Home Uncategorized MR PRESIDENT… by Dike Chukwumerije

MR PRESIDENT… by Dike Chukwumerije


Your election was strongly opposed by a sizeable chunk of this country. You are President of a deeply divided nation. Let us not make the mistakes of the past and abandon those who voted against us to their fate, for these illogical hatreds will only grow stronger in neglect. You must not gloat. And if those whose support has made you President do, you must not wait to rebuke them. For, the elections are over. Now, you are Nigeria.

I, personally, have little confidence in your capacity to do anything of great significance to my life in the next 4 years, for the system that produced you is a poisoned one. Nevertheless, do your best. Strain at the oars of state with all the zeal in your righteous heart. Who knows? Remember, even in the midst of the travails that will be laid at your doorstep by the unscrupulous behavior and incompetent advice of handlers we the public may never even know about, the leader of a country as large and complex as this one has only three tasks – to inspire, to inspire, to inspire.

For there is a lost generation who have grown up without ideology, that inner compass of moral men that points them North regardless of condition. It was never modeled for us, you see, for our leaders have always shoved past us on cluttered highways, and through their starch-clean agbadas we have had the misfortune, too many times, of seeing them in ways children should never see their own fathers – as greedy, grasping and irredeemably petty. I tell you, it will take a little – but that little is a lot – to change that.

To take us there, we will need much more than the Chairman of a weekly contract awarding Council. It will be your first major test, and it is most likely – in the deluge of post election paybacks – that you will fail. But if you can summon the courage of a man who has determined to keep his date with destiny, then choose your Ministers wisely. And leave them to do what they do best. For, from you, we will need a whole lot more than the Chairman of a weekly contract awarding Council. From you, we will need a reason to stand tall again, as Nigerians, wherever we are.

And you will find that we are in many, many places. Yes. Regardless of what your innumerable critics will tell you every day of your administration (no matter how long it lasts), you are in reality NOT the reason why this country does not work. Please, do not forget this. We are the ones at the gates, at the reception desks, in front of the classrooms, behind the counter in police stations up and down this country. We are the ones at the wheels of cars, at the desks in offices, the ones bringing out mobile phones to check for alerts that tell us your budgetary allocations have metamorphed from hapless paper figures to physical cash. It is true. You cannot, somehow, go around us to develop this country. If we resume at 11 and close by 2, you stay awake in vain in Aso Rock. Do not forget this. That as leader of a country as large and complex as Nigeria, you have but 3 tasks – to inspire, to inspire, to inspire.

And if that is all you succeed in doing, in making us believe that we were born to be gods, to light up the heavens like a thousand comets, then I – as cynical as my Nigeria has caused me to be – will look back upon you, and your time, with great fondness.

May God give you wisdom, Mister President. May God give you strength.


Dike Chukwumerije


  1. Mr. Dike Chukwumerije, as a lover of Literature, African Literature especially, I think I love your article. I admire your courage, but how I wish you wrote this to Sani Abacha – the great butcher of Abuja. I love the analytical skills displayed in this article. But I want to remind you of what Professor Francis Imbuga wrote in his play (Betrayal in the city), “IT WERE BETTER WHILE WE WAITED FOR CHANGE THAN NOW (that change has come). Nigeria will never be the same. You have enemies within. And now that Chinua Achebe has gone west and Wole Soyinka is silent with age, you can only join them since you can’t beat them!

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