An Open Letter to the President: An Optimistic Nigerian Youth’s Perspective By Tobechukwu Obikili

Dear Mr. President,

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I extend my warmest greetings to you and hope this letter finds you in good spirits & health. It is with a sense of profound optimism and admiration that I pen down these words. My fascination with your strategies and mystique knows no bounds, and my respect for you is truly phenomenal. My attachment to your story began in my childhood, ignited by my father’s claim that he knew and had met you at a party in northern Chicago during his time at Governors State University Illinois in 1979.

During the pivotal 2023 elections, we campaigned vigorously and cast our votes in overwhelming support of your candidacy, hopeful that you would contribute to the rebuilding of our great nation.

This is why you are currently hitting the ground running, as you rightly said during your campaign interview.

However, for a country as diverse as Nigeria, I must candidly express that we need to think about being balanced in terms of key positions & appointments. The general perception is that key positions in the legislative & administrative are being occupied majorly by one ethnic group, while another has been given fewer appointments than the others. Despite the voting pattern seen in the general elections, it is important to balance the equation so that all regions feel a sense of belonging and also to avoid continuing a pattern not healthy for our great nation. This, coupled with the extremely harsh economic realities currently being faced by the people, conveys a sense of exclusion and dissatisfaction. While we understand the voting patterns, you are largely loved, respected & accepted. I earnestly plead for fairness and equity, particularly for a region that has endured historical marginalization, many of whom currently feel disappointed & left out. Regardless of the public opinion shared by the youth during the elections, I know you share a mindset of one Nigeria, and this presents a good opportunity for you to show those who have doubt in your government that you are the president of the people. The past administration left our hopes and dreams in shambles, A quick online survey around the country will show the excruciating sufferings experienced by the people, but as we approach the next phase of our Independence & democracy, I adjure you Mr president, to champion together with the remaining hopeful youths the empowerment, reconstruction and complete overhaul of the Nigerian project for a greater, stronger & united Nigeria, where happiness prevailed, as we were once celebrated as the happiest nation in the world.”

From a young age, I exhibited a relentless curiosity, often posing questions that others deemed unconventional. One such inquiry revolved around the existence & social classification differences of the then deputy governor’s son, a few commissioners & top public servants children in my class at King’s College Lagos. My father’s response, attributing it to destiny, left me unsatisfied. In order to get a better knowledge & understanding, i embarked on a mission to know these classmates forging friendships for decades. This marked my first foray into the world of politics.

As I got older, I delved into the life and career of the then-governor of Lagos state, Your Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who would later ascend to the presidency. I became attentive to your speech, mannerisms, and governance approach as I followed your journey through national television broadcasts. My prayer that you would one day become the president of our great nation resonated deeply within me.

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Although my upbringing had exposed me solely to the leadership of my parents and grandparents, with my grandfather holding the highest chieftaincy title in our village, He embodied a grassroots leader’s qualities, always striving to ensure the well-being and happiness of all by always exhibiting justice, equity & fairness in his decisions. I began to understand that great and true leadership is of a wider spectrum than what I was accustomed to in my younger days, and I knew I had to maintain an open mind for better understanding and its implementation.

In conclusion, I extend my heartfelt wishes for your success, Mr. President & l look forward to a more balanced & diverse administration, one that represents equity, fairness & inclusion so as to build the greatest black nation in the world where everyone feels a sense of belonging. May your leadership guide our beloved nation toward greater heights. God bless you, God bless Nigeria, and God bless Africa.

Yours sincerely,

Tobechukwu Obikili

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