An Open Letter to Nigeria’s President about a trip to Chibok not being necessary to bring #BringBackOurGirls – Tola Adenle

Ṣiọ,  as they say in my native Yoruba, a word worse than “disgraceful” or “shameful”, used here for all of us Nigerians caught in very terrible circumstances and lumped as one unsavory group: genuine patriots and pretenders alike.  To paraphrase the words of the title of a retired General’s essay from  a newspaper, “we are living a lie in Nigeria”.


President E.G. Jonathan

Aso Rock

Abuja, Nigeria


Dear President Jonathan,

I did not vote for you to be a president, a fact I made known BEFORE the election in a public essay in March 2011 as I was one of the very few writers who publicly wrote (The Nation on Sunday) about the positive advantages that the retired General possesses over other contestants, or who dared write about choosing him as her candidate in the then coming election and letting followers of her essays know.

I was also one of a very very few who wrote publicly (The Nation on Sunday) to condemn the despicable acts of the cabal – led by his wife – that surrounded Alhaji Yar Adua and made us all a laughing stock to the whole world.  I also went beyond that to ask you, Dr. Jonathan, about that crossroads being “your time … go down in history” by not running for president during your acting capacity.

Here is a part of that essay, President Jonathan, a Defining Moment:


“Okay, Good Doctor, I was never a fan because of the way your principal walked on a carpet of blood of slain Nigerians to Aso Rock but I’ve since eaten my words about you never reaching the presidency from YOUR OLD POSITION … on your laps have been thrust an unusual opportunity: to remake Nigeria … confound those of us who naturally lump you with Alhaji Yar Adua (AYA). You have nothing to lose but a chance to go down as a great hero. Seize the time; ignore the so-called governors’ forum; YOU OWE THEM NOTHING. Tell yourself … that you will not run come next year but give Nigerians a good electoral reform and work on power … This is your time. No godfather put you there but Nigerians’ determined will … Do not worry about any political future because yours is now.”


The rest of the essay can be read through this link:


I did not believe you were ready to lead a country – not yet a nation – as huge and diverse and with deep crevices harboring huge problems like corruption back then.  My opinion has not only remained unchanged but has slid a whole lot, made worse by the Chibok Missing Girls.

Why, Dear President Jonathan, did you say – or, at worse, give the impression you would go to Chibok if you knew you would not go?

Your visit to Chibok may not #BringBackOurGirls but it would have shown you care. It would have shown the families in the communities that you feel for them; it would have shown the world that you, and Nigerians are all in the same community of humanity where such things matter.
You seem to have switched to the mode that Nigerians have now grown accustomed to: that of a leader who, to quote your words, “DO NOT GIVE A DAMN” about such inanities.
I also read a US General’s report that Nigerian soldiers do not want to go to Chibok but you, Mr. President, called on America to help. Do you, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces AND Nigeria’s army boys want American kids to get killed while Nigerian armed forces type mark the register while waiting to become Generals who never tasted even  a local terrorists face-off?  What kind of help was expected from the Americans and the international community?
Ṣiọ,  as they say in my native Yoruba, a word worse than “disgraceful” or “shameful”, used here for all of us Nigerians, genuine patriots and pretenders alike.  To summarize the title of a retired General from  a newspaper essay, we are living a lie in Nigeria.


SUNDAY, MAY 18 2014.  7:05 a.m. [GMT]

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4 Comments on “An Open Letter to Nigeria’s President about a trip to Chibok not being necessary to bring #BringBackOurGirls – Tola Adenle”

  1. emotan77 Says:

    Thanks, Olu.

    I do not believe the president can claim to be the father of anybody beyond his family just as I once wrote in one of my Sunday essays against an idea – I was almost certain – emanating from the so-called Obasanjo Boys about a title for their “father” as “Father of Modern Nigeria”.

    I took it upon myself to decline the fatherhood of millions, including me by retired General Obasanjo who, I dared say, was not the “Father of Nigeria, Ancient or Modern”.

    Now what do we make of President Jonathan who rejected the idea of being anybody’s father before we start getting any funny ideas – I do not know.





  2. emotan77 Says:


    This is worse than “Sio”!

    It’s a disgrace to the whole nation when the father is afraid to defend
    his children. Our consolation is in God.




  3. Bisi Sowunmi Says:

    Can Nigeria be more shamed, despised, nay betrayed, exposed to international disdain, and her traumatized, helpless, victims of “unconscionable” terrorism, innocent girls suffer a worse stab in the back than have been done by their President and Commander-in-chief of the armed forces and his army?

    how long shall the rest of us continue to bear the shame and agony?



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Sis.,

      I do not know, I simply do not know for how much longer we can continue to bear the shame brought on us by the ineptitude, shamelessness and international disdain of what passes for leadership in our unfortunate country.

      Thanks for weighing in on this, Sis.




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