Somewhere in Nigeria.
December 27, 2013.
The Original Open Letter,
Open Letter Commission,
Wherever you are.
Dear Open Letter,
An Open Letter to Open Letter
I write to you today for a myriad of reasons, the highlight of which is – I don’t want you around anymore. As is apparently now customary, I will give a breakdown of the reasons why I had to write this as the letter progresses.
It seems you have become very popular in recent times especially in our political circles. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why. Your dad – the normal letter – was a staple, exasperating presence in my childhood forever haunting me as I struggled to understand whether it would rather end with ‘yours faithfully’ or ‘yours sincerely’ (Okay . . I must admit . . this still haunts me). I was so happy when I discovered I didn’t need to write anymore of its kind after I had got into my second year at the university. You could not imagine the joy I felt when I discovered that the less uptight e-mail had replaced your irritating dad as the major and most common form of business correspondence. I got even happier as gradually, chat sites and applications became more ubiquitous as it meant your father was ever closer to his grave. The whole brouhaha about air pollution, deforestation, global warming bla bla bla killing our planet and causing everything from common cold to the bad-ass-ery (this should totally be a word) of Kim Jong-Un indicates that the end is nearer for your family and its unnecessary intricacies.
However, despite the dwindling influence and presence of your kin, you have made an impressive though puzzling come back. Fittingly enough, you made your confounding comeback among some of the most confused people in our society – our political office holders, past and present. In the space of weeks, you not only engulfed the attention of a whole nation but also adequately sowed (abi placed) seeds of discord (abi land mines) at strategic points – points where they are likely to germinate(abi explode) on or before 2015. It is particularly perplexing to me that you could be used for such insidious activities when all I’ve ever considered using you for was expressing my heartfelt desire to Tonto Dikeh to stop singing/saying ‘Hi’ and to Dame Patience to stick to Okrika or whatever language is her mother tongue – lightheartedly of course.
But my major beef today is not with the manner of your use and the political significance of your type to the Nigerian politic-o-sphere (yet another collection of alphabets which should totally be a word), that beef should be the subject of a far more serious article written by an actual political analyst. Noooo, my beef is with the people who use you and the exceptional way you make them appear. How do you work your mighty miracles with them? How do you make them sound smarter and much more articulate than their countless public speeches suggest they are? How do you make dreary, obtuse-sounding, soporific speakers sound like passionate, erudite, charismatic individuals? The Obasanjos and GEJ are, with all due respect, not Soyinka and Achebe, so how do you get them sounding alike? And why do they have to outline countless reasons for writing you at the beginning often covering more space than your actual subject? Why do some like Iyabo use you for subjects that are of little concern to us – the general populace? Why is it often so difficult to ascertain why we are reading you? Why do your replies not answer the pertinent questions posed in their predicates? And where on earth do they find the time to write you when our country is in such dire straits economically and otherwise? I would also use this opportunity to ask how and why they chose you. Why not some other more exciting, maybe less time consuming alternative like a debate/shouting match/cat fight atop Zuma/Olumo Rock involving rap interludes from Jim Iyke and commentary by Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon? Too many ‘whys’ and too few ‘becauses’ – please start answering asap or my beef could turn sour.
On a side note and though I’m sure it’s not completely your fault, I will also like to beg you to cease and desist from populating my twitter interface/list of tweets/TL (sorry o – does TL mean tweet list?). You can’t keep trending every time. It’s distracting, for one, and unfair to other attention seekers and possibly more exciting trends/tweets which I would have uncovered like the classic ‘Nigeria vs Kenya tweef’. If you insist on remaining relevant in the modern age despite my vehement protests, then please, stay in ink and paper form at the least. We don’t want e-open-letters, that’s why we have the e-mail. Discussions like the ones you incite are meant for the Vanguard News comment section not my TL. Consider yourself adequately warned – I hope not to see you in that world anymore.
In conclusion, I fear for the future if the current spate of spurting out your kind continues; I fear a day might come when a ten-page open letter is written for every tiff between political officers; I fear that one day you and your kind will eventually overrun my Twitter TL and leave me in a state of eternal boredom seated in a dark room, gently rocking from side to side, arms around knees listening to the epic soundtrack of The good, The Bad and The Ugly . . . BUT, What I fear the most and the predominant source of my conviction to write this urgent, ironically open letter is the apparently certifiable, high alert threat on twitter to ‘Watch out for Patience Jonathan’s Open Letter to Rotimi Amaechi’.
PLEEEAAAASSSSEEEEE!!!!! For the sake of my sanity, your self-respect and the goodwill of this great nation from fellow English speaking nations across the world, PLEEEAAAASSSSEEEEE!!!!! Don’t let her do it. Run away, disappear, exile yourself, take a long vacation on some beach in Micronesia, become a monk at some Shaolin temple or go to Mars, but PLEEEAAAASSSSEEEEE!!!!! don’t allow yourself to be used in this way. I believe I need not write any further especially because I don’t want this one to become as mind-numbing as its predecessors. Thank you for understanding. I wish you and your kin well(I really do)
Yours faithf . . . sincer . . .
Yours in a begging way,
Izuchukwu Okata . . . I really love my country
Follow him on Twitter @IzutaDGaffer
DISCLAIMER , PS : or NB :
I forgot to sign this letter because my tongue was lodged firmly in my cheek – And if you’re Nigerian but can’t understand that expression, then OBJ and GEJ deserve more blame than they’d care to admit .