and intention to work with Malam Ribadu, not out of your closeness to him personally, but borne out of the fact that you agree with what he had tried to do at the EFCC and the changes that he had tried to bring about in Nigeria? Are you still in support of his agenda and at the same time in support of the inordinate ambition of your friend IBB? Or have you ditched Ribadu in favour of IBB because you have calculated WRONGLY I hope, that with all of IBB’s vaunted ability to bribe and buy his way around, your lot is better in his camp? Prof, I am absolutely convinced that you have NOT being bribed, but I am still flabbergasted as to why you reached this decision. To the best of my limited knowledge about you and who you are, you are a very successful business man even here in the white man’s land because you worked hard for what you have being able to achieve. I actually used the NCA listserve to offer my congratulations and respect for your achievement when you acquired that other pharmacuetical company, Vasogen Inc. Now you want to tarnish all that you have worked for by being associated with public enemy #1?

I kindly implore you to use this medium or any of your choosing to tell us what Babangida’s claim to fame is, other than having being a part of every coup plot in Nigeria except the one led by the late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogu, at least in his own admission that is. Then, according to popular legend, he shot his way to power in August of 1985, in a bid to save his own skin. Whether or not the legend is true, we all know that he subversively took power, albeit from another military but popular regime. Popularity of the likes that IBB did not, was not and will never be able to achieve at least in the minds of Nigerians.

Prof, I happened to be at the funeral for a departed sister this morning and the topic of your appointement was obviously going to be among the discussions being held because you are one of us here in Toronto, Canada. News they say travels fast eh!!!! However, amongst all of the people that I happened to talk to about this issue, the vast majority of them were not supprised as to your acceptance of this task, save for about 1 or 2, of which I belonged. Now, I don’t know if in the minds of Nigerians, that speaks more to their interpretation of your person, or if it was more a statement as to my naivete.

I dearly hoped that the latter was the case, as the former would be a gut wrencher for me because I hold you in a higher esteem than that. I want to believe that you have not bought into this latter day democratic foray of IBB’s because I can tell you know that, IBB cannot win the chairmanship of his resident Minna LGA if the election where free and fair.

Nigerians are putting their fate in the new INEC leadership of Prof. Jega and I do too because of his antecedents as the erstwhile leader of ASUU. I am of the opinion that the man is incorrigible and if IBB has any plans to buy this election, then he better think again. But, like I said, maybe there are moves afoot to spring an IBB presidency on Nigerians, and you are probably aware of that. That sir, places you squarely in the fold of detractors in Nigeria and we do have a long memory.

If any of your lackeys and untruthful hangers-on have not dared to tell you, Nigerians here in Canada are pissed off by this singular act of yours and would appreciate your rejection of this position. But then again, who are we common floor members to tell a highly accomplised man like you what you can or cannot do, whether in the name of populism or not. But remember though that leadership is about the people you aspire to lead and not about imposition

I hope I have been as respectful as can be in my opinions here, and also hope that I wake up from this bad dream already and I also hope that someone in this varied list of recipients is close enough to you to have this letter forwarded to you.


Kenneth Uhuangho