While You Were Away, Bababu…

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My dearest President, I am writing you through this medium because, honestly, I can’t think of a quicker and more convenient way to reach you. Especially at this time that I know you will be swarmed by patriots and well wishers ‘right, left and centre,’ all thanking God you’re now hale and hearty and just happy to have you back with us again.

I’m very happy too. In fact, so happy was I that when your media team reported on Thursday evening  you would be returning early the next day after close to two months of being away, I screamed with such excitement like a dad’s favourite little girl would do when her father returned after a long trip.

So in the spirit of the moment, I thought, eh, why not play that script? You know, of an excited young girl at the feet of her beloved daddy who had just returned from a long trip. And so I thought again: In that kind of scenario, what would I be doing? Yes! I was going to tittle-tattle. So, here goes all that happened while you were away, Bababu…

First of all, while you were away, Bababu, we all sorely missed you. But I know that’s obvious already, right? I’m sure you felt that so much when your plane landed at Kaduna, when you were being ferried to Abuja in a Presidential chopper and peered through the window and saw Nigerians shouting and waving welcome, when you arrived at Aso Rock into the warm embrace of the First Lady and principal officers in the presidency, when you had a brief with ministers and senior aides…

I’m sure the buzz was unending, the hearty laughs were infectious and there was that special feeling of joie de vivre all around. I know you most likely found the atmosphere pleasantly electrifying and genuinely moving and affectionate.

Outside of the walls of the presidential villa, Nigerians were generally ecstatic too and they showed that much on the streets, on vox pop interviews on TV, and the social media. While you were away, we all prayed in unison in churches and mosques. And as soon as you arrived in the country, Nigerians on Twitter began trending the hashtag, #BabaOyoyo. That’s how we are: thug lovers.

Did I mention Kaduna airport earlier on? Yes, Bababu, while you were away, they shut down Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and began to direct flights to the now renovated Kaduna International Airport.  It was a tough call on Abuja-bound passengers and residents who now have to get used to a new destination and route back to the capital city. Well, they said it would be a six weeks closure, so…

Bababu, while you were away, Abuja literally became a bastion of crimes and insecurity — kidnappings, and ‘one chance’ — but particularly kidnapping, sir. Bababu, it appears Abuja which one of its major attractions used to be its high level security is suddenly losing that reputation.

While you were away, Bababu the naira which had long stuttered started to find its voice again in the world currency market, and it seemed the economy improved a bit.

Although there were quite a number of people who credited (and a few so mischievously so) the Acting President Yemi Osibanjo with the seeming change in fortune of the economy, we all know this government is not just a team, but a family of CHANGE patriots; and that even while in the UK, major decisions were only made after due consultations with you.

And that showed at the FEC meeting when you spoke about your vice president – to borrow a line from the Bible — ‘in whom you are well pleased.’ You said: “Youth and intellect is squarely behind him, age and purely military experience is behind me. Continue to do the work….”

But like every balanced person, the vice president was not all work while you were away, Bababu. He celebrated his 60th birthday (Yes, you called to felicitate him too, I know); and the FEC held a special session to mark it. They sang for him and feted him, and he shared a dance with his wife and daughter; and his mother prayed for him. He said it was a humbling experience. Such a fine gentleman; an astute choice for vice president!

He was celebrated in other places too, most notably in Akwa Ibom where he was been conferred with a Chieftaincy title of Obong Emem Ibom by Akwa Ibom state Traditional Rulers Council, during visits to states in the now largely peaceful Niger Delta.

While you were away, Bababu, the five percent reward policy for whistle blowers began to seriously yield fruit. Ah, yes! The EFCC raided the home of a former GMD of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu in the Sabon Tasha suburb of Kaduna city and recovered a staggering $9.2million from his safe, plus an additional £72,000.

Now, after calculating five percent of that humongous sum, every Nigerian on the street is practically looking for their own whistles! The shops are quickly running out of stock!

While you were away, Bababu, your Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina; and Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu practically had the most unenviable job in the world; as they had to endure a barrage of attacks after attacks from a section of Nigerians who simply won’t believe you were resting and getting better.

While you were away, Bababu, music record label Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori was arrested for tweeting fake news about the crisis in Southern Kaduna. He has since apologized and released on bail, but Kaduna State Governor, El Nasir Rufai is not placated and has vowed Maikori would be prosecuted for escalating the situation. Well, Maikori has been re-arrested and reportedly whisked to Kaduna.

While you were away, Bababu, a huge storm began to brew between the senate and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali about uniform — yes, not about policies or how to better secure the borders. The senate has ordered him to appear before it this week in “appropriate” uniform, but the retired colonel is insisting he was “not appointed the Comptroller General to wear uniform.”

While you were away, Bababu, AMCON finally took over ailing airline, Arik Air. The carrier which reportedly owed AMCON more than N135 billion in debt, and N10billion to other service providers.

While you were away, Bababu, Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen was sworn in as the 20th Chief Justices of Nigeria (CJN) by acting President Yemi Osinbajo. He was also decorated a Grand Commander of Order of the Niger (GCON).

While you were away, Bababu, the financial industry also had a few changes here and there. At FCMB, Ladi Balogun stepped down as Managing Director and handed over the mantle of leadership to Adam Nuru. Also, at Wema Bank Plc, Segun Oloketuyi became the new Managing Director, taking over from Lai Alabi, who had been in an acting capacity since September.

While you were away, Bababu, the Nigerian army continued its onslaught and mop up operations against Boko Haram and to consolidate on the confidence Nigerians now repose in the force. Recently, it carried out a joint operation with the Cameroonian army to weed out Boko Haram elements along the mutual borders of the two countries, successfully clearing several towns and neutralizing many of the terrorists.

While you were away, Bababu, a lot of other things happened; some of them grave and shocking, and others hilariously ridiculous. But I don’t want to bore you. You need a little more rest as the doctors advised and maybe a good laugh occasionally. So, Your Excellency sir, allow me to drop my pen for now….

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