BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
Nollywood producer, Dickson Iroegbu has written a lengthy letter of apology to the former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for his role in condemning his government.
He wrote on his Facebook page:
“Dear Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, I write to apologize on behalf of myself and the many repentant Nigerians like me who ganged up against your government in 2012. Your government’s policy to remove subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol was completely misconstrued by us.
“I was personally deceived by my overzealous comradely towards millions of Nigerians who had traveled to various locations at that time to spend Christmas with their loved ones. I was particularly concerned about NDIGBO who traditionally returned home in droves during this period every year. Sir, like millions of Nigerians I worked for your victory at the polls in 2011, but I considered the untoward hardship the removal of subsidy on the 1st of January 2012 as insensitive. It was simply seen as going to inflict serious hardship on the millions who voted you to power; hence we arose against it.
“Yes I did join the protest, but my dear Sir, I did not consider the long term positive effect it would have on the economy of our beloved nation at that particular moment. We joined forces with the NLC and the TUC, and alongside your political enemies we mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in protest across the nation.
“I matched with my colleagues from my then abode in Aguda through Surulere (National Stadium), to Ojelegba, through Maryland, to Ojota where we met a marmot crowd. The police and all other law enforcement agents under your democratic leadership were very civil with us; we were never harassed or molested nor killed. In fact a certain overzealous police man who accidentally shot at a young man in Mushin area in Lagos during that protest was not only dismissed from service, but he was also prosecuted and jailed!
“SIR, YOU ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A DEMOCRATIC LEADER IN AFRICA!
“There in Ojota, Pastor Tunde Bakare and Sheik Ahmad Abubakar Gumi and Seun Kuti, and many many others were there. Even my brother Okey Bakassi was there too! We sang and danced, we gyrated, we cooked and slept there in the open arena protected by the police, the civil defence, etc.
“The next day we woke up matched on to Ikoyi and converged at Falamo bridge, where Ali Baba, Prof. Pat Utomi, and the rich men children were gathered – we had matched through YABA and IDUMOTA, chanting the resurrected songs of King Fela Anikulapo Kuti. We called you names like, the shameless shoeless one, the animal in human skin, innumerable and unprintable names!
“Even when you came out in a nationwide broadcast and addressed the people as President and father of the nation explaining why you took that unpopular decision, urging the masses to understand and bear with you for a while, we said no way! We remained adamant! We booed you! We insulted you! Mr. President Sir, please find it in your heart to forgive us. We did not know what we were doing then; but we understand better now. The same people who deceived us have turned around and increase the pump price through the back door, in the guise of subsidy removal. They have inflicted hardship on the Nigerian masses you love so much.
“You were not perfect, but you were a loving father to all of us, you were President and C-in-C to the North, South, West and the East, but we vilified and treated you with disrespect and ignominy. Sir, the economy that flourished under your watch as President which positioned us as number one economy in Africa and one of 25 fastest growing economies in the world is now at its lowest ebb in just one year of misrule. In just one year of your exit Nigeria our beloved country has become a shadow of herself! The picture is so gloomy, inflation rate is so high! The masses cannot even put food on their tables, darkness everywhere, electricity generation is at all-time very lowest – killings and maiming, evil looms; our nation Nigeria is under attack!
“May be you could just say a word of prayer sir, “May Nigeria not erupt in flames and violence under the current draconian administration” – Sir I say that because there is so much hunger in the land, and as they say, a hungry man is an angry man! A HUNGRY PEOPLE NA CONFUSION!
“Please find it in your heart to forgive and forget, for indeed we ganged up against you wrongly. We didn’t know that we were doing wrong to our-own-selves. May God bless you with long life and good health.”