Basorun Dele Momodu a popular columnist has written a powerful letter to 17 southern governors as his 61st birthday gift.
In the message sent in form of an open letter, the Edo State-born businessman praised the governor for holding a successful meeting recently.
Read Momodu’s letter here:
Our dear Governors,
Please, permit me to write you this open letter. You will understand, and probably appreciate my epistle if you’re patient enough to read and digest its content, which I wrote not because of any mischief but out of real patriotism. I needed to state this clearly, and unequivocally, from the outset, because our country has become so divided, and degraded, to the extent that we can no longer engage in simple, decent and straightforward conversations, without someone reading satanic meanings into the motives behind your intervention.
By the grace of almighty God, I will be 61 years old on planet earth tomorrow, Sunday, 16 May 1960. I was born just a few months before Nigeria attained independence. Even if I was unaware of my environment at that stage, I grew up with great expectations, and the hope that Nigeria has the potential of becoming one of the greatest countries in the world. This hope was based on certain critical assessments. Nigerians are greatly blessed and naturally endowed with some of the most brilliant humans and definitely the most fertile lands and diverse mineral resources.
I was born in the ancient city of Ile-Ife and my proximity to the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Africa’s most beautiful campus, afforded me the opportunity of learning literature, linguistics, philosophy, history, sociology, religious studies and so on. I grew up as an idealist having been brought up and indoctrinated in the seminal works of Walter Rodney, Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Nawal El Saadawi, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Paulo Freire and others. Most of the earliest authors I read painted a picture of Africa that was savaged, and ravaged, by the white colonialists who underdeveloped our continent. Little did we envisage that the neo-colonialists, the new Black slave masters would actually act far worse and commit greater atrocities than those who came from far flung places with their ships to ferry us into slavery in their countries. We did not in our wildest imagination envisage that our own leaders will become so bad that our youths and elderly would be forced to voluntarily borrow money, procure visas, buy air tickets, join sea pirates to run into slavery and servitude, uninvited.
You will agree with me, Sirs, that this is the sad but true picture of our situation today. Let me now return closer home. My childhood occurred under the Regional governments in Nigeria. Each Region developed or retrogressed at its own pace. I still wonder what got into the brains of our leaders that they decided to opt for the outlandishly expensive and grandiloquent American system of Democracy which has now forced us to practice capitalism without capital. But I’m not here to bemoan our past but to focus on our future, which is currently threatened from all fronts.